Therfield Heath POW Peter’s plea for photos and stories of Second World War camp
PUBLISHED: 08:25 05 March 2020 | UPDATED: 08:48 05 March 2020
A former Therfield Heath prisoner of war who settled in Royston after his release is appealing for anyone who may have photographs or stories from the time to get in touch.
Ernst-Wilhelm Peters - known as Peter - is a German man who was imprisoned near the end of the Second World War in the heath's Camp 29.
He was only allowed out to work on village farms, until his initial limited release at Christmas 1946 when he was allowed to spend pockets of time around the town.
During these trips out he met his Royston girl Edna, who would become his wife.
After he was released, they married at Croydon's parish church in 1948 and had a wonderful life together. Peter became an NHS psychiatric nurse working at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, Lister Hospital in Hitchin, as it was then, and Three Counties Hospital - now Fairfield Park.
Peter - who is 94 and now lives closer to his family in Devon - is now looking to pen his memoirs of his time at the heath camp and others, and is calling on fellow Crow readers to get in contact if they can help.
He told the Crow: "I recently was loaned a very interesting book called 'Hitler's Last Army', which concerned itself with German Prisoners of War in England. There was no mention of our camp, which prompted me to get in touch with the author, Robin Quinn.
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"He gave me some advice, but could not help me with questions about the heath camp.
"Having been a published poetry author, I decided to try my hand at writing a story of my time as a prisoner of war, which I spent in a number of camps, the last and longest being in Camp 29.
"You may have read about me before in the Crow but that is some time ago now. I am trying to write a thousand words a day of my story - I have just over 6,000 so far.
"While I remember my time there vividly, I have no photos or memories concerning the camp as such and or memories you may have about that time.
"Are there still any readers about who may have stories about relationships between people of the town and prisoners? Has anyone any photos of the camp?
"If you have can you please forward those to the Crow to send on to me. Thank you."
If you can help Peter, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the news desk on 01438 866210.
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