This camp is located at the back of Snape Farm in Weston near to Crewe. During World War 2 the site was originally commissioned as an anti aircraft defence site, to defend Crewe. The guns were never delivered as the threats from bombing had gone. Initially German, then Italian POW’s were stationed at the camp and worked on farms during and after the war. Although Weston wasn’t assigned a camp number it was a satellite camp of another camp in the area therefore not assigned an official camp number and very often forgotten about. Some of the Weston POWs stayed in the area, married local girls, raised families and lived happily in the area for many years after the war.
Prisoners held at Weston were typical ‘white’ prisoners unlike many, after capture and interrogation they were deemed not politically motivated. Just regular young men unfortunate to be caught up in the politics of war. The prisoners in this camp after gaining the trust of the guards were able to engage in local community events and in some instances wander free in and out of the camps outside of their working hours.
Its amazing to see that the Nissen huts remain there today over 70 years later, even if they are a bit run-down now. Since the war the huts have been used for the farms storage and to shelter livestock, so they do look a but tired. Within the huts there is no longer any furniture, fixtures or fittings linking the camp to the period of the second world war, these were disposed of by the farmer may years after the war. A couple of the huts were dismantled restored to their former glory and re-located in museums.
What fascinates me about the area is what could be lying just a few inches below the surface of the ground in the fields in and around the camp. Despite the state and conditions of the buildings potentially there are lots of personal items belonging to the POW’s that could tell us a lot more about the prisoners who were stationed and worked in and around the local area.
Mark Tyrrell’s ‘Embracing The Enemy’ is a really good resource for anyone interested in some further reading about the camp and the personalities who were based there. I really enjoyed reading the book it was a fascinating insight to local history during and after the second world war, however its really difficult to get hold of a copy now!