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WW2 Prisoners of War

These items record the history of German and Italian WW2 prisoners of war who were housed in camps in Wales, some of whom forged close ties with the surrounding communities. At the end of the war some decided to stay on in Wales, marrying women that they had met locally.

Over 1,000 Italians captured in Libya and Tunisia arrived at Henllan near Newcastle Emlyn in 1942. Italian POW's were allowed to volunteer to work on the land, to alleviate labour shortages, and in general they were given considerable freedom. Some were even given accommodation at the farms where they worked, and mixed with local people.

The majority of the German POWs came over to Britain during the summer of 1944 following the D-Day Landings in Normandy. Many of them were also allowed to work on the land, although this wasn't welcomed initially. Others were held captive in camps such as the Island Farm Special German Base Camp near Bridgend, on a site initially built for local munition factory workers; it is thought that over 180 senior German officers were held here at the end of the Second World War.

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