Author Topic: 16th battalion pow camps  (Read 2712 times)


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16th battalion pow camps
« on: January 23, 2020, 10:14:16 AM »
hello im trying to trace the pow camp my grandad Herbert butcher,manchester regiment,caught at Manchester hill ended up at,we were told he went to cassel then to Hameln (now Hamlin)he was sent to work in a salt mine and we are also trying to find out where that was ,we never met him as he died at age 39,we know he was repatriated with only 20% vision left and with a bad chest,we asumme from the salt working,hisnumber was 4467 16 manchesters A,captured at st quentin ,if any one can help myself and my 2 sisters would be most grateful.

Offline charlie

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Re: 16th battalion pow camps
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2020, 01:11:24 PM »
Hello Carol and welcome to the forum, I‘m glad you took Tim‘s advice and have come to join us.

Your thread on the GWF is a bit confusing as it seems to be based a lot on family lore. Please do not take offence as family lore can be very misleading and I‘m sure most of us on here have been mislead by it at one time or another.

All that is documented about his time as a PoW is that he was captured at Manchester Hill while serving with A Company of the 16th Battalion, after which he was sent to Cassel, now Kassel, and thereafter transferred to the PoW camp at Hameln. It was normal for PoWs to be collected at holding camps just behind the front before being sent to Germany. It is more than likely he was first held near St Quentin before being sent to Germany.

There is no reason to dispute that he was sent to work in a salt mine. This was very unlikely to have been near Metz as the area round Metz is or was a very important coal mining area. On the other hand Hameln is in the middle of a salt rich area (see the attached map). I think it is impossible to say which mine he was at, the map only shows towns where salt mining was carried out not how many mines there were.

Just to clear up a couple of points from your GWF thread.
In 1918 Metz and Strassbourg were German, the provinces of Alsace/ Elsass and Lorraine/Lothringen had been taken from the French in the war of 1870-71, they reverted back to France after the end of the Great War.

The PoW camps in Metz and Strassbourg, which are two separate towns about 150 miles apart, were administered by the German XVI Army Corps. That the Battalion and Army Corps are both numbered 16 is purely coincidental.

I hope this has cleared things up a bit.


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Re: 16th battalion pow camps
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2020, 02:21:30 PM »
Thank you very much for your help,it has cleared things up a lot  :)

Offline mack

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Re: 16th battalion pow camps
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2020, 06:05:50 PM »
hiya carol
don't know if you have this info

34648 Herbert butcher
farm labourer
sand pitts,station rd,lakenheath
enlisted 8th royal fusiliers on 26-2-16,age 20
transferred to the 19th manchesters 1-11-16
in February 1918 the 19th manchesters were broken up and most of the officers and men were posted to the 16th and 17th manchesters,herbert joined 16th manchesters,
captured Manchester hill on 21st march 1918
repatriated home 5-1-1919
married clara 1923
died 1935,age 39

herberts company commander was captain Edward,neville ashe,they were in trenches on the right side of Manchester hill,word had reached colonel elstob saying that was surrounded,captain ashe was killed by a grenade and Herbert and his comrades were quickly overrun

« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 07:40:38 PM by mack »