Wednesday 6 July 2022

Hut 9, POW Camp

On Saturday June 25th, I visited one of the open days at Island Farm, a former German POW Camp, situated near Bridgend. It was the scene of the biggest break out of German POWs in Britain in WW2. Hut 9 is now the only hut standing and has been preserved. Although Carlo, the character in my novel is an Italian POW, it was still good to see the inside of the hut with artefacts and fashions from the time. 

The afternoon started with an excellent talk about the camp and details of the escape itself. Seventy prisoners escaped along a thirty foot tunnel from Hut 9 and breached the perimeter fence. It was an ingeniously planned affair and some got away as far as Birmingham and Southhampton. Eventually, the escapees were all recaptured and moved onto another camp. Island Farm Camp then received senior high ranking German Officers awaiting trial at Nuremberg. They included a number of Hitler's closest advisers. 

Wandering from room to room, it was good to imagine the life of the POWs in the camp. Here are a few of my many photos that I think capture the conditions of the time.

The Hut 9 Preservation Group is a registered charity, made up of volunteers who are passionate about preserving the last remaining building of Island Farm camp. Regular open weekends allow visitors to see photographs, documents and day-to-day objects as well as volunteer re-enactors who bring life at the camp to life. For more information, please visit, an wonderful website run by Brett Exton who gave the introductory talk.

Thank you for reading. Where have you visited as part of your research that proved useful for you to set the scene in time and place in your novel? I'd love it if you left a comment, Thanks. 

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