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Photo identification of man in POW camp

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Photo identification of man in POW camp

Postby TheViking » Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:51 pm

Hi all I was sent this photo by a man who saw a post on a facebook group and he reckons this is my uncle Stanley Conway in a group photo from stalag xxb from what I already know he was in stalag xxA not B but I do say it is the double of him, the photo on the left is from a local news paper cutting. have I missed a camp he was in maybe and it just wasn't recorded ?
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Re: Photo identification of man in POW camp

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:18 pm

TheViking wrote:... Have I missed a camp he was in maybe and it just wasn't recorded ?

Based on maps from Wikipedia, Stalag XX-A and XX-B (that's 20-A, Thorn Podgorz, and 20-B, Marienburg, if other readers didn't realise) were reasonably close, but the problem I have with trying to answer your question is that I've no idea where you got your info from about where he was a PoW. Speaking generally, with any source, you need to do boring stuff like trying to understand where it came from, why it was created in the first place, what its scope is and what the problems are likely to be.

I've only ever dealt with one WW2 PoW and I used the FindMyPast Prisoners Of War 1715-1945 collection for him. That uses printed books but each book is just a snapshot at a specific date and there's no attempt to provide a full list of moves. The TNA Catalogue dates their German PoW books as September 1944 and April 1945. Were there others? No idea. Could people make moves moves between September 1944 and April 1945 to / from camps not listed - certainly, because we're only seeing the start and end positions. Could data be lost and not recorded? Of course - German bureaucracy would not aim to update UK bureaucracy with every detail - I imagine that there are rules about what has to be recorded and sent via who (the Red Cross????) but things seldom run 100% smooth and 100% accurate in peacetime, never mind war-time.

If your source gives from-to details about moves, e.g. ("From Stalag 99A to Stalag 99D on dd/mm/yyyy") then you can obviously see whether the chain is complete - more likely any move data just says something like "Arrived Stalag 99D on dd/mm/yyyy" so you can't do that consistency check. But at least, it might look like the aim is to record moves. If (like the FMP books) they are just dated snapshots then there's every chance that interim moves are invisible.

So that's all very high level to help you think, because that's about all I can do. I didn't by the way, see any Stanley Conway in the FMP collection I mention.
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