Along with many other 16th DLI and 2nd/5th Sherwood Forester Sedjenane POWs, Hamilton was put aboard a German-crewed ship and taken to Camp PG 66 at Capua, Italy (‘Hair shaved, de-lousced, innoculated. A filthy camp, there for 2-3 months before moving to next camp.’) This was Camp PG 82 at Laterina. (‘In railway coaches from Capua to Laterina, then transferred to Germany as Italy was surrendering and Germans took over and transported in open wagons and cattle trucks.’)

At Stalag 4B in Germany in September 1943, he was assigned the German POW number 222076, and was soon thereafter sent to the British work camp E 715, which was within the now infamous I G Farben slave labour complex at Auschwitz. Camp E 715 was administered from the large Stalag 8B camp at Lamsdorff. The larger camp was later redesignated Stalag 344.

Standing at 5th from the right back row in the photo reproduced again above is Pte Harry Foster, who was a Sherwood Forester (4986627) and almost certainly also captured at Sedjenane. Foster and Hamilton have adjacent German POW numbers. Pte Hamilton and Foster’s German POWs numbers are listed in sequence in this section of the web site.

It’s highly likely that most of the unidentified men in the photo above will have POW numbers very close to them within this listing. Further identifications of the men featured on this photograph most welcome. The man at 6th from the right, back row was nicknamed ‘Klim’ and ‘The Milk Basher’ because of his persistent habit of tin-bashing Klim dried milk tins into utensils of various kinds. At extreme right back row, the name is forgotten, but he is remembered as a Geordie, who was in charge of the hut. The man second from the right back row was nicknamed ‘Pop’ because he was the oldest member of the group .Missing from the photo is another good friend, L/Cpl Frank Sansom of the Sherwood Foresters, Army Number 4986709, POW No 220079, also most probably a Sedjenane POW.

Reproduced below is a copy of a local newspaper cutting from 1974 kept by Ronnie Hamilton. This is of a completely different group of E 715 British POWs, but the location backdrop is identical. Guardsman R Wallis-Clarke (Scots Guards 2698252), who provided the photograph to the paper has the POW number 28291, so was obviously taken POW much earlier than Hamilton and Foster. This item is presently at very low resolution and difficult to read, but I hope to have a higher quality version on the site in due course. Most of the men below were apparently from the Tyneside area. The other names mentioned in the caption are ‘a man called Purdy from Newcastle’, Matthews, Walmsley and ‘Big Bill.’ R Wallis-Clarke is the soldier in the cap, middle back row. Given the fact that there was at one stage over 1,000 British POWs in E 715, it is highly likely that there are several other photos like this, all of which would have been taken by the Germans and sent on by the POWs to the UK via the Red Cross. All further details welcome. CONTINUED or HOME

Camp E 715, Pte G R Hamilton POW Photo
R Wallis-Clarke E 715 Group POW Photo

Pte G R Hamilton POW Number 222076, Camp E 715