German Prisoner of War Camp


Searching through the Archives of the Suffolk Free Press,
I came across these reports of German Prisoners of War in our area

The top three press cuttings refer to a POW Camp in the village during WW1

POW`s were housed in the Tannery, the "Jump" was the river crossing bridge in the centre of the village.

The Tannery had various uses; in the 1914-1918 war German prisoners of war used the drying shed as a dormitory, their names remaining until 1985 on small white cards above the places where their beds had been.

Bures Old Tannery still survives, a medieval timber framed dwelling of charm and atmosphere; the old drying shed, more recently the garage, and barn, are no more.
On their site is the new dwelling house named Bridge House.


English POW`s

German POW`s


In 1946, the year after the end of World War Two, more than 400,000 German prisoners of war (POWs) were still being held in Britain, with POW camps on the outskirts of most towns. Clement Attlee's post-war government deliberately ignored the Geneva Convention by refusing to let the Germans return home until well after the war was over.

During 1946, up to one fifth of all farm work in Britain was being done by German POWs, and they were also employed on road works and building sites. Fraternisation between the soldiers and the local population was strictly forbidden by the British government, and repatriation progressed extremely slowly. Then the ban on fraternisation was finally lifted - just in time for Christmas 1946. In towns across Britain, many people chose to put the war behind them and invite German POWs to join them for a family Christmas - the first the men had experienced in years.