Lance-Corporal William Richard John Lloyd

 

National Archives catalogue reference - WO 208/3320/34

 

Name: 3963811 L/Cpl Lloyd, William Richard John.

Unit: 8th Battalion The Sherwood Foresters.

Captured: Lillehammer (Norway), 22nd April 1940.

Escaped: 19th May 1944.

Left: Stockholm, 18th June 1944.

Arrived: Leuchars, 19th June 1944.

Date of Birth: 16th July 1918.

Army Service: Since 16th July 1939 (Militia).

Peacetime Profession: Apprentice to manufacturing chemist.

Private Address: Mansel Arms, Mansel Street, Carmarthen, S. Wales.

 

1. CAPTURE.

 

I was captured at LILLEHAMMER (Norway) on 22 Apr 40 while manning a road-block alone. I was equipped with an anti-tank rifle, but the ammunition was of reduced charge type and failed to penetrate enemy A.F.Vs. I was surrounded and captured. I believe that my C.O. and most of my battalion were captured about the same time.

 

2. CAMPS IN POLAND.

 

Stalag XX A, Fort 13 (THORN)   Early May 40 for about three weeks.

 

Working Party at BISCHOFSBERG (DANZIG)   End May till 18 Dec 40.

 

Stalag XX A, Fort 13.   18 Dec 40 till Jul 41.

 

Farm at LASKOWITZ (Germany), 1:100,000, Sheet 42, 3031).   One day in Jul 41.

 

Stalag XX A, Fort 13.   Jul 41 till Oct 41.

 

Stalag XX A, Fort 15.   Oct 41 till Feb 42.

 

Surveillancelager 39 (FALKENBURG) (Sheet 56, 0698).   Feb 42 till about Oct 42.

 

Surveillancelager 88 (?) (GROSS WOLZ) (Sheet 42, 5440).   Five days in Oct 42.

 

Stalag XX A, Fort 15.   Oct 42 till Apr 44.

 

Surveillancelager 56 (?). Exact location uncertain.   Apr 44 to 19 May 44.

 

3. ATTEMPTED ESCAPES.

 

(a) From DANZIG in Aug 40 with L/Cpl. SMITH, Manchester Regt. and Pte. KELLY, regiment unknown. We walked across country and succeeded in getting into Congress Poland. KELLY was caught two days before SMITH and myself. We were captured at LIEHE, after about ten days, at night, when we ran into a German convoy on its way to RUSSIA. We were sent back to Fort 13 and did about six weeks in the cells.

 

(b) In Jan 41 from Fort 13 (THORN) with Pte. BURFIELD (S/P.G.(P) 1977) and Pte. DIMMOCK, Sherwood Foresters. We walked out of the Fort without difficulty and were at liberty for seven to eight days. By jumping goods trains we got to the vicinity of BROMBERG and were caught there in a railway yard. We were sent back to Fort 13.

 

(c) In Aug 41 from LASCOWITZ (Sheet 42, 3031) with BURFIELD. We ran away from a farm on the first day working there and were caught sleeping in a barn near STARGARD (Sheet 27, 3581) after about 14 days. We were sent back to Fort 13 and were confined to the Stalag after serving a sentence of 21 days.

 

(d) In Dec 41 from Fort 13 with BURFIELD and Pte. GILLILAND, who belongs to a Scots Regiment. We managed to steal three bicycles and got as far as POSEN, where we were caught by the police.

 

(e) In May 42 from Fort 15 with BURFIELD. We scaled the camp wall, a set of railings, and a barbed wire fence by means of a rope ladder. We were caught the same day about 20 km. outside THORN. We did a sentence of 21 days in Fort 16 and were then sent back to Fort 15.

 

(f) In Sep 42 from Fort 15 with BURFIELD. We again got out by using a rope ladder we were caught in NAKEL (Sheet 56, 7489) after a few days. We had travelled most of the time by passenger trains and had no identity papers.

 

(g) In Dec 42 from Fort 15 with BURFIELD. On this occasion we got out of the camp concealed in boxes. We travelled by passenger trains and got as far as STRASBOURG where we were caught at a railway station because we had no identity cards.

 

(h) In Mar 43 from Surveillancelager 36 at FALKENBURG (Sheet 56, 0698) with BURFIELD. We got out at the back of the camp while the guard was being changed at the front, and travelled by passenger train without identity papers to BERLIN. In the station in BERLIN we were apprehended because of our shabby clothes. We received 21 days' cells, the normal punishment for escaping.

 

(i) In Aug 43 from FALKENBURG with BURFIELD, again at the back of the camp. We were caught at DERSCHAU, near DANZIG, having travelled there by passenger train without papers. We were arrested in DERSCHAU because we were out after curfew, and again our shabby clothes attracted attention.

 

(j) In Nov 43 from GROSS WOLZ (Surveillancelager 88) (Sheet 42, 5540) with BURFIELD. Thirteen others got out at the same time through a hole in the wall. BURFIELD and I were re-captured in DANZIG the following night, having travelled there direct. We were caught while trying to find a barn in which to sleep on the way to GOTTENHAGEN (GDYNIA). After having done 21 days' cells for this attempt, four of us - L/Cpl HOWIE, D.L.I., Pte. SMITH, BURFIELD. and myself, were kept together in a room in Fort 16 and were interrogated by German Army officers at the Stalag H.Q. in THORN. We admitted having helped to make the hole in the wall through which we escaped, and were asked if we had had a notice read out to us that offences like this were to be regarded as sabotage. BURFIELD and I denied having seen the notice, but the two others admitted having heard it read out. We were kept for a week in Fort 16 and then sent to Fort 15. Six or seven weeks later we were called to the Stalag and told that we had been tried by proxy in BERLIN, and that while we would not receive a sentence of imprisonment, we were liable to disciplinary punishment. We were given seven days' cells in Fort 16.

 

(k) After serving our seven days we were sent back to Fort 15. BURFIELD and I escaped from Fort 15 again, about Jan 44, by walking out of the camp. We went by passenger train to a town North of GRAUDENZ (Sheet 42, 5028), where we were caught at the station. We did the usual 21 days in Fort 16.

 

4. ESCAPE.

 

On 3 Apr 44 BURFIELD and I were moved to SURVEILLANCELAGER 56 (?) about 20 kms. from THORN. (Note:- Both LLOYD and BURFIELD are uncertain of the location of this camp, but think it was probably on the East bank of the River VISTULA near SZARKOMIZNA (GERMANY, 1:100,000, Sheet 57, 6159). They state that the name of the camp is WEICHSELGARD, but there is not village of that name.) This was a camp for incorrigible escapers. During our first week at WEICHSELGARD nine men escaped. All of them were recaptured. BURFIELD and I were not in this party.

 

On the night on which the nine men escaped I was taken back to the hospital at Fort 14 (THORN) suffering from a poisoned arm. I was in the Fort for about a week, and on discharge from hospital was sent to Fort 13.

 

In Fort 13 I made final arrangements for our escape with three friends who were not members of the Escape Committee. I arranged that, if possible, BURFIELD and I would escape from the camp at WEICHSELGARD and return to THORN, where, by assuming the identities of two of our friends, we would be able to enter and leave Fort 13. Neither of our friends nor ourselves were in touch with any Polish organisation.

 

On 19 May, about a week after my return to the camp at WEICHSELGARD, BURFIELD and I escaped with Pte. W. CHARLETON, who belongs to a Scottish regiment; Pte. G.O. RUSSELL, D.L.I.; and Pte. YOUNG, D.L.I. The camp is approached from the outside by a gate at which two guards are posted. When P/W return from work it is the custom for the guard to patrol the outside perimeter of the camp as soon as the working party has entered the gate. To facilitate our escape we arranged that two of our comrades should start a fight outside the gate so as to distract the attention of the guards. The guards were so interested in the scuffle between these two men that they failed to begin the patrol of the wire, and the five of us were just about to enter the camp, go into our barrack-room, and immediately get through a back window without being observed. We then passed through a gap which had been forced in the wire fence with wedges of wood. We had already obtained civilian clothing by theft from the store at Fort 16, where the Germans kept clothing which had been used by escapers who had been recaptured. About 50 yards outside the wire there were a few trees beside a stream, and here the five of us changed into our civilian trousers and jackets. Our party then broke up and we did not see the three others again.

 

BURFIELD and I walked to a small railway station (no name) some distance from the camp, and from there got a slow train to THORN.

 

On arrival at THORN, about three days after our escape, we went from the railway station to the Kommandantur of Stalag XX A. We went to the back of the Casino which is used by the Germans as officers' mess, and here met two of our friends who were working in the Kommandantur. They went into the Casino and obtained, from a Polish girl who works there, the key of a back room.

 

In this room we were visited by Spr. HAYHURST, R.E., who said that he was intended to escape and had a contact in THORN. It was agreed that, in order to enter the camp, BURFIELD should assume HAYHURST's identity. BURFIELD went into Fort 13 that day as HAYHURST and made enquiries about obtaining identity cards. He got in touch with a P/W who said he would get us Werkausweise by that night. BURFIELD came back to the Casino after dinner and remained there that night, while I went into Fort 13. I saw the P/W who had promised the cards, and he said he would produce them by next day. I then went to see another P/W who works at Stalag headquarters. He said that at dinnertime next day he could photograph BURFIELD and me in the camp. I spent the night in Fort 13, and went out next morning. Later in the morning BURFIELD and I returned to Fort 13 where we were photographed. BURFIELD came into the camp in the name of a private who stayed out. We borrowed uniforms in order to enter the Fort.

 

That day we left the Casino and went to a house near the Kommandantur occupied by a Polish woman whom we had known previously. She allowed us to stay there for two days. On our second day there our Werkausweise were brought to us from the camp. They were genuine documents, probably supplied by Poles. When we got them the photographs were attached and stamped, only personal details being left blank. We filled in the papers ourselves, assuming the fictitious identities of "eingedeutschte" Poles. These Werkausweise are in general use in that district without any other identity card.

 

After two days we moved to a house just outside THORN occupied by a Pole, whom we had known since our first arrival in THORN. We stayed here for two or three days till we left for GDYNIA on 29 May. We travelled by passenger train via GRAUDENZ, MARIENBURG, and DANZIG, buying fresh tickets at each of these stations. Short distance trains in that region are not controlled. We missed our connection in GRAUDENZ and had to wait for five hours, which we spent in the town.

 

We arrived in GDYNIA between 1800 and 1900 hrs on 29 May. We immediately went to the docks near the station, and after cutting down a flight of steps, reached the Swedish dock, at the entrance of which there was no guard. At this dock we found three Swedish ships. While watching the ships we met a Pole who advised us to wait till it was dark before trying to get on board. He told us that the gates of the docks were all guarded except the one at which we had entered.

 

We left the docks and hung about in a public house nearby till 2300 hrs. We then returned to the docks, but it was still too light to attempt to board a Swedish ship, as a sentry was now patrolling the entrance of the dock, and a German destroyer with sentries posted lay alongside the ship which we had selected.

 

Accordingly, we waited till 0300 hrs (30 May), hiding under some trucks close to the ship. At 0300 hrs we took off our boots and, while the sentry was at the other end of his beat, we walked up the gangway. I went up first, followed a minute later by BURFIELD. When we got on board we went to the officers' quarters where we disclosed our identity to two of the officers, who immediately expressed their willingness to help us. We were hidden in a large tank in the bilge of the ship. The two officers unscrewed a manhole to let us in, and then screwed down the manhole on top of us. They gave us a torch and food and water. It was agreed that the captain should not be informed of our presence on board.

 

The ship sailed on the morning of 31 May. It was searched twice before it left open dock, but we were not disturbed.

 

On the afternoon of 1 Jun the officers fetched us from our hiding place, as the ship had by then reached Swedish waters. We went to live in the crew's quarters, and the captain was informed that we had been hiding behind a boiler.

 

We were landed at SUNDSVALL at 1200 hrs on 3 Jun, being taken ashore by a policeman. After we had been given a bath and a change of clothing we were interrogated by a Swedish policeman. We had previously asked to be put in touch with the British Consul, but were told that the Acting British Vice-Consul was not then in SUNDSVALL. We were in SUNDSVALL in a hotel till 4 Jun, and arrived in STOCKHOLM early in the morning of 5 Jun.

 

 

Private Edward Victor Burfield

 

National Archives catalogue reference - WO 208/3320/33

 

Name: 6089331 Pte. Burfield, Edward Victor.

Unit: 1/6th Battalion The Queen's Royal Regiment, 44th Division, British Expeditionary Force.

Captured: Oudenarde, 21st May 1940.

Escaped: 19th May 1944.

Left: Stockholm, 18th June 1944.

Arrived: Leuchars, 19th June 1944.

Date of Birth: 12th December 1920.

Army Service: Since May 1939 (T.A.).

Peacetime Profession: Clerk (Port of London Authority).

Private Address: 7 Eddystone Road, Brockley, London, S.E.4.

 

1. CAPTURE.

 

I was captured at OUDENARDE (BELGIUM) on 21 May 40 while the remnants of my company were attempting to withdraw from a position which was surrounded by the enemy. After being marched to BRUSSELS I was sent to Stalag XX A (THORN), arriving on 5 or 6 Jun 40.

 

2. CAMPS IN POLAND.

 

See Section 2 S/P.G.(P) 1976 (L/Cpl. LLOYD).

 

3. ATTEMPTED ESCAPES.

 

I made altogether 11 attempts to escape, all of which are described in L/Cpl. LLOYD's report, except my first attempt. This was made in Sep 40 when I escaped from BISCHOFSBERG, a working camp in DANZIG. I got out of the camp by cutting the wire, and was captured in POLAND. This was seven days later. I had walked part of the way, and had stolen a bicycle the day before I was caught. I intended making for RUSSIA. I was arrested for not having an identity card.

 

4. ESCAPE.

 

See Section 4 S/P.G.(P) 1976.

 

Return to Escape Menu