The commemorative plaque was mounted on one of the camp’s surviving buildings, and this afternoon one of Thure’s oldest inhabitants did the unveiling. He well remembers when the central buildings of this former dairy were used to house Allied prisoners of war.
The initiative for the plaques was led by the Association for the Development of Tur (‘NASZ TUR’), in cooperation with the Polish-American Foundation for the Commemoration of POW Camps in Szubin, the Szubin Mayor’s Office, the Szubin Museum, and Szubin Culture Centre. Funding came through Nakło Powiat, via the 2020 Arts and Culture Grant, established to protect heritage sites and fund cultural and artistic events.,
The generous families of former British POWs, Corporal Peter Lock aka E.S. Lock M.M. and Bombardier Edward James Bird provided photos for the informational plaques placed in the town centre. They are in Polish and English and outline the history of the camp and display photographs provided by the families.
THE HISTORY: In late 1940 the Germans turned the centre of Tur into a camp for non-commissioned officers and privates – Stalag XXI B/H Thure. More than 4,000 prisoners were incarcerated in Ture camp, its sub-camp in Szubin, and various working parties in the vicinity. Among the incarcerated were British, French, and Serbian prisoners of war.
In October 1941 the Germans transferred the POWs to the Stalag XXI-D network of camps in Poznań. They converted the now abandoned dairy into a small ball-bearing factory, as part of the German effort to disperse the war industry and protect it from the Allied bombing offensive.
LEARN MORE: In 2020 the Polish-American Foundation for the Commemoration of POW Camps in Szubin published a book „Stalag XXI B/H Thure: Prisoners of War in Tur during WWII”, written by Jan Daniluk and Mariusz Winiecki. The bilingual, Polish-English monograph outlines the history of this little-known Stalag. It includes several contemporaneous photographs from the wartime diary of Private John Dale Chew. His informative diary and photos are preserved at the Central Prisoner of War Museum in Łambinowice-Opole, Poland. The book is available at eBay: https://ebay.us/mFAgnU.
Photo: Jan Szkudliński