Work Camp  10734 GW

Location: Klagenfurt

Type of work: Saw Mill/Chemical Works

Man of Confidence: Pte O. McMillan, 4642 or 4643 (1942), L/Bdr W.M. Knowles, 5420 (1943)

Number of Men: 34

Known to be present

Forename
Surname
Rank
Unit
POW
Comments
Henry Bryan Spr RE 2011 Leicester
Jack G. Heckels Gnr RA 5088  
Royston Jeffery Pte RASC 3515  
William M. Knowles L/Bdr RA 5420 MOC
Oswald McMillan Pte   4642/3 MOC
 
 

Pictures supplied by Julie Turnbull, grand-daughter of Jack Heckels.

Date of visit: 24 March 1942

General Description

In this camp are 34 British prisoners of war (English, Australians, New Zealanders) employed in a saw-mill. They have rather long working hours but are free on Sundays. The average pay is about 12RM a week.

Interior arrangement

The prisoners are lodged in a newly-erected wooden barrack on a mill's premises in the outskirts of an Austrian town. The room is pleasant enough, furnished with double tier bunks and each man has two blankets; there are two stoves where private food can easily be cooked, and the room is warm enough. The ventilation is not adequate, the shutters having to be closed the whole night. This question was discussed with the camp commander who ordered the shutters and windows to be opened after turning out the lights.

Bathing and washing facilities

There is a washing room with 5 spigots, and regularly the prisoners are allowed to go to town and have hot baths there.

Toilet facilities

The toilets are of the pit type, installed in a separate hut. As night toilet there is a bucket in the entrance hall of the barrack.

Food and Cooking

There was no complaint about the food provided by the employing firm; Red Cross parcels are de;ivered at the usual rate of one a week per man.

Medical attention and sickness

There is a German sanitator in this small camp; the patients are visiting the German doctors at the Reserve Lazaret in the town. On the day of the visit there was in the camp a patient who had a wound in the leg, consequent on a work accident, and the Legation's representatives insisted on his transfer to the lazaret which was promised for the next day.

There is a small pharmacy in the camp but Red Cross medical stuff is needed.

Clothing

The clothing conditions can be described as fairly good although a few men are still in need of new uniforms and shoes. But there is a great need of underclothing.

Canteen

There is no canteen in the camp but prisoners are allowed to buy articles in a shop nearby, and the prices are controlled.

Religious activity

Up to now there was no religious service but the Abwehroffizier promised to arrange from time to time for religious services in common with another British work camp in the vicinity.

Recreation and exercise

Books are lent by the main camp library. There is a piano in the barrack. Some indoor games would be appreciated; the camp commander promised to the Legation's representatives to try to arrange for outdoor games with the other work camp nearby.

Complaints

There is no serious complaint about this work camp where the prisoners seem to be fairly treated.

Date of visit: 24 May 1943

58 men.

The Man of Confidence complains about the situation and totally inadequate size of this camp, lavatories and washing facilities leaving much to be desired. The Delegate of the Protecting Power immediately inspected this camp and found the complaints of the Man of Confidence justified. However, both the Camp Leader as well as the Accompanying Officer promised to insist on this barrack being abandoned and installing the prisoners of war in a new and more spacious camp. The employer too was interviewed and requested to do all in his power as well regarding a speedy transfer of the prisoners of war to a new camp. To be checked.

Date of visit: 16 August 1943

49 men.

The prisoners are overcrowded both inside and outside their cantonment. Vermin is reported; disinfection is intended very soon to be undertaken here. The prisoners have to prepare their own food.

This Detachment has been promised a new hut.

Date of visit: 19 November 1943

49 men.

There was an inquiry about the nature of the work some of the men are doing. They handle glass-wool for insulations are afraid that the dust may affect their eyes and lungs. A British Medical Officer will examine the matter. No other complaints. Good camp


Return to top of page
Return to last page