Location: Osterley Park, Middlesex

Opened: 1943

Closed:

 

The first prisoners at Osterley Park were Italians, later followed by Germans. Some of these were put to work in the Crown Cork's plant on Scotts Road, to make up for the shortages in staff owing to former workers being enlisted in the Armed Forces.

 

The following are the recollections of Don Fuller: "As a schoolboy during the war I spent many hours in Osterley Park with my chums. Initially the park was used as a camp for British and American troops but after the capitulation of Italy part of the park was utilised as a POW camp for Italian prisoners. The interns were allowed out of the camp and I recall, on a number of occasions, sitting near the main entrance with a group of prisoners whilst they strummed their guitars and sang of Sorento. They were issued with course Fairey soap to wash with, so I used to pinch toilet soap from home to exchange for buttons and badges. Apart from the soap their only other interest seemed to be 'whether we had any older sisters' plus a longing to return to their native Italy. After the Italians left we had German POW's who were less friendly. After a while they were also allowed out of the camp wearing dark brown clothing with a large orange circle on the back of the blouse. I only recall one being affable and I used to buy a bottles of brown ale for him from the local off licence, the licensee thought the were for my father. Finally the camp was used to house German officers only, who were confined to the camp so my 'fraternising with the enemy' ceased."