Held at:

ELSG archive






Prisoners of War at Turnastone Court Farm

Place name:

Golden Valley 




In 1946 German prisoners of war were employed extensively throughout Britain both as agricultural labour and – where they had trade skills – in construction and other activities where resources were short. There was a POW camp or ‘hostel’ at Dorstone in the Golden Valley that supplied labour to the areas near Ewyas Lacy in the years in and after the Second World War, and men from there built a cowshed at Turnastone Court farm. They may well have marched there and back from the camp each day, probably unsupervised as there is no evidence of any serious military presence or guard arrangements at Dorstone. Alternatively it is possible that the men were billeted at Tunastone as ‘guests’ of the farmer, Mr Watkins, for the duration of the project.

If they were put up at the farm by Mr Watkins, it is interesting to speculate what kind of host he made. We do know that he was seen as a hard taskmaster by the prisoners, because they left a tribute to him written in German in the concrete lintel they cast to go over the cowshed door. It reads “Herr von Schnel”. Mr Watkins probably spoke no German and we cannot know what they may have told him it meant – but a loose translation is “Mr Go Faster”.




Other documents and photographs relating to Dorstone Prisoner of War Camp and its occupants can be accessed from the Index page of the Voss Collection.


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