Community project looking into Ely’s two Second World War Prisoner Of War camps

German POWs at work at an English farm during the Second World War

German POWs at work at an English farm during the Second World War - Credit: Archant

A COMMUNITY history project wants to hear from local people who remember the two prisoner of war camps that existed in Ely during the Second World War.

Rich Soil Rich Heritage is reaching out to anyone with memories, information, photos or documents relating to the Barton Field and West Fen Militia camps which housed hundreds of German and Italian prisoners during the war.

Project Co-ordinator Hetti Wood says: “The camps at Barton Field and West Fen Militia housed hundreds of prisoners, many of whom worked on local farms.

“We would like to hear from local people who remember the prisoners and find out more about their interactions with the community.”

Rich Soil Rich Heritage is a heritage project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund which combines oral history and archive research with drama and film to record the history of the many different nationalities who have come to East Cambs for work.


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The project examines the plight of Dutch fen drainage engineers of the mid 17th century, Romany seasonal workers of the 19th century, the role of POWs on Ely’s farms and the arrival of Portuguese migrant workers at the end of the 20th century.

If you would like further information or to be involved please contact Hetti Wood on 01353 722228 or email

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info@richsoilrichheritage.org.uk.

For more information visit http://www.richsoilrichheritage.org.uk/

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