Wombwell Detachment visit to Historic POW Camp

A visit to Eden Camp - by Cadet Rebecca Turfrey

Wombwell Detachment visit to Historic POW Camp

18 November 2022

  • Humberside And South Yorkshire ACF

Recently Wombwell detachment with some of D company visited Eden camp.

Eden camp is a historic camp which was first opened as a Prisoner of War Camp in 1942 by a small group of army troops from Scotland. This was a camp that could hold more than 1000 prisoners which at first it held 250 Italian prisoners of war. Eden camp got its name from the road it's on which is 'Eden House Road'. British POWs would work on the land and be well fed. Far different to depictions of camps in Germany and Japan.

We started at Wombwell detachment and got on two mini-buses which were driven by 2LT Fidment and SMI Clark, accompanied by the Padre Jackson and RSMI Kirk.

As we parked up at Eden Camp, we made a plan to go to the first hut together then after go our separate ways. As we got to the first hut, on the door it said 'Hitler and Hitler’s rise to power and the Nazi party'. As we walked in along, the walls displayed a lot of information about how Hitler rose to power. It went into detail how people were treated, it also showed pictures of what newspapers from back then showed 'propaganda', and how the citizens when ruled by the government.

In amongst the walls models were set up so it gave us a visual of environments so we could picture in our head being there.

After the first hut, we could look and do what we wanted - most of us spilt into groups. Every hut had a different theme. Each hut setting out scenes to fit with how much information it had to convey. Most of the huts were filled in with information and models, some even had sound effects: for example, in the blitz's hut, towards the end of the display, the figurines showed houses being torn down by a bomb and a model moving ever so slightly and screaming, almost like you where there 'in the moment'. Smoke filled the room like a bomb had gone off in the distance taking the houses with it.

There were a few big buildings holding interesting and hands on objects. They held vehicles from a bygone age, all different sizes from motorbikes to tanks. This area was very popular with the cadets as you could touch the displays and have a close look to them.

Small shelters where around, like the bomb raid shelters with the cages to the side which were tested by Cadet Edwards and photographed. Many cadets suggested that their parents would be interested in buying cages.

In the huts there was a lot of interesting topics each hut described in detail scenes and showed scenarios, all filled with information and facts.

At the end of the day, we boarded the minibuses to return back to detachment. Being part of the cadet family, on the journey back we were given sweets, leading to us entertaining the adults with anthems such as Sweet Caroline and Sarah, Sarah.

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