University of Oxford
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POW photos from Stalag XX-A in Toruń, Poland

online resource
posted on 2024-06-05, 20:07 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

The contributors discussed the experiences of their father, Joseph Stanley Walker, who was imprisoned in a POW camp. The contributors come from a military family, and their father was a sergeant. He left school to work with a touring regiment. When their father was a POW, the Germans asked for skills in "horticulture or agriculture." He was sent to Poland for the remainder of the Second World War, where he was helped to survive and offered butter for food. There are photos of their father working farmland, which the Germans abandoned as the Russians advanced.

The contributors noted that their father experienced both poor and good treatment as a POW, and there were many bombing raids by the Allies. His service number was 5570435, and he was captured on 24 May 1940 at Vimy, France, and sent to Toruń, Poland. His POW number was 10171, and he cooperated well as a prisoner. The contributors highlighted that one could only truly appreciate the experience of being a POW if they were there, and their father resented not receiving help.

The contributors emphasized the need for memorials for those who died, recognizing a new kind of holocaust was happening. They also mentioned that Catholic servicemen were not on equal footing and felt shamed at a Remembrance ceremony.


Item list and details

1. Photographs from signing up for the 2nd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment, Palestine Squad 2. Prisoner of War Camp Stalag XX-A, Toruń 3. Prisoner of War Camp farm photos in Poland 4. Cinderella production at the Prisoner of War Camp

Person the story/items relate to

Joseph Stanley Walker

Person who shared the story/items


Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

Joseph Stanley Walker was the contributor's father.

Type of submission

Shared at The Linen Hall, Belfast on 17 June 2023.

Record ID

104375 | BEL012