Five of the best websites

This guide was last updated in 2009

Prison Memories

Films, documentaries and books have told and retold the stories of famous prisoners and break-outs of the Second World War, and yet relatively little is written about PoWs of earlier conflicts. A series of transcribed interviews in the National Archives’ ‘Your Archives’ sub site, presents a bleak, unromantic view of prison life during the First World War. From the home page above, click ‘Browse categories’ on the left-hand menu. Increase the number of results shown on the page by clicking the number 250, then scroll down to ‘Prisoners of War’. You will be presented with a list of articles and submitted databases relating to PoWs from a number of conflicts. 

Stalag VIIIB

One of the biggest camps of the Second World War was Stalag VIIIB (later renumbered 344) at Lamsdorf in Poland. Up to 48,000 prisoners were held there – equivalent to a town the size of Lancaster! This well designed, regularly updated and rapidly growing website has much information about the camp, useful further research links, a booklist and an excellent forum for finding information about relatives.

Behind the Wire

This is a varied collection of stories, photos, art and information on Stalag Luft I, a camp which stood on a strip of land jutting into the Baltic Sea about 105 miles north of Berlin and held 8,939 Allied Airmen during the Second World War. What started out as a simple tribute site to one American airman has become a valuable mine of information, with photographs, stories, letters home, plus data about the German guards and officers, and the men who liberated the camp at the end of the war.

Roll Call

This website is a hub of information relating to Stalag XVIIIA, a camp located at Wolfsberg, Austria. The design is not particularly attractive, but you’ll soon realise that the site’s primary focus is the growing Roll Call, where webmaster Ian Brown is attempting to compile every PoW who passed through Stalag XVIIIA. His interest stems from his father, Sergeant George Brown of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, who was imprisoned there from 1941.

Far East

COFEPOW is a registered charity dedicated to perpetuating the memory of the Far East Prisoners of War (FEPOWs). It also maintains the free searchable COFEPOW database, including approximately 55,500 names of British POWs, taken from army, navy and air force records. There are plans to add merchant navy and civilian prisoners in the future, and volunteers are currently uploading 30,000 Liberation Questionnaires, completed by returning FEPOWs and stored at the National Archives.

PoW ancestors online
previous Step
More great websites
next Step
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here