The Gringley & Beckingham Blitz and P.O.W. System

On 18th October 2017 the History Club and guests were entertained in the Community Centre by a detailed presentation by Kevin Murphy on the above subject.

An audience of about 70 people were taken through the events of May 1941 when bombs fellow on both Green Farm and Homestead Farm. During the same few days the German crew of a Heinkel, which went on to crash at Scrooby Top, baled out and were captured, with the exception of the navigator Emil Kölmel whose parachute failed to open. He dropped into North Carr farm and his body was taken to a Gringley pub until it could be interred in the Cemetery. His remains were subsequently transferred to the German War cementery near Cannock Chase. 

Kevin, dressed appropriately in Italian P.O.W. uniform, described the P.O.W. system in some detail, and pointed out where the main detention centres had been in the Retford Area. In general terms the Italian prisoners were given a degree of freedom as they helped on the local farms, but some the Germans had to be guarded a bit more carefully to prevent their escape. There were also many Ukrainians and other nationalities. Kevin particularly focused on three former P.O.Ws. one of each nationality, who had settled in Retford and whom he had first interviewed in 1989. 

Blitz POW Talk Murphy Oct 2017 - 1