German And Italian Escape
Attempts From Other Camps In Great Britain...CONTINUED
7 POWs successfully escaped by cutting the perimeter wire. In the subsequent roll call the POWs were extremely rowdy. During the roll call it started raining and the restless POWs were keen to get back into the mill. One of the guards, John Jaffray whose real job was a No. 5 feeder on the Bofors gun, was called to the camp as part of the emergency procedure. In his attempt to scare the POWs back into line, he meant to fire a warning shot over the POW's heads, but he did not aim high enough and ended up shooting a POW 18 year old Paul Hartmann through the face.
All 7 POWs were quickly caught (1 at Castleton railway station; 2 in Wakefield, Yorkshire; 4 in a group in Leeds 30 miles away).
Paul Hartmann was buried in the cemetery opposite the camp (service given by German Pastor Cremer).
The authorities kept the incident secret and the findings of the army court were never published and are not available. The inquest was held in secret on the orders of the Home Office and the coroner's verdict was never announced. Jaffray, who had done the shooting was allowed to continue his post, and although he was often in a position where he could have been killed or beaten up as a reprisal for the shooting, he was never touched.
Camp 180: Marbury Hall, Northwich, Cheshire
December 1944 was the last attempt, made by Luftwaffe men, to escape to Germany by air. The hall was a cage where Germans, Russians, Poles, Italians and Austrians were sent direct from Camp 9: Kempton Park race course for further sorting. It is not known how, but four POWs escaped and were apprehended only a few miles away from the camp at the controls of a Marauder bomber on the large USAAF aerodrome base at Warrington.