German PoWs

The nearest PoW Camp was at Chiseldon military camp. However, ‘List of Places of Internment’ published by the Prisoner of War Information Bureau in 1919 includes a handful of sites which were independent of the military camps. In North Wiltshire there included an agricultural camp in Chippenham, an agricultural depot in Devizes, Barney Farm near Ramsbury, and an agricultural camp in Wootton Bassett. Wootton Bassett’s camp came under the control of the larger PoW camp at Dorchester, Dorset. The Wootton Bassett camp was based at Corner House (which I have not as yet identified). Security was the responsibility of men of the Royal Defence Corps, and duties covered the usual seasonal range of agricultural activities. The men were recruited from among the internees in larger camps, using a trade testing party to determine the aptitudes of prisoners. They were given payment, averaging at about 1.5 pence per day, as well as superior food rations. Bob Lloyd remarks that men from the camp generally walked to local farms, usually under the watch of a single armed guard. The camp was the subject of an inspection by Dr A de Sturler. His report is held at the National Archives.

With thanks to Judy Conybeare for alerting me to this omission.

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