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ISLAND FARM CAMP, BRIDGEND

Manylion y Safle

© Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 31802

Cyfeirnod Map SS87NE

Cyfeirnod Grid SS899784

Awdurdod Lleol Pen-y-bont

Hen Sir Morgannwg

Cymuned Merthyr Mawr

Math o Safle GWERSYLL Y CARCHARORION RHYFEL

Dosbarth Cyffredinol AMDDIFFYN

Cyfnod 20fed Ganrif, Modern

Disgrifiad o´r Safle Modern aerial photographs still show the trackways which linked the various elements of the camp. Differential growth in the scrub and grass indicate the outlines of the buildings. One of the huts, Hut 9, has been listed and is still extant (see NPRN 31803). A path leading to a gap in the southernmost boundary of the camp opens onto the field that was once used by the US Army as a grass airstrip (NGR centre of field SS90007815).

Event and Historical Information:
The camp comprised a large area of prefacribated concrete huts arranged around catering, ablution and entertainment buildings in red brick. It also included a parade ground and football pitch. The camp was built for female workers at the nearby Royal Ordnance Factory in 1938, but was underused. It was empty until the arrival of the US Army (12th Field Artillery Battalion) who brought with them two Piper Cub L4 reconnaisance planes. The US Army moved on in support of the D-Day offensive in 1944 and the camp was then utilised for Prisoners of War (Camp 198). Lax security was blamed for the escape of 66 men through two tunnels over the night of 10-11 march 1945 (the tunnels began in Hut 9). The men were subsequently recaptured and dispersed to other facilities. By the end of the month, the remaining lower rank prisoners of war had also been dispersed and the camp became No.11 (Special) Camp to house high ranking officers. One hundred and twenty-seven such officers were transferred here and included four Field Marshals. The camp had become redundant by May 1948. It remained extant for several decades afterwards until final being demolished.

Sources include:
Jones, I, 2007, Airfields and Landing Grounds of Wales: South, pg150-3
NAW aerial photographs 2006-9

RCAHMW, November 2011.

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