Welcome to Island Farm
Special Camp 11
With the end of the war in May 1945, the massive
job of repatriation began. The German P.O.W.'s who had been held in
the UK, and around the world were assessed as to their national
socialist and Nazi beliefs. Where they still a threat ? Would they
return to the fatherland to rebel against the occupying forces ?
Each soldier was given a set of questions, their answers would
determine the speed in which they would return home, or whether they
would have to be "de-nazified" by teams of psychologists.
As this task was being carried out, Island Farm was destined to serve another truly unique purpose.
The top Nazi hierarchy would face a trial, the like of which had never been seen before. They , along with other political and military leaders from Hitler's third Reich would spend months being questioned in Nuremburg, the home of the Nazis torch lit parades, one of the seats of true Nazism.
The military leaders from the third Reich would come to Bridgend whilst awaiting trail. Island farm was re-opened in November 1945, and re-designated Special Camp 11.
Leaders such as Gerd von Rundstedt, Ewald von kliest, Blomberg and Nazi rocket scientest Dornberger would be coming to this small cattle town in South Wales.
|Below is a very rare photograph showing the main entrance of Island Farm Special Camp 11. The 2 buildings directly in the middle were the guardhouse, made of wooden construction, which were of a later construction than the concrete nuts of the main Camp.. Source picture is very poor.|
|The Field Marshals arriving at Bridgend Railway Station, GFM Gerd von Rundstedt in the lead with his stick nearest the camera. (January 1946)|
|GFM Gerd von Rundstedt (Picture courtesy of Paul von Rundstedt)|
|Batmen for the senior officers, taken in 1946|
|This Colonel on detachment was photographed in the above picture, second from the right.|
|Thanks to Phil Davies for these pictures.|
The locals of Bridgend were curious of their new guests, and seeing as they posed no threat to the locals, after all the war as over, they were beaten, it was not unusual to see these generals and field marshals in Bridgend, out for a stroll, buying a sandwich, or feeding the ducks n the river.