Prisoners of War in Bedfordshire, by Stephen Risby

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Prisoners of War in Bedfordshire, by Stephen Risby

Prisoners of War in Bedfordshire, by Stephen Risby

Published by Amberley in 2011, 128 pages. Paperback (N5122P1)

From the rear side cover: Prisoners of War in Bedfordshire is a blend of local military and social history, placed in a national context. In it, Stephen Risby seeks to answer important questions such as why were Prisoners of War brought to Bedfordshire during the darkest days of the Second World War? How did most of them come to be trusted and allowed to roam unguarded? What was their lifestyle really like?

The circumstances surrounding the building of a Prisoner of War Camp at Ducks Cross in north Bedfordshire goes some way to explaining these questions, providing insight in the British public’s changing view of ‘the enemy’. Despite today’s rosy recollections these relationships were not always easy. The murder of Private Hands by an escaping Italian and its aftermath resulted in the only known incident of armed combat between an enemy soldier and the Home Guard.

This book will interest both residents of Bedfordshire, and those seeking a broader knowledge of the lives and deaths of Italian and German prisoners in the United Kingdom.
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