Island Farm Bridgend German PoW Camp 198 / Special Camp 11

CAMP: 198 / Special Camp: XI
Bridgend, South Wales.

On the night of 10th-11th March 1945, Seventy German prisoners tunnelled to freedom from Camp 198 in Bridgend. It was the biggest escape attempt made by German P.O.W.s in Great Britain during the Second World War.

Main entrance of the Island Farm Special Camp 11 - 1948
Derelict Island Farm Camp (early 1980s)

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Island Farm

            Island Farm - 1938 - How Island Farm originated.

            American 28th Infantry Division - October 1943 - American 108th Field Artillery Battalion / 28th Infantry Division

            Corporal William Odell Stricklin

            Camp 198 - 2nd November 1944 - Island Farm becomes a German PoW Camp

            A Death At Island Farm

            Anti Escape Plans

            The Escape Tunnel

            How The Escape Was Nearly Foiled

            Diversion and Annoyance Tactics

The Big Escape

            The Big Escape

            Listen to The Actual BBC News Recording Reporting Escape - Read By Alvar Lidell

            The Escaped German Prisoners - Detailed list of the PoWs who made the escape

            The Search for Escaped PoWs

            Recaptured - Detailed information about how the PoWs were recaptured

            Newspaper Cuttings Reporting Escape

            Newspaper Cuttings (with Photo) Reporting the Recapture of POWs

            Murder Mystery In Porthcawl, Nr Bridgend.

            After The Escape - Includes A 1977 Recording of Escapee Lt Carl Brockmeyer)

            Police Commendation - 26th March 1945

Special Camp XI

           About Special Camp XI

Some Of The Prisoners Held

            Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt

Leutnant Hans Gerd von Rundstedt

            Generalfeldmarschall Ewald von Kleist

            Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein

            Generalfeldmarschall Walter von Brauchitsch

Generalmajor Walter Robert Dornberger

            SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Polizei Hermann Behrends

            SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS und Polizei Werner Lorenz

Konteradmiral (Ing.) Hans Voss

General der Panzertruppe Hasso Von Manteuffel

            Generaloberst Gotthard Heinrici

            General der Panzertruppe Fridolin von Senger und Etterlin

            General der Infanterie Günther Blumentritt

            General der Panzertruppe Heinrich Karl Alfons Willy Eberbach

            Generalleutnant Johann von Ravenstein

            Generalleutnant Karl-Wilhelm von Schlieben

Vizeadmiral Friedrich Hüffmeier

            SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS Karl-Maria Demelhuber

Additional POW Profiles 

   The above POWs were those identified when this web site was initially created.


Life On The Otherside of the Wire

            Douglas Richards - The guard who arrested Feld Marschall Gerd von Rundstedt

Sergeant William Ronald Williams of 3 Platoon  - a guard at Special Camp 11. Also see photo at bottom of page

            Bombardier L.R.Angell - 15th April 1946 - Discharge papers signed by Commandant Major D.B. Topham

            Captain Edward (Ted) Lees - Camp Intelligence Officer and Interpreter

The Unidentified

            Unidentified Prisoners & Possible Identifications

            Unidentified POW Signatures


            International Military Tribunal at Nürnberg (Nuremberg) - Includes photos of Lord Oaksey visits Bridgend

            Life In Special Camp XI

            POWs Learn English

Works Of Art by German POWs

            A Birthday At Island Farm - A Birthday Card To Pfarrer Gruber

German PoW Orderlies to the High ranking German Officers

            Alexander Fritzche             
            Helmut Guettler - German PoW marries a Welsh girl from Bridgend
            Gunter Koball - Camp interpreter and chief clerk at the accounts office

Aufwiedersehen - Repatriation

            An Official Repatriation List, Photos of the Repatriation and Newspaper Coverage

Closure Of Special Camp 11

            Closure of Island Farm Special Camp 11 (2nd Week May 1948)

Modern Day News / Photos

            Forty Three Years Later...(1988)

            Photos Of Island Farm Prior To The Camp Demolition in 1993 (Photos taken 1989 Approximately)

            POW Drawings from the Hut Walls

Fifty Five Years later - Remembering the escape (2000)

            Modern Day - A Waste Of Money ? (Councillor Jeff Jones thought preserving Hut 9 was a waste of money.)

            Fifty Six Years Later (2001) - What's To Become Of the Island Farm Land ?

            Colour Photos Of Hut 9 (Inside and Outside) & Island Farm As It Is Today (All That Remains Of Island Farm)

            In 2003, The Escape Tunnel Is Re-opened And Found To Be In Almost Perfect Condition

The Royal Ordnance Factories
            Photos Of "The Arsenal" & "The Admiralty"As It Was & Is Today - Largest Employee Factories To Date In Britain!

            Aerial Photography Of Bridgend Taken by The Luftwaffe & RAF

Air-Raids On South Wales

            Unexploded Bomb (UXB) Classification

            Rare List Detailing Luftwaffe Air Raid Dates On South Wales and The Areas Around Bridgend

Other POW Camps In Great Britain

            Map Showing Location Of Pow Camps and List Of Camps

            People's Recollections of PoW Camps

            Other Escape Attempts From Camps in Great Britain

Tips On How To Find Information

            Looking for information on other POW Camps in Great Britain ?

Website & Hut 9 Under Attack!

          Outspoken attacks on this website and Hut 9 in 2003

          Wales This Week - Wales This Week televises a confrontation between myself and Jeff Jones

          Hut 9 Attacked By Vandals 28th/29th January 2004     

60th Anniversary of D-Day

          Photos from my trip to Normandy Beaches - June 2004

TV Programmes

          Come Out (Whereever you are) - 1976 BBC documentary on the escape - also shows some of the former escapees

          The oldest known cine film of the camp - Taken by Sgt Ron Williams ( below)

          29th January 2013 - Island Farm appeared on CountryFile - with myself and John Craven

          The Welsh Great Escape - A 2004 docu drama/ detailing the escape (featuring escapees Steffi Ehlert and Gerhard Fiegel)

                    IMPORTANT: Please be advised that there are lots of significant mistakes in the above programme, The Welsh Great Escape, below are just a few examples:

                              1) Island Farm is quoted as being a "black camp" (Staunch Nazi) - Island Farm was a "white camp"
                              2) PoW Otto Iskat was severely beaten by fellow PoWs for failing to send Adolf Hitler a birthday card, see: Otto Iskat died of high blood pressure and a heart attack as per his death certificate
                              3) The tunnel was 60 feet in length - the tunnel was nearer 30 feet in length
                              4) The PoWs who escaped were "German officers" - the PoWs who took part in the escape were low ranked German PoWs. Island Farm wasn't an officer camp until 1946
                              5) The escape number is misquoted twice (67 and 72) - the actual escape figure was 70 PoWs
                              6) Lily Griffiths was shot 3 days after the escape - The escape was 10/11th March and the shooting was the 12th March.
                              7) Lily died within hours of being shot - Lily was shot on the 12th and died on the 16th March
                              8) A supposed BBC News (Voice Over) - Gets date wrong (16th March 1945) for final escapees recaptured - The actual date was, see: 17th March 1945

Tell Me What You Think Of This Site

            Who am I ? (Something about me, and the people who have helped me with this web site)
Email Me             

Sgt William Ronald Williams (Penarth) guarding the fence of Island Farm in 1946.

Note: the red circled area highlights an attempt by POWs to saw through the corner fence post. Consequently, the guards added a secondary support post to strengthen the fence.


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This web site is dedicated to the history and research of the Island Farm POW camp and the German POWs interned during the years 1944 -1948. Although, the web site profiles many POWs both during WWI and WWII, this web site is not about the politics of Nazism.

The extensive use of photographs within this web site is done so for historical purposes and should not be viewed as an attempt to glorify the tragic events of WWII.

This web site does not support in any way those who would condone or embrace individuals, groups and/or organisations that are intolerant, racist or violent.

This web site does not support or endorce those that use the theme of WWII history to further their own political agenda.

It is through education, study and research that one may come to their own conclusions about WWII and the German experience, those that do not attempt to do so are guilty of ignorance.

Only through honest, objective and impartial research can one ever hope to understand the plight of so many millions of people during the Second World War.

This web site is respectfully dedicated to all those who suffered and died during the most devastating war in human history, on all sides.