Site of PoW labour camp, Nefyn

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Site of PoW labour camp, Nefyn

The housing at Glan Pwll stands on the site of a labour camp where prisoners of war were held in the 1940s. The only house in the vicinity at the time was Ty’n y Pwll.

Towards the end of the Second World War, many Italian and German prisoners were sent to rural areas to work on farms. The camp at Nefyn housed German prisoners. About 40 Germans moved to Anglesey in March 1948, having spent the last two years in Nefyn. Many had made friends in the area, and some chose to settle in Wales. One former prisoner, Siegfried Nierada, founded the garage across the road from the site of the camp.

Some of the German prisoners attended Welsh classes and were eventually able to converse in Welsh. On local farms, Welsh was the first language, and sometimes the only one.

At a farewell meeting for the prisoners in Nefyn’s Capel Soar in 1948, the German prisoners’ commanding officer, Dr Schmidt, read a statement in in Welsh. He could speak and sing in Welsh. He said the way the local residents had opened up their homes to the prisoners would “bear fruit in a better understanding between our countries”.

Guto Williams recalled in 2021 recalled that men from the camp came in a lorry to his parents’ farm, Hirdre Fawr, to lift potatoes each year. They would sleep in the stable loft and eat in the farmhouse like members of the family. They washed their own clothes on Sundays and hung them on the farm’s washing line. His father said the Germans worked harder than an Italian prisoner who also came to the farm, possibly from the camp for Italian PoWs in nearby Sarn.

One of the Germans who had worked at the farm, named Karl, stayed in the area and married Jean, a local woman. Another returned to Germany and sent the family a card and letter - which Siegfried Nierada would translate – every Christmas for the rest of his life.

With thanks to Guto Williams

Postcode: LL53 6EG    View Location Map