Prisoners of War

Mary Pettit was about 8 years old at Dunsbury Farm in the war and remembers watching as: the German prisoners of war who worked at the farm cooked their main meals in a huge container in one of the barns. I remember having a plateful of stew with them once.

Both the Hookey family at Downton Farm in Brook (see Downton Farm in Farms and Farming) and the Jackmans at Pitt Place, Mottistone, had a German prisoner of war who was a great help on the farm and who became part of the family. While it is perhaps surprising that both men were still working in Brook and Mottistone in 1946, the extract below, taken from a Parliamentary debate in 1947, sheds some light on the thinking at the time:

...the future employment of German prisoners of war in this country was that arrangements were being worked out whereby prisoners of war could be retained in agriculture as civilians, provided the farmers employing them could accommodate them and that their remaining here was not detrimental to British workers. Hansard, April 1947.