Work Camp 10049 GW

For some reason there were three separate camps with the designation '10049 GW'. I have grouped the camps into one web-page. Malta is in a valley (Maltatal) above Spittal an der Drau.

Known to be present

Cyril L. Anthony Dvr RE 1174 Trasischk; forearm infection; also 318/L
Harry Belfield Tpr RAC 1196  
William Gordon Bell Cpl 24 Bn. 901 New Zealand; Trasischk; also 924/GW
Edward Brodie       E.F. Brodie?
Walter G. Brown Tpr RAC 1376 Leg wound; transferred to Stalag 383 
Jack W. Donnelly Dvr 2NZEF 835 New Zealand; Trasischk, arm wound
Henry Dunn Spr RE 1145 also 10205/GW
Norm Gunn Spr RE 1355 Trasischk; also 924/GW
Bert Jackson* Tpr RAC 1250 Manchester
George Lawrence Pte 18 Inf. Trg. Bde. 871 Australia; toe injury; also 10106/GW
A.G. Martin Pte 2NZEF 696 Camp Leader, Treffling
Michael W. McCallen Pte RASC 735 Camp Leader; transferred to Stalag 383
Frank Melbourne SM R Sigs 634 also 956/GW
Arthur G.A. Newbon Dvr RE 1323 Knee injury; also 148/GW
James Edward Francis Ord Cpl RAC 1121 Newcastle; died 4.9.42
Eric Roy Pitman Sgmn R Sigs 920 Bradford; also 11017/GW
George Scholes Dvr RE 1129 Surrey; Camp Leader; also 11079/GW
Charles A. Shaw Spr RE 1030 Leg infection
Stanley Siebenthal Spr RE 1281 Cheshire
John Sunley Pte 22 Bn. 489 New Zealand; also 299/GW, 10029/GW
Ernest Alfred Thomas Sgmn R Sigs 954 Chester; also 924/GW
Cyril W. Winter Gnr RA 966 Trasischk; hand injury
Len Wood Dvr R Sigs 710 also 956/GW

*Bert Jackson, POW 1250, refers to 10049/GW as being in Gmünd. Gmünd in Kaernten is at the bottom of the Malta valley.

Len Wood

Labour Detachment 10049 GW, Malta 1

Date of visit: 22 October 1941

Location: Malta

Camp Leader: George Scholes

Strength: 87 (77 British, 6 New Zealanders, 4 Australians)

Situation: The camp is at the bottom of a valley which is backed by a mountain. This camp is to be evacuated next week for the benefit of the Russians.

Quarters: The camp is composed of hutments, divided into rooms in which about 18 men are housed. The beds are of iron and double-tiered, each man having the right to two blankets issued by the employing firm, and also to an army blanket. There is enough space for a table and benches.

A special hutment serves as a washroom and has sufficient taps. Every man can have a shower once a week. The latrines are primitive and are not disinfected with chlorate of lime.

Food: This is good, and the men receive the supplementary rations for heavy work. They have 500g of bread per day. Cooking is done by civilians, and some men who are put on light work by the doctor assist them.

Clothing: The men work in a quarry, and their trousers are in a bad state throughout, but their tunics are still all right. Here too many of the prisoners are wearing French uniforms. Any repairs are difficult, as the thread is of such poor quality. Every man has two shirts but none of them has socks. These are replaced up to a point by pieces of material wrapped around their feet. As everywhere, boots are in a very bad condition and are replaced by leather sandals with wooden soles.

Work: The men work in a quarry, and some of them on a road for 10 hours a day. The men are free on Saturday afternoons and Sundays. Several NCOs have never had a chance to say whether they wished to work or not.

Pay: 70 pfennigs a day.

Medical attention: One hutment is reserved for an Infirmary. A member of the British medical personnel works there. The doctor is a civilian, but in practice he only calls to see the men about every 8 or 10 days. At the time of our visit there were 6 patients in the Infirmary. These men receive very unsatisfactory attention - the doctor does not trouble about them and the treatment they receive is often contrary to all the rules of medicine.

Lawrence, George, No 871 had an accident at work to his right big toe about 8 weeks ago, resulting in the nail being torn out and the wound becoming infected. He has been sent back to work before his would healed and now his state is very much worse and his big toe is now one huge purulent wound.

Shaw, Charles, No 1030 has been under treatment for several weeks for an infection of both legs. These are much swollen, violet in colour and purulent.

Brown, Walter, No 1376 has a wound on his right leg which has been septic for about 6 weeks. At the moment the wound is purulent, the infection is torpid and the flesh around the wound is gangrenous.

Brodie, Edward for the past 10 days has had otitis with a temperature of 40o, mastoiditis and probably erysipelas as well. The prisoner is semi-conscious.

Newborn, Arthur, No 1323 with furunculosis of the right knee had been passed fit for work.

When accidents necessitate the cutting away of a nail, this doctor cuts the nail, without any anaesthetic, across the flesh and then tears away the nail thus detached.

Being unable to reach the doctor in charge, we were taken to the Commandant of the Company by the accompanying officer who was indignant. The Commandant put us in touch with the doctor at the Lazaret at Spittal, and the same evening the five men mentioned above were transferred to the Lazaret at Spittal.

Mails: The prisoners write 2 letters and 2 cards a month instead of 4 cards.

Recreations: There are no games or books, but it is useless to send anything as the men are to be transferred.

Welfare: The men have received a parcel every 15 days.

Complaints: The prisoners complain that they are frequently insulted by the foremen.

Conclusions: The men are well housed and have the regulation rations.

Too many men are still wearing French uniforms. Their trousers are in very bad condition. None of the men have socks.

The medical attention is absolutely inadequate.

The mails are not properly regulated.

The men in this Labour Detachment are shortly to be transferred to Detachment 10049.

Labour Detachment 10049 GW, Trasischk

Date of visit: 22 October 1941

Strength: 109 men ( 86 British, 20 New Zealanders, 3 Australians)

Situation: The camp is on a mountain road. It consists of wooden hutments divided into rooms. They have wooden beds in double tiers, every man having the right to 3 blankets. The rooms are well heated. The order and cleanliness of the rooms is exemplary. A special hutment serves as a washroom, with plenty of taps, and every man has the right to a shower every week. The latrines are very clean.

Food: This is prepared by women, and the regulation rations are provided. The men complain of the monotony of their menus and that no British cook can prepare the food to British tastes. This, however, is not possible because of the laws governing the relations between the prisoners and the German women.

Clothing: This is in a very bad state, especially trousers, the change of which has proved very difficult. Too many prisoners still wear French uniforms. Some of them have two vests, and others one only. None of them have any socks - some strips of material (Fusslappen) are supposed to replace them, but even these are not sufficient in number. No gloves have yet been distributed.

Boots are in a very bad state, 50% of the men having boots with wooden soles. They deteriorate rapidly and cut the men's heels. Such boots are not at all suitable for agricultural work.

Work: The men work 9 hours a day on the construction of an arterial road. There is a 40 minute march from their camp to the place of work. There is only 1 hour's rest at midday, although they have a 20 minute march to the place where they get their food, so that the men only have 20 minutes to eat and, in addition to their heavy work, they have nearly 2 hours marching a day.

Pay: 70 pfennigs a day. The medical personnel draw 1 RM.

Medical attention: Here, as in Labour Detachments GW 10049 and GW 10049 RAB, a civilian doctor whose qualifications are insufficient, attends the prisoners. Here too we found men needing immediate hospital treatment and who were receiving no attention from the doctor. They are treated in contravention of all medical laws.

Gunn, Norman, 1355, very probably has a fracture of the left internal malleolus, but has had no treatment for fifteen days and has not been X-rayed.

Dunelly, Jack, 835 has had an infected wound in his right arm for the past three months. The infection is now torpid and progressive.

Winter, Cyril, 966, has been treated for the past week for an infection in his right hand which has now developed a species of phlegmon which looks extremely bad.

Anthony, Cyril, 1174, has a very nasty infection of his forearm, but has been declared fit for work the next day.

Here, too, the doctor only visits the sick extremely rarely, in spite of repeated complaints from the head of the Detachment. There is an almost complete absence of medical supplies. Those which exist are furnished almost entirely by the medical parcels from the British Red Cross.

Mails: These conform to the regulations, but the medical personnel do not have the special privileges to which they are entitled. Some of the British have not yet received any news from England and so far the New Zealanders and the Australians have received nothing.

Canteen: This is poorly stocked. The men receive 120 cigarettes a month and a bottle of beer once a week.

Pleasures: There are no books and no games for this Detachment and the men need them badly. The Detachment is in the mountains and a good distance from the civilised world. The men cannot play football as the ground is on such a slope. They have no musical instruments.

Welfare: Since July the Detachment has received six parcels per man. The consignments are arriving better and better and soon each man will get a parcel a week. The Camp Leader controls the arrival of the parcels and distributes them himself. Two cans can be given out at once and these are opened and emptied in front of the prisoner. The prisoners have facilities for preparing this food to their taste.

Labour Detachment 10049 GW/R.A.B. (Reichs Autobahn)

Date of visit: 22 October 1941

Location: not known

Camp Leader: Michael McCallen, Pte, RASC, POW 735

Strength: 162 (including 18 New Zealanders, 2 Australians, 3 French, the rest British)

Situation: This Labour Detachment is situated in a small town. The prisoners work on the roads in the neighborhood and live in a chateau in the town. The latter has recently been converted to receive prisoners. The British prisoners, all of whom were captured in Greece, have been in the Detachment since July 1941. It is expected that with fresh British prisoners from Labour Detachment 10049GW which is about 15 km from the camp, this Detachment will become an important group of three to four hundred men.

The climate of this region is very healthy and the region is very beautiful.

Quarters: The prisoners live in an old chateau, the various rooms of which have been transformed into dormitories. At the moment only 8 rooms are occupied by prisoners. Double tier wooden bunks have been placed in the various rooms, with a palliasse and two blankets per man. Each prisoner also has a cupboard, and there are wooden tables and benches in each room. The prisoners' rooms are easily heated by stoves and are well aired and well lit. The toilet and shower rooms and the latrines are clean and adequate for the strength of the camp.

Food: The prisoners find this mediocre in quality as it is composed almost entirely of cabbage and potatoes. It is prepared by women and the British prisoners have no access to the kitchen. Bread is distributed at the rate of 500g a day per man. The prisoners have meat 4 times a week. Luckily they have the food from the British Red Cross to vary and supplement their menus.

Clothing: About 30% of the British prisoners have no British uniforms. Their clothing is of poor quality and it is difficult now to get any from the Stalag. Many of the prisoners have no change of underlinen and the majority have no socks at all. There boots are in comparatively good condition. There is a great shortage of warm clothing.

Work: The prisoners work at roadmaking for 9 hours a day. They are free on Saturday afternoons and Sundays, although part of their free time is occupied with various fatigues - cleaning, potato peeling, etc.

Pay: The prisoners who work receive 4.20RM per week.

Canteen: This is very scantily stocked and brushes of any sort are entirely absent. Beeris sold, as well as 4 cigarettes a day per man but no foodstuffs.

Hygiene: Toilet and latrine installations are satisfactory, but there is no delousing apparatus. The prisoners went once to be disinfected at Stalag XVIIIB, about 15km away, but there are still fleas and lice in the dormitories. All the prisoners can have a hot shower once a week.

Infirmary: A room is reserved for patients. It has 8 beds and a member of the British medical personnel is attached to it, and really has complete charge of it, as the German doctor who theoretically should visit the camp regularly and also be on call, only makes very rare appearances. In any case his medical capabilities are rather to be questioned since we examined the following patients:

One case suffering from typical bronchial pneumonia with heart weakness, cyanosis, pronounced oedemas of the ankles, etc. The doctor had diagnosed bronchitis, but the patient was receiving no special treatment.

Another patient was suffering from rheumatic polyarthritis and is being treated only with aspirin and some massage.

A third patient, the Camp Leader, had an enormous purulent wound on which had been smeared some useless ointment.

A fourth patient showed an infected wound stretching all the length of the first joint of his left thumb, covered with a useless dressing.

Finally we heard that a fifth patient who was suffering from diphtheria had remained with his comrades for five days before being seen by the doctor and sent to hospital.

This lamentable state of affairs confirmed the observations we had made the same day in Labour detachments 10049 GW, Malta 1 and A10049 GW, Trasischk, equally badly served by the same doctor. Thanks to the sympathetic understanding of the officer who accompanied us, we were able to evacuate all of these patients the same day to the Lazaret at Stalag XVIIIB, where they will be able to receive the attention their state of health merits.

Mails: The men used to write 2 letters and 2 cards a month, but have not been able to write for the past 15 days. 80% of the British prisoners have received news from home. For some weeks the British Red Cross parcels have been regularly distributed and are greatly appreciated. Up to date each man has received 6 parcels. The Camp Leader distributes them himself and exercises all the necessary supervision. Six parcels arrived in a very poor state and incomplete.

Intellectual and moral needs: Up to the present the prisoners have not received a single book, nor any games and have no sports ground at their disposal. The Camp Leader has organised a religious service as there is no chaplain.

Conversation with the Camp Leaders: We talked without witnesses to some of the prisoners. The camp is not yet very well organised, and several improvements should be made. On the whole, the prisoners have nothing to complain of, but the chief criticisms of the Camp Leaders are as follows:

1. The medical attention is completely inadequate. They would be very grateful if a British doctor could be attached to this Detachment, as it is going to be a more important Detachment and its strength will shortly be doubled.

2. The quality of the food is very mediocre and the prisoners would be glad to have one of their number detailed as cook. On Saturdays and Sundays, the prisoners only get one meal.

3. Their free time, both at weekends and in the evenings after their meal, is nearly all occupied in various fatigues. Can they not have more free time and also a sports ground where they can take exercise.

4. There is no religious service. There are no books. There are no games.

Return to top of page
Return to last page