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Sick POWs are repatriated early


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Thirteen Sick German Generals are repatriated early:
Western Mail Newspaper: 11th October 1947

The above newspaper report details the names of 13 prisoners being repatriated due to ill health. However recent evidence, whilst confirming the 13 names above, also gives the names of another 3 PoWs. Therefore the true list of repatriated PoWs is:

  1. Generaloberst Alfred Keller (Luftwaffe)
  2. Generalleutnant Karl von Beeren
  3. Generalleutnant Erich Denecke
  4. Generalleutnant Friedrich Karst
  5. Generalleutnant Otto Kühne (Luftwaffe)
  6. Generalleutnant Alfred Kurz
  7. Generalleutnant Erwin Leister
  8. Generalleutnant Wilhelm Raapke
  9. Generalmajor Gerhard Fischer
  10. Generalmajor Günther von Manteuffel
  11. Generalmajor Werner Siber
  12. Vizeadmiral Thilo von Seebach
  13. Konteradmiral Hans-Hermann Graf von Schweinitz und Krain Freiherr von Kauder
  14. SS-Gruppenführer m.d.U.d GL d. W-SS Leo von Jena
  15. Generalmajor Heinrich Kreipe
  16. General d. Fallschirmtruppe (Luftwaffe) Alfred Schlemm

The evidence states that the prisoners were repatriated via the ship El Nil. This ship had several names during its service:

Tjerimai 1921-1933
An official Rotterdam Lloyd card

One of the hardest things about developing this web site had been finding documents which make reference to Island Farm and which contain a POW name.  Only when I have evidence that a POW was held at Island Farm could I research and host the profile.

However, in April 2001, I had the good fortune to receive an email from a Mrs Anne Hewinson and her daughter Mrs Stella Pigott. Mrs Hewinson's late husband was a guard at Island Farm from April 1945 and was also one of the guards who accompanied the repatriation POWs.

              "My dad was in the NCC and basically was a type of clerk, his name was Horace Hewinson and he was born in Newport. My father was very talented at languages (unfortunately not a skill he has managed to pass on to his kids!) and put his linguistic skills to great use whilst he was at Island Farm. He spent alot of time with the officers and became quite friendly with some. Some continued to correspond with him after they had been repat. His service number and details were 21021245 P.TE Hewinson HA NCC. It looks like from his photo album that he did his basic training at .R.P.C.D. Stourport Nov 1947. April 1948 he went to No 11 POW camp (Island Farm). After Island Farm and his Repat trip he went to Honeybourne 196 company Royal Pioneer Corp. He also helped during the London Dock Strike. He attended a pre release course at Welbeck Abbey and was Demobbed on 9/9/49."

Amongst her husband's belongings was a POW repatriation list, as well as a few photographs and newspaper cuttings. I am extremely grateful to both Mrs Hewinson and Mrs Pigott for sending these to me.

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April 1948

  • Gen.Obst. Gotthardt Heinrici
  • Gen.Lt. Fritz Koreuber
  • Gen.Lt. Rudolf Meltzer

Picnic at Merthyr Mawr.

  • Gen.Lt. Rudolf Meltzer
  • Gen.Lt. Herbert Olbrich
  • Gen.Obst. Gotthardt Heinrici
  • Unknown
  • Gen. Lt. Siegfried Rekowski
  • Mr Hibbert
  • Gen.Lt. Kurt Weckmann
  • Gen.Lt. Kurt Kruse
  • Unknown (originally identified as Gen.Lt. Fritz Koreuber but ruled out by his son)
  • Mr Jones
  • Gen. Lt. Kurt Pflieger
POWs with orphanage kids
Gen.Lt. Herbert Olbrich,
Gen.Lt. Fritz Koreuber,
Gen.Lt. Rudolf Meltzer

76 German POWs leave Bridgend Wednesday 12th May 1948:

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Wednesday May 12th 1948
Local Newspaper reporting repatriation event
Continued from left:
Local Newspaper reporting on repatriation event

Western Mail & South Wales News
Thursday 13th May 1948
Reporting departure of previous day

Western Mail & South Wales News
Thursday May 13th 1948
"Kisses and Tears When German Generals Left"

Repatriation Escort Party at Fornham Park
Aboard the S.S. Biarritz
Horace Hewinson Mrs Hewinson's husband with POWs
Same position as photo (above right) but with a different British guard

Rheine

The first station on repat journey

Welcome Home at Minden
Western Mail 26th May 1948
"German Generals: Council
Repudiates Send Off Scenes"

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