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POWs working in Coventry

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southern belle
coventry
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1 of 10  Sun 2nd Dec 2012 8:33am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:9

Does anyone know if POWs were used to build houses on the Gregory-Hood Estate?
POWs working in Coventry
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
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2 of 10  Sun 2nd Dec 2012 9:29am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:2870

Gee, that's an interesting question Southern Belle. I would like to know where they built anywhere? Thumbs up
POWs working in Coventry
NormK
bulkington
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3 of 10  Sun 2nd Dec 2012 9:35am  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:848

There was quite a few POWs at the Brickworks, and the management were annoyed that they had to go back before they had finished some re-building work. Oh my
Milly rules

POWs working in Coventry
southern belle
coventry
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Thread starter
4 of 10  Sun 2nd Dec 2012 10:23am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:9

The reason I ask is, whilst decorating, my husband was stripping back old paint work when he found a swastika scratched into the wood. Building on the house started in 1939 but was actually completed in 1946.
POWs working in Coventry
LesMac
Coventry
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5 of 10  Sun 2nd Dec 2012 10:26am  
Member: Joined Dec 2011  Total posts:273

Nothing to do with building. I remember both Italian and German POWs working at Taylors Farm, Bell Green. One of the Italians made a cigarette case out of sheet aluminium, well made and engraved, he gave it to my father. I still have that case. For some reason the Germans hated the Italians and the other way round. I got on well with the Italians but the Germans clearly hated me and my friends. Les
POWs working in Coventry
Freeman
Hereford
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6 of 10  Thu 30th May 2013 4:53pm  
Member: Joined May 2013  Total posts:37

I was interested in this item about POWs as I recall when the war came to an end my Dad, who spent the war working on aero engines, was suddenly out of work. I was seven at the time, going on eight, and Dad got a job driving for a haulage company out Fillongley way. He took me along on many of his trips, and collected German POWs and took them out to farms to work putting in land drains. There was no guard all the time I was with them, and after arriving on the site, they quickly set about setting up a tin, acting as a large stew pot, retrieved a rabbit, previously trapped and with local veg started up this delicious stew which was shared with us at dinner time. Me and Dad went up to the farm for milk and water and a brew was made, I don't know what with. Dad would take them in a ball of coarse string, which was made into a pair of slippers, and sold for extras, and any old clock, alarm or otherwise would be made into a musical box. They made all sorts of toys which were saved at that time for Christmas. Happy days for me, Freeman.
Jim. Walton

POWs working in Coventry
NeilsYard
Coventry
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7 of 10  Thu 6th Jun 2013 12:11am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1518

Not quite Coventry but an interesting read from a post on one of the Jaguar Cars forums which mentions Italian POW's at Weston under Wetherley. This stems from someone who was evacuated from Coventry to Wappenbury Hall - the family home of Sir William Lyons.
When the War was declared on 3rd September 1939 I was almost 7 years of age. On that day I was at Little Heath School, Old Church Road, Coventry. I cannot say that the day made much impression on me. The earliest recollections were about a year later when my father, who had a premonition (or was it inside information), that we should as a family move out of our home to Corley Ash some 6 miles away from Coventry where he had found some rooms at a farm in Square Lane. My sister and I were enrolled in Corley School on the main Tamworth Road where all pupils were in the same room divided into 3 or 4 classes. The heating was by a coke burning stove in the centre of the room. The first real impression of the War was visual. On the morning of the 15th November we looked out of the windows of the farmhouse and could see a long pall of smoke drifting parallel to the horizon from Coventry towards Nuneaton. My father had been on duty the previous night with the ARP helping people get to safe shelters and putting sand over the burning incendiary bombs. After this to my memory all went quiet until 8th April 1941. By this time my father had judged it safe to return home to Coventry and to my regular school. Up to this date we had many disturbed nights and sleeping with my sister in the Anderson shelter in our garden was quite a novel experience. However, 8th April was different because we had 8 hours of sustained bombing. During the height of the raid my father advised that we leave our shelter and go to a deep underground shelter at Longford Park about one mile away. I clearly remember walking around bomb craters in our road and along the Foleshill Road with the smell of leaking gas mains and burst water mains. I also saw the German planes flying overhead with searchlights and anti aircraft guns attempting to shoot them down. Inside the shelter there seemed to be hundreds of people sitting on long wooden benches that lined the walls. We must have been there for four or five hours. When the "all clear" siren went it was daybreak and we walked home to find that the roof of our house was damaged by blast from a nearby landmine explosion at the King William IV pub. Our house was not suitable for living in and my uncle came to take my sister and myself to stay with my aunt in the village of Wappenbury, which is about 10 miles south of my home in Coventry. He had obtained refuge in Wappenbury Hall, which was the home of Mr William Lyons (later Sir William) who was the founder of Jaguar Cars. We were enrolled in a school at Hunningham, which was a two-mile walk across fields, which were dissected by the River Leam. Even at the age of 8 I was inquisitive enough to look around Mr Lyons' stables to see if he had any horses. I did not find horses but what I did see were part completed Jaguar Cars, engines, wheels and all sorts of parts which he had rescued from his factory in Holbrook Lane, Coventry. I also found a family living in one of the stable rooms. Family Morris from London had been bombed out of their home. Victor, who was about two years older than me, became a good friend, as did other families in the village. Names such as Wright, Hawkes, Palmer, Hall and Wells all come to mind. I remember trying to milk goats at the Palmer Hall smallholding. Mrs. Lyons proposed to my mother that we have two relatively derelict 17th century cottages they owned subject to my father doing some repairs to make them liveable. He rebuilt a chimney and repaired windows. We did not use upstairs so one cottage was for daytime use and the other was used as bedrooms. At this point I must say that during the entire night disturbance with raids by German aircraft, the sound of bombs exploding and anti-aircraft fire not once did my sister and myself feel frightened. We put this down to the care, attention and calmness of our mother who prepared us and ensured we were up and ready to do or go wherever was best in the variety of alerts we had in Coventry. My father was always on night duty so he obviously was a wise advisor for my mother. Life in Wappenbury for a period of 2 years and 3 months was idyllic. In the summertime we would picnic and fish in the River Leam. I caught a carp once and took him home to live in a bucket! Not very enterprising he froze to death during a harsh frost in 1942. School was a new experience although similar style to the Corley School we had attended in 1940. The headmaster was a kindly man, Mr Helms, who had been an officer in WW1 and sadly had lost an arm. As part of the war effort the boys would grow vegetables in the garden of the school and the girls would cook the school dinners. I can remember marrows somehow stuffed with syrup and above all we were sent out into the fields to collect stinging nettles to be prepared by the girls as a substitute for spinach. Of course there were endless walks to and fro across the fields from Wappenbury to Hunningham. When the river was flooded we had to walk by road via Weston under Wetherley. If we were very lucky we could get a lift from the postman in his van. At Weston under Wetherley were Italian prisoners of war who wore brown overalls with a yellow circular patch on their backs. They used to help on local farms during the day and also kept all the ditches clear at the side of the road. I can remember my mother giving them cups of tea and a piece of cake when they were working in Wappenbury. We left Wappenbury in the early summer of 1942 when all the bombing had stopped and I resumed my education at Little Heath School in September 1943. Other than air raid practices with our gas masks, I cannot recall any real alerts after this time.
POWs working in Coventry
Chaingang
Tile Hill Village
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8 of 10  Thu 6th Jun 2013 8:18am  
Member: Joined Oct 2011  Total posts:59

Thank you Neils Yard I really enjoyed that. You and I are very nearly the same age and we have some similar experiences. Once again, thank you.
adopted coventry

POWs working in Coventry
Tricia
Bedworth
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9 of 10  Thu 6th Jun 2013 11:43am  
Member: Joined Jun 2011  Total posts:540

Thank you NeilsYard, an excellent read - I enjoyed it a lot. Thumbs up
POWs working in Coventry
NeilsYard
Coventry
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10 of 10  Sat 8th Jun 2013 11:13am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1518

It wasn't from me Chaingang but was posted on one of the Jaguar forums - I'm a mere baby from the summer of '69 Thumbs up I found it interesting though so thought I would share. All the best.
POWs working in Coventry

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