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-   -   Snape Farm (Weston) POW Camp - Nov 09 (http://www.nwex.co.uk/showthread.php?t=5917)

tarboat 20-11-2009 22:49

Snape Farm (Weston) POW Camp - Nov 09
 
Today I finally made it to the POW camp at Snape Farm, Weston, and what a cornucopia of rust it turned out to be! An excellent place for a good mooch with plenty of original material to discover. I particularly liked the drawing on the wall in one of the huts, but it is a great pity that part has been covered over by cement render at some time.

I have tried to find out a bit more about this camp but there is almost nothing on the internet. Indeed, the lists of POW camps all omit this one apart from the site that invites reminiscences from former prisoners. There is a suggestion on a local authority report that Weston house both German and Italian prisoners at different times.



Kitty 21-11-2009 19:34

Crewe Hall was originally an Officers camp for German And Italian POW's that were trusted. They were then moved out to these satellite camps when the American Army moved in. Weston was one of those used for the POW's that worked on the local farms during the week, being shipped back in at weekends. I know a lot of Italians married into local families and stayed on after the war, being highly thought of by the farming families they worked with. Quite a large contingent worked in the area around Astbury. The next nearest POW camp that also housed Italians was Toft Hall just outside Knutsford, but I am not sure if any of them left that POW site to work.

Weston just appears to be one of those satellite camps that gets overlooked not having its own designated number, which is a shame.

However am pleased to see its still standing.

Guzzijimbo 27-05-2010 22:36

Snape Farm
 
Hi,
I came across this site almost by accident. Snape Farm was my Family home.

My father was born on the farm, just before the war. The site was originally commissioned as an anti aircraft defence site, to defend Crewe. The camp was built, and concrete gun placement put in. The Gun platforms were about 1/2 way between the camp, and the current position of the A500.

The guns were never delivered as the threats from bombing had gone. Initially German, then Italian POW's then moved in. My Grandparents stayed in touch with some of the Italians for a long time. After the war, the majority of the building were signed over to the farm, and used as farm buildings.

A couple of the Nissen huts remained untouched though. When my father retired, a huge amount of the fixtures & fittings went to the tip, as we couldn't find any takers - Beds, wardrobes,stoves, woollen blankets etc. Amazing what stuff got stashed.

My father remembers lots of the details of who/why/when.
The Concrete gun platforms were blown up by blaster bates.

If you check out the roof of one of the asbestos roofed huts, you can see the hole where some of the concrete fell. That bust have been a whopper!

NorthMancBeds 27-05-2010 23:50

Great site. Lovely photos. Guzzijimbo, welcome + what a revealing little narrative.

peace

NMB

timecoast 08-06-2010 14:09

Guzzijimbo - pow camp weston
 
Hallo,

I live in Crewe although up till the mid-70s I lived at the Hough. I have passed the POW camp many time, usually to and from the White Lion at Barthomley. In fact, I was born in Englesea Brook and got moved to the Hough when I was 1 year old.

A couple of weeks ago a very good friend of mine asked me to take a photo of the camp as he heard it was due to be knocked down. I went along last week and met the present resident of Snape Farm. He showed me round and gave me some information about the place. I spent an enjoyable couple of hours taking pictures and looking round.

He also told me that the farmer who used to live there (I assume from your posting this could be your dad) still lives in Weston. My visit has sparked my curiosity about the place and I am attempting to compile more information about the camp.

I hope to be able to meet the gentlemen in Weston and see what he can tell me.

Perhaps you could get in touch with me either through this site or e-mail me at: mark_tyrrell1951@hotmail.com

Hope to hear from you soon.

Gibbo 08-06-2010 19:09

Hello timecoast, thanks for joining.

timecoast 09-06-2010 14:05

Hello Gibbo
 
Thanks for the greeting, hopefully I can get some more information re the camp. anything you have I wuld be grateful to look at.

Regards

Kitty 11-06-2010 21:21

watcha timecoast. sorry not been around due to technical fuck ups involving teenagers.

when first heard about Weston i did some serious digging around and asking of the WW2 history community, and it seems that weston is a bit of no info site. Weston isn't even listed in the official POW camps records, these referring only to the main camps themselves. satellites would only be referred to in internal papers, probably all held at Kew in boxes upon boxes and never sorted, or were destroyed after the war due to lack of room.

Weston is definitely a sattelite camp to Crewe Hall which held German and Italian [I think] prisoners, which were then probably moved to weston when the GI's took over the hall in the run up to DDay.

As Weson was light security I think it held those POW's that could be trusted, and were shipped out for the week to work on local farms.

The only chance you have is to try and pin down the guy at English Heritage who did some work on POW camps and did cover weston [info never published to my knowledge] but he doesn't tend to answer queries. or to head to Kew and start reading. i suggest staying away from the side where the family history is if you go at weekends, the word chaos does spring to mind.

Good luck

n10694 12-06-2010 20:07

I was told locally that after the war, it was used for Polish refugees for a short while.

Kitty 17-06-2010 14:36

quite possibly, Anzio camp at Leek was a Polish camp for a couple fo years before i went back into Army hands. Theres a very big polish population in the area.

timecoast 20-07-2010 15:52

Hallo Guzzijimbo
 
Hallo Guzzijimbo,
Your Dad says you have got a table in NZ that was made by POWs. Is it possible to e-mail me with a photo of it. will talk then.

Terrier 24-08-2010 11:59

Snape Farm AA Unit
 
Came across this site while researching my father's wartime experiences. In 1941 he was in an anti-aircraft battery at a location he gives in a letter as "Weston Lane Farm, Weston, Crewe, Cheshire." I haven't been able to find such a farm, but note thhe gun emplacements visible in satellite photos of Snape Farm.

I haven't found any indication of any other gun emplacements in the area, but I'm concerned by Guzzjimbo's statement that the guns were never delivered, as my father categorically records manning the guns on the night of 20th October 1941, although they didn't fire as the target was not Crewe, but appeared to be Liverpool from the gun flashes they saw.

They were living under canvas and he bemoans the fact that they would "not be there long enough to get the benefit of the new huts when they are put up."

Can anyone tell me which Unit was based at Snape Farm.

Terrier

Kitty 24-08-2010 14:51

he would have been royal artillery or ordnance corps most likely, but anyone spare was rafted in to use AckAck guns. And the reason you cannot find the gun emplacements is because there wasn't really any. sandbags at most piled up around field artillery pieces that were on wheels.

at the time your father was protecting the marshalling yards of Crewe, which came under regular Luftwaffe attack [Kampfgeshwader to be precise]. However they would have had a regular pop at any stray bombers coming over on their way to Chester/Manchester/Liverpool.

if you have been to the area then you will have spotted a ruined castle like structure on a large hill line. That is the folly of Mow Cop, the Kampfgeshwader would use this to line up on in order to make their run-ins to their target. Another temporary AckAck gun emplacement was at a farm on the side of the hill itself. There was also a Meacon site at Mow Cop in order to begin bending the navigational beams the bombers were using.

Your father was under canvas as the AckAcks were sent where needed, and as such were only ever temporary. Permanent gun emplacements for air defences were only really found on military bases.

Terrier 24-08-2010 15:02

Snape Farm
 
Thanks for that, Kitty. He was in the 77th Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery. His letter is dated 21st October 1941, but they didn't stay there long. On 8th December they sailed for the Middle East, but were diverted to Java, and he spent the rest of the war as a "guest of the Emperor".

I don't think we went far enough along Weston Lane, and didn't see the Mow Cop. I'm still puzzled as to where Weston Lane Farm might have been, or whether that was its real name, but what you say about the guns does explain a bit. He did say something about the "new gun position", so they may well have been mobile.

Terrier

fritz 20-10-2010 18:31

C.W.A.E.C Hostel, Snape Farm, Weston, Nr Crewe
 
I have my fathers Certificate of Registration that shows he reported to the County War Agricultural Executive Committee Hostel, as it was know, Snape Farm, Weston nr Crewe on the 6th Feb 1948 until the 2nd oct 1948 as a POW Farm Worker. Interesting to see the photographs of the huts used at the camp during and after the second world war and I am grateful for you posting them on this site. Thank you.

tarboat 21-10-2010 22:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by fritz (Post 130016)
I have my fathers Certificate of Registration that shows he reported to the County War Agricultural Executive Committee Hostel, as it was know, Snape Farm, Weston nr Crewe on the 6th Feb 1948 until the 2nd oct 1948 as a POW Farm Worker. Interesting to see the photographs of the huts used at the camp during and after the second world war and I am grateful for you posting them on this site. Thank you.

Thanks for your kind comments and the information about your father. It is really helpful to have this confirmation that the site was used for POWs working the local farms. He must have been one of the last POWs still in the UK by Oct 1948.

timecoast 22-10-2010 21:44

Hallo 'Fritz', I suspect we met yesterday at Snape Farm, but if you're a different person please get in touch as I'm researching the camp and the POWs. Regards M.T.

fritz 25-10-2010 14:57

Hi timecoast, yes same person. Nice to have met up.

Gibbo 25-10-2010 17:51

Thanks for the latest info chaps, keep us posted as to how you get on.

aja_gti 06-12-2010 19:03

Excellent thread, great to think that connections have been made off the back of it.

I have been passing this site twice a day for 10 years on my way to work and never knew it was there.

gloworm 18-04-2012 19:34

AA Gun Site
 
There was an AA gun site on land belonging to Dairy House Farm & Brassey Hall Farm both in Colley's Lane Willaston Nantwich, there was also a searchlight about a mile away which was in support. As a boy I remember the army requistioning our spare bedrooms for soldiers whilst they built their accomodation, this would have been about 41-42 I think. Six guns in total plus one searchlight

gloworm 20-04-2012 16:23

There was also a ROC post close to the AA site at Dairy House Farm, I remember it being very active during the war


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