Sheffield’s Lodge Moor POW camp was the next target location for a walk around and some ITC investigation. Red Ridge X has a team have been to this location in the past for some photos and to check it out after discovering the location when doing some local history research, after talking to people about this POW site we soon realised it’s pretty much an unknown site to many people. We then decided to organise an outing with Project Reveal as part of the Equinox 15 project to show them this location and to carry out an ITC.
Lodge Moor POW Camp.
In a beautiful part of Sheffield where the countryside boasts all its beauty you can often miss the remains of the past but these pockets of history are there and Lodge Moor POW Camp or Redmires POW Camp as some call it is no exception. After discovering its existence we decided to check out if there was anything left of the camp, hoping not to turn up and find an housing estate or a ploughed field. Luckily after driving past a stone wall that looked fitting for its old application we parked up at the side of some woods and here is the lucky part it was also next to a pub. It became obvious that the stone wall was used to keep the prisoners in the camp as it followed the tree line of the woods indicating the woodland is the old camp site. We entered the woodlands and within a few seconds we spotted signs of the camps old existence, concrete foundations lined up next to each other, foundations that once supported buildings that sat on them and altogether holding hundreds of prisoners.
A Bit Of History.
Lodge Moor POW Camp may sit in a glorious location but when in operation it held some rather sinister characters. This camp held prisoners from WW1 and 2 one of these prisoners was Admiral Karl Doenitz the head of the German Navy and the guy to lead the Nazi party after the departure of Hitler. There isn’t too much information on the site with regards to world war one but the site was definitely increased in operation towards the end of world war two and I believe this was to cope with the massive numbers of prisoners of war arriving into the country. In Britain some estimate the number of prisoners of war to be around one million, as they arrived most were placed on trains and sent to camps so they could be organised and dealt with accordingly. Lodge Moor POW camp was a transit camp or holding prison, the prisoners would arrive at the camp and would be interrogated to help categories the prisoners into 3 groups. After interrogation if you were deemed to have a strong belief in national socialism you would end up in the black group, if you were deemed a non believer you would end up in the white group and if you were somewhere in the middle there was a grey group.
It was known for the black group to try and escape the POW camp and some say that you can still find the tunnels that were dug in these attempts. The black POW`s at one point were lead by a man called Feldwebel Schmittendorf and Corporal Armin Kuehne and these prisoners where well known for their strong national socialist beliefs, we have also found they maybe connected to a murder at the camp. Conditions for the prisoners did deteriorate over time as the camp filled up and even though they were fed well and offered education and kept out of the way of their own countries bombings (the reason we could not make them work in factories) as space run out some prisoners had to sleep in tents and during the rain some had to sleep in the mud. These conditions fueled some of the escape attempts.
Coming up will be a link to our visit of this location.
When looking at the history of the location as a prisoner of war camp there is only a few sources that say it was in operation during world war 1 and some say it was set up during the end of world war 2 if you have any information on this please leave us a comment.