Work Camp  13048 L

Location: Waldenstein

Type of work: road repair

Man of Confidence: Cpl Robert Werner

(later: Pte W.A. Gratton-Wilson)

Number of Men: 58, (later 65)

Known to be present

W. Anderson        
Alfred Birchall Pte   109 Oldham, NZ
E.G. Boden Pte 2/8 Inf. Bn. 3792 Australia
Greg Bourchier Pte 2/8 Inf. Bn. 3831 Australia
M.P. Brough Pte   5905 New Zealand; transf'd to Stalag 344
R? Byrne        
Adam J. Cairns Tpr RAC 5773 Scotland
? Carroll        
William Edward Cassidy Gnr 3 Lt.A.A.Rg. 5821 also 10029/GW
N. Clark        
Frank Cliff Pte 2/1 Pnr. Bn. 1517 Australia
William Wellington Fountain Gnr 5 Fd. Rg. 889 New Zealand; also 11027/GW
V. Francis       New Zealand
Edward Fredric     196 Wellington, NZ
Owen Grainger Cpl      
W.A. Gratton-Wilson Pte 2/5 Inf. Bn. 3822 Australia; MOC (late 1942)
Jack Guilliard Pte   203 New Cross, NZ
Ron Hadaway Gnr RA 5188  
John Hamilton     4144 Frankton, NZ
Thomas Hitchens     473 Chattenham, NZ
George Daniel Israel Dvr RASC 3179  
T.F. Jacks Pte 2/6 Inf. Bn. 3439 Australia
H. Kaye   RE    
H. Kelly   B&H?    
? Lambert        
? Lee        
Stanley Cecil Lomax Spr RE 5150 (possible); capt'd Crete
Charles S. Martin Pte 2/6 Inf. Bn. 7438 Australia
? McRae        
? Mears        
T. Miller   RASC    
? Munnery        
J. Newman        
Doug G. Nix Gnr 2/1 Fd. Rg. 197 Australia; capt'd Kalamata
J. Nutt   RE    
? Parker        
? Ra(i)nson        
John (Jack) T. Richardson Dvr RASC 3040 Also 27/HV
M.E. Scully Spr NZ Eng. 4930 New Zealand
John Spry     221 Palmerston, NZ
? Squires        
Anthony Strettles Sgmn 6 Div. Sigs. 3811 Australia; also 11701/L, 785/GW, died 27.2.43
Raymond Tietjen Pte 20 Bn. 5718 New Zealand
Robert C. Werner Cpl   7208 NZ; transf'd to Stalag 357
? Westwood        
L.A. Williams Pte 2/12 Inf. Bn. 3381 Tasmania; transf'd to Stalag 20A
John Henry Wilson Pte 2/11 Inf. Bn. 3619 Australia
J.S. Winning Tpr RAC 1288 Transf'd to Stalag 344
Walter Joseph Gustav Wojciech Spr   5759 New Zealand; also 11094/GW
? Woods        
W.A. Gratton-Wilson Pte 2/5 Inf. Bn. 3822 Australia

 POW Graffiti

Elmar Konig, who lives in Wolfsberg, has sent me a fascinating photo which was taken inside Waldenstein Castle. It shows the names of some of the POWs scratched into the wall.


Walter Wojciech & Charles Martin

By escaping from a Work Camp at Radmer, and being on the run for seven days, Walter Wojciech (on the left in the photo below) and Charles Martin, like many other POWs, earned the dubious privelege of a stay at Schloss Waldenstein. During that time, they were put to work building the road over the mountain to Packsattel.


Details and photos supplied by Patricia McEvoy, Walter's daughter.

The Death of Anthony Strettles

Graig Hatherel, great nephew of Anthony Strettles has sent me a copy of his great uncle's POW Record Cards. These documents were kept by the German authorities for every POW in their hands. Anthony is described in the record as an 'Escaper'. He was held at Work Camp 11701/L from July 1941 to June 1942 and then Work Camp 785/GW from June to August 1942 from where he escaped. He is next recorded at Stalag 18A in October 1942 and was transferred to 13048/L in that month. In February 1943, he recorded as having died due to a fractured skull incurred from a fall. (According to Jack Richardson, he fell out of a window.) The record states that this was an 'accident' and that it was 'his own fault'. I wonder if he was trying to escape again?

He was originally buried in Theissenegg Cemetery and then transferred to Klagenfurt War Cemetery.


Field Judgement

On Monday, March 9th 1942, a group of POWs at this Work Camp refused to work in a quarry. The reasons for this are not clear. Some may have been trying to get a transfer to another Work Camp. Others may have joined in just to show solidarity with their mates. The outcome of this was that all the POWs were found guilty of mutiny by a German Military Court in April 1942. The sentences were as follows:

Alfred Birchall - 4 years in a Military Prison
John Hamilton - 4 years
Thomas Hitchens - 4 years
Jack Guilliard - 4 years
John Spry - 4 years
Edward Fredric - 4 years
Squires - 2 years 6 months
Lee - 2 years 6 months
Woods - 2 years 6 months
McRae - 6 months
Owen Grainger - aquitted

The POWs were sent to a Military Prison in Torgau, Germany. Here they would receive no Red Cross parcels. John Spry lost 3 and a half stone in weight in the first 3 months. In November 1942 he was moved to Graudenz Prison in West Prussia and in July 1944 to Wormditt in East Prussia. The imminent arrival of the Russians in January 1945 forced the evacuation of the prison and John took this opportunity to escape. With the help of Polish citizens, he finally made his way to Odessa and freedom.

Deidre's discovery

Deidre Mussen is the great-niece of Padre John Ledgerwood. Shortly after the Wolfsberg 2017 Weekend, Deidre went up to Waldenstein to have a look at the place where Padre Ledgerwood assisted an escape by smuggling in a home-made rope for the POWs to use to climb out of a window. The building is now in a poor state of repair and not safe to enter. While exploring the outside of the building, Deidre noticed some old newspaper stuffed into a window. On extracting the sheets, she was astonished to find the papers dated from 1941 and 42. It is quite incredible to think that these papers have lain undisturbed for 76 years.


Date of visit: 3 June  1942

General Description

The camp occupies a part of an old castle in a very nice neighbourhood. There are at present 58 POWs, all of whom have previously been punished for attempts to escape or refusal to work. They are here more closely guarded than in other work camps but are in other respects treated in exactly the same way as in other camps.

They are working on a road for 10 hours a day but are free on Saturdays and Sundays. The Man of Confidence stated that the work could not be considered as hard. They receive the regular pay of 70 pfg. a day. 

Interior arrangement

The men are lodged in three rooms, one of which is used as a dormitory, one by a tailor and a shoemaker, and one which is empty. The rooms are light and airy, although the dormitory is rather filled up with beds.

Bathing and washing facilities

The washing facilities are adequate.

Toilet facilities

The latrine is very primitive. It was promised to have an extra separation put up to separate it better from the rooms. If kept clean, the toilet cannot be considered unhygienic.

Food and Cooking

The food is prepared in a clean and good kitchen and the men gat all the 'heavy workers' ration. The food was said to be fair.

Medical attention and sickness

There is a British sanitator in the camp. On the day of the visit, 17 of the men were not working, saying that they were sick. A few days before, the number of reported sick had been 31, which is more than 50% of the total number. The doctor had been called, but had only found 3 of the 31 really ill. The Man of Confidence and the sanitator agreed that the men were just trying to avoid working. The Accompanying Officer stated that in the future he would have to punish the men who reported themselves ill without being ill.

Recreation and exercise

The only real complaint here is that there is no space in the open air for the men to spend their free time. They have been taken out for 2 hours walk for the last two Sundays but the rest of their free time they have to spend in their rooms. The matter will be taken up with the proper authorities.


Has arrived regularly.

General impression

The camp must be considered fairly good.

Date of visit: 14 September 1942

General Description

The prisoners are still doing roadwork. They used to work 10 hours a day. Now they are doing contract work and are given every day a certain amount of work to finish. Today they are only working 3 to 4 hours daily, which naturally is quite agreeable to the men.

Interior arrangement

No changes.

Bathing and washing facilities

There was some discussion concerning the washing facilities. It seems that, for a certain time past, running water was only available in the castle for 2 or 3 hours daily. Also the supply of hot water was not always sufficient. It has been agreed now with the Camp Commander and the accompanying Officer that water is available from 6-8, 11-13 and 15-18 hours. This should be sufficient for everybody. It will also be tried to take the men to a swimming pool in a nearby village.

Toilet facilities

The improvement of the latrine asked for after our last visit has been made, and the toilet can now be considered adequate.

Food and Cooking

The kitchen is still in good order and the men are preparing their own food. They still get the heavy workers ration, despite the fact that 4 hours work daily cannot be called 'Heavy Work'. They men complained that they get too many potatoes. This cannot be changed for the present, as the greater part of the German population today is fed mostly on potatoes.

A ration table, which so far has been refused to the men, will now be posted in the kitchen so that the men can check up if they get all the food they are entitled to.

Red Cross parcels have been distributed regularly. As the prisoners here are all experts in escaping, no tins from the parcels are handed to them unless they have been opened first. This caused some trouble but, after discussing it with the men, they understood why this measure had to be taken by the Camp authorities.

A special cooking place has been built in one of the rooms for preparing the private food from the parcels.

Medical attention and sickness

The health in the camp is good. A British sanitator is still here but at the time of the visit he had no patient to look after. There were, however, 10 men who for minor working accidents did not work at the time.


The men are well dressed in this camp and short of nothing.


A small canteen is here. Beer is sold to the men once a week.

Religious activity

The camp has been visited by the padre from Stalag XVIIIA.

Recreation and exercise

The men are still taken for walks once a week. It will now be arranged that daily, under the command of the British Man of Confidence, the prisoners can take some physical culture exercises for about an hour.


Mail came regularly, but now some of the restrictions as reported in other reports also apply to this camp.

Welfare work

The Man of Confidence asked for some more books, some card games and chess. This will be brought to the attention of the YMCA.

General impression

Some real improvements could be noticed since out last visit. The camp can still be considered as  fairly good.

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