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HARPERLEY WORKING CAMP

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  PRISONER OF WAR CAMP 93
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A Second World War prisoner of war camp at Craigside, officially known as Working Camp 93. Laid out on requisitioned farmland, the camp was designed to house low security risk POWs. At first a few tents were put up on the eight acre site but when the first Italian prisoners captured in North Africa arrived they helped to erect a purpose built camp. This was established by January 1943 and consisted of around 50-55 buildings (many prefabricated). In September 1944, most of the Italians had dispersed to hostels and farms to make way for 716 German prisoners identified as low risk. German POWs were gradually repatriated from late 1946 but eight were granted civilian status in Britain by August 1947 with 34 waiting to be considered. The camp was then briefly used to house Polish refugees and as a police hostel. After the camp was returned to private ownership it was used for agricultural purposes; storage, poultry sheds and recently as a market garden. The camp retains 49 buildings as they stood in June 1946. There are 47 Ministry of War Supply Standard Huts and two smaller buildings, all retaining their roofs and most of their windows and doors. The camp was laid out either side of a concrete access road that runs south from the main road. A gridwork of concrete paths extends from this road and covers the camp. The outer fence appears to have been only chest high and the building located furthest down the hill may have been used as a chapel. The prisoner of war camp is visible on air photographs.

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