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Wednesday 17th July 2024  

Letter from a Quorn Prisoner of War, 1st December 1947

Early in 1943, the Quorn House stable block and several acres of park land were requisitioned from the Farnham family by the War Office for use as an Army Camp. Construction work was started immediately. Arrival of the US 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment in February 1944 meant only the technical area of the camp had been completed, so the troops had to be billeted in tents. The Americans handed Quorn Camp back to the War Office in December 1944 when construction of the camp accommodation huts was completed and German POWs supervised by Royal Pioneer Corps soldiers, arrived. Following the surrender in 1945. POWs considered to be benign were given the opportunity to work outside the camp under supervision and from early 1947 the guards were removed, and restrictions reduced, allowing prisoners to lodge at their place of work.

Below is the transcript of a letter sent by German prisoner Heinz - Otto Georg to Mr and Mrs Preston, owners of the Quorn Guest House, 17, High Street, where he worked. The letter is written from a Repatriation Camp in Northumberland to thank them for their hospitality while he was in Quorn.

Lt. Heinz-Otto Georg
Featherstone Park Camp 18, Hathwhistle , Northumberland

Featherstone Park 1st Dez 1947

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Preston,
I must apologise for not writing earlier as I promised to you when leaving Quorn. I am sorry about that, but writing with only 5 letters allowed in a month is quite a desperate struggle against the wishes and demands of all my relatives and acquaintances. But this is not even the main reason of my being guilty. It is my repatriation which took up too much of my letters. I am no longer a spectator of the events in Germany and it is most urgent to me to evade as many difficulties as possible, which I surely can do by my letters.

May I ask you how you are feeling? I should like to thank you again for your hospitality you offered me when I was in your house. I am sorry that we could not longer stay at Quorn. The time we had spent there was really the nicest one of all our years which we had to be in England. Thanks to the kindness of the people of Quorn, that period is the only one we don’t want to forget after being at home again. Except our personal relaxations we learned much about your way of life and many of your customs. I hope that the connections with the English will contribute to a better understanding our two nations.

We are now living in Northumberland near the Scottish border. The countryside is very beautiful, though its beauty is quite another one than that of Leicestershire. It is not so ‘civilised’ here and not so companionable. There are only a few people living in this region. Sometimes a bus takes us to Newcastle on Tyne for a day. It is the only common monotony of our camp life. This life will now come to an end for me. I shall leave this country on December 16, so that I may be at home just at Christmas. That is a good end, or a good beginning, respectively! - Please excuse me making faults, which I surely done. It is my personal future! With my best wishes to you.

Your’s sincerely,
Heinz - Otto Georg

 Submitted on: 2024-06-16
 Submitted by: Christina Longden and Dennis Marchant
 Artefact ID: 2588
 Artefact URL: www.quornmuseum.com/display.php?id=2588

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