Work Camp 288 GW
Location: St Michael
Type of work: Railway & Quarry
Man of Confidence: Pte R. Dunne
Number of Men: 22
|Albert Stanley||Brown||Dvr||RASC||1341||also 10106/GW|
|Desmond||Haid||Sgmn||1 A.C. Sigs||3269||Sydney, Australia|
After the Welcome Weekend in July 2013, Denise Brown-Kahney visited St Michael in search of the site of 288/GW. It no longer exists, a school having been built on the site. However, John Gruber, a St Michael resident, has sent her some photographs of the town and the quarry taken during and just after the war.
Old factory building in a rather bad state.
Big day room in former machine hall. Sleeping quarters with double-tier beds on first floor below roof. Swarming with bugs and fleas. Electric light in both rooms.
Bathing and washing facilities
Washing facilities in a little shed outside. No boiler for hot water for baths. Six men of this Kommando working for the railway can have hot showers every day. The other men working in a quarry are supposed to get showers at the railway works bath house every Saturday, but when they arrive the civilian crews have usually passed before and no hot water is left. The Kommandofuhrer and the director of the quarry were told that the prisoners of war would be given time to pass before the civilian workers.
Not adequate. One seat for 22 men.
Food and Cooking
Food is bad and the prisoners of war ask to do it in the camp where the cooking stove in the day-room would be adequate.
Medical attention and sickness
A civilian doctor in St Michael looks after the sick. Medical supply in order. Dental treatment in Stalag.
Done by the men.
Money and Pay
Very poor. Some beer can be bought.
Padre John Ledgerwood from Stalag came for visit.
Recreation and exercise
There is no sports ground. No walks were organised. Four times this summer the men went bathing in the near river but afterwards it had nearly dried out. Orders were given that a sports ground should be found or that every Sunday walks should be arranged.
There is a dunghole just before the camp's entrance without any planks covering it which is absolutely unbearable. After the work in the quarry the men were ordered to unload trucks of potatoes or coal and distribute those in the village. This was stopped by the accompanying officer who said that for this kind of work special Kommandos would have to be ordered out who would not do work in the quarry. There is no Geneva Convention in the camp. Stalag will send one.
This is a very bad camp. The accompanying officer gave the order that the men should be moved into another camp giving all the guarantees foreseen by the Geneva Convention. The move and the satisfactory instalment should be reported by the Commander of the Guards Company of this district before October 15th. In spite of the bad conditions the moral and physical health of the prisoners of war is excellent.