More than 25,000 prisoners of war who worked on our farms returned to live here. On Remembrance weekend Nigel Farndale discovers their stories
(The Times, November 11 2016)
Having fought as a young man in the First World War my grandfather was too old to fight in the Second. Even if he had been of serviceable age it is doubtful he would have been allowed to join up, given that he was in a “reserved occupation”, farming. He was expected to dig for victory instead.
The Second World War did, nevertheless, come to him in the form of German prisoners of war. An army truck would collect them from a nearby camp every day and deliver them to the farm, which was in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire. Because there was a food shortage after the war — as well as a shortage of manpower, before demobilisation at least — many of the German PoWs were obliged… (read more at the Times (Paywalled))