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Ganger Camp Woodley, Romsey


Click for Luzborough Camp

POWs at Ganger Camp

Romsey Advertiser  Ganger Camp Reports 1948 & 1950

Ganger Camp Photos

Ganger Camp stood where Woodley Close stands

One of the remaining huts Small water tower Tony Levy on his bike

Hut 45 Ganger Camp

Margaret Gwilt outside 45 Ganger Camp

 

Concrete dwellings at Ganger Camp Woodley Romsey

Concrete dwellings at Ganger Camp (Now 23 to 29 Woodley Close)

 

Sylvia, Bill and Carol Andrews

 

 

Sylvia, Gwen, Carol and Bill Andrews

 

Margaret Andrews 21st birthday party at Woodley Village  Hall 1956

 

Peter Abernethy ??

 

Eileen Connell & daughter Annette at Ganger Camp

Eileen Connell & daughter Annette at Ganger Camp Woodley 1950's

Sadly passed away in Australia in 1990

Eileen was the daughter of Jess and Gwen White from Braishfield

 and sister to Sonner White

 

Flo Luffman, Leslie Luffman and daisy Pink

  

Win and Leslie Luffman

  

Wedding party at Ganger Camp

Nora Jolliffe, Mr Jolliffe, John Burnett, Win Burnett and Mrs Rawberry

  

Entrance to Ganger Camp, Braishfield Rd. 1957

Entrance to Ganger Camp, Braishfield Rd. 1957  (Now Woodley Close entrance)

 

L/R:- Eileen Way, ??, Eli Way, John Way and Mrs Way. (Names not confirmed)

 

Eli Way and John Way

 

Eli Way, Mrs Way and John Way

 

John Way and Eli Way

 

Top end of second row at Ganger Camp Woodley Romsey

Top end of second row at Ganger Camp Woodley Romsey

 

Valda Reeves at Ganger camp, Woodley Romsey

Valda Reeves in the "Front Row" of Ganger camp, Woodley Romsey

Kay Reeves left with Mrs Woods in background.

 

Valda Reeves and Gwen Levy

 

The Reeves family outside No. 42 Ganger Camp

 

Some Young Ladies At Ganger Camp, Woodley Romsey

Some Young Ladies At Ganger Camp, Woodley Romsey

Jenny Woods, Janice Gerrard, Beryl Woods, Jackie Woods, Susan Murphy and Sylvia Andrews

 

The Scivier family with John Osman at Ganger Camp, Woodley Romsey

Mrs Scivier (centre) with John Osman (Right) at Ganger Camp, Woodley Romsey

 

Huts at Ganger Camp, Woodley Romsey in 1953

"Front Row" huts at Ganger Camp, Woodley Romsey in 1958

Number 43 on right

 

Len Levy Mike Sellick Bridget Dittrich Don Dittrich Horatio Nichols Carol Levy Kath Levy Geoff Milsom Joe Dittrich Chris Levy Gwen Levy Kids at Ganger Camp Woodley Romsey on Coronation Day 1953

Kids at Ganger Camp Woodley Romsey on Coronation Day 1953

Photo taken by a Mr Barr

 

Standing L/R:- ? Dittrich, Mike Sellick, Don Dittrich, Horatio Nichols, Kath Levy, Carol Levy, Andrew Dittrich, Joe Dittrich and Chris Levy

Seated L/R:- Len Levy and Gwen Levy

 

United States Air Force drop by..

On Friday July 19th 1957 one of the largest helicopters in the world, a Vertol H21 from the United States Air Force, made a force landing in a field next to Ganger Camp (Woodley Close).

It spent nearly 21 hours grounded. The red and silver 22-seater twin rotor machine, came from Braintree in Essex. It had left its base with a crew of four to fly to Exeter. It refueled at Greenham Common, and took a different course to avoid bad weather. Visibility then got so poor that it made an emergency landing in Woodley, Romsey. No one got hurt. A nice gesture by the Americans was to let dozens of local children go on board to have a look around.

 

If you have any memories or photo's of Ganger or Luzborough Camp

 you'd like to share and put on this page please send to

Water Tower at entrance to Ganger Camp Woodley, by Braishfield RoadGanger Camp Memories

The first memories I have of the Woodley area were the huts of Ganger Camp, an ex P.O.W (site No 41) which was used as temporary housing by the local Romsey & Stockbridge Council. The Council converted the huts into living accommodation, building internal walls creating 3 bedrooms, kitchen diner and living room plus W.C.  Electric lighting was installed in each room. Only room absent was a bathroom. It is believed the first family  to have moved in was Mr & Mrs Gwilt followed by the Levy family. I moved into one of the huts in October 1948. Some of the huts were made of concrete panels and some with felt exteriors.

When I first lived in Ganger Camp (Dec 1948) there were still some ex P.O.W's living in some of the huts. They were mainly Italian and Polish. There was still a guard house on the site and a massive water tower at the entrance next to Braishfield Rd. The water tower was very often climbed by the children that lived their. In 1958 the Council started building proper brick house’s on the site, these gradually replaced all the huts and became Woodley Close. In one of the photos above the top half of Ganger Camp had been demolished. The black huts can be seen in the distance along side a smaller water tower. In the middle 60,s the Great Woodley estate was starting to be built with prices starting from £2,999. A shopping precinct was also built at Warren Gardens.

Hundreds of families lived at Ganger Camp.
Some of the names were as follows

Mr & Mrs Allen:- Ann          Bill & Leita Abernethy:- Leita,

Mrs Andrews:- No. 76, Margaret, Winifred, Sylvia, Mina, Gwen, Bill and Carol,

Mr & Mrs Baby:-,            Mr & Mrs Barr:-,           Mr & Mrs Brown,

John & Win Burnett:- No. 23, Linda, Rosemary,         Cecil & Queen Callen: Pat, Dee, (later at Hunters Inn)

Mr & Mrs Chappell:- No 50,Linda, Derek, Trish, Ernie, Brenda, Peter, Terry, Maureen,

Mr & Mrs Dewar:- Valerie,        Geoff & Eileen Connell:- Annette, Linda, (Emigrated to Australia)

Mr & Mrs Cox:- Brian, Marion, Marina,

Mr & Mrs Dittrich:- No 46 & 52, Victor James (Mick), Bernard, Muriel, Joe, Andrew, Don, Debora, Bridget, Katherine,

Mr & Mrs Edwards:-,           Mr & Mrs Head:- Christopher, Garry,

Mrs P & Mr S Gerrard:- Brian, Jan, Anne Ashley, Jenny and Sally,

Harry & Joyce Gerrard:- Tony, Carol, Joan, Ron,

Norman & Sylvia Goodland:- Adrian, Robin, Bryony,           Les & Mrs Gwilt:- No 43, Margaret,

Mr & Mrs Jolliff:- Terry,           John and Emily Jones (No 62) 1957- Teddy, David, Martin and Molly,

Mr & Mrs Jones:- Tony,            Mr & Mrs Keel:-,             Mr & Mrs Legg:- Victor, Zedric,

Albert & Gladys Levy:- No 44, Brian, Jean, Carol, Len, Tony, Chris, Kath, Gwen,

Mr & Mrs Luffman:- Win, Leslie,              Derek & Lilian Maskell:- No. 81, Carol. Diane and Linda,

Joe & Mrs Middleton:- Geoff, Mike, Hazel, Maureen,           Mr & Mrs Miffin,

Les & Barbara Milsom:- David, Geoff, Alan, Gordon, Pat, Chris, Derek, Richard, Steven, Julie,

Mr & Mrs Murphy:- Chris, Susan,

Fred & Mrs Nichols:- Edgar, Horatio, Peggy, Christine, Charles (Bubbles), Susan,

Mr & Mrs Nut:- Colin, Iris,         Mr & Mrs Orham:-,             Mr & Mrs Osey No 42,

Nell Osman:- No 5 & No 43, John, Brian, Celia,             Mrs Ruby & Mr Peter Payn: Richard,

Sam & Stella Porter:- Sam, Frank, Jean, Pauline, Angela, Rosemary,

Doug & Kay Reeves:- No 42, Stuart, Denise, Angela, Antony, Valda,

Mr & Mrs (Olive) Rogers:-  Derrick, Pam, Jimmy, Linda. Jenny,            Mr & Mrs Scivier:- Terry, Shirley,

Mr & Mrs Sellick:- Mike, Rosina, Angela,           Dennis & Mrs Smith:- Brian,

Mr & Mrs (Joan) Snowden:- No 72,           Mr & Mrs Starke:- Colin, Carol,

Bill & Pam Thornton:- Peter, Colin,       Sid & Mrs Tubb:- Peter,           Eli & Mrs Way:- Eileen, John,

Charlie & Violet Woods:- No 41, John, Charlie, Rosemary, Beryl, Garry, Steven, Geoff, Jackie,

Wally & Dorothy Wassell:- Barry,      Mrs. J K. Webb  No. 79

Romsey Advertiser Report 1948

 

Ganger Camp For Housing  

 

31 Huts to be Taken Over by Rural District Council

 

ACCOMMODATION FOR 54 FAMILIES

 

Romsey and Stockbridge Rural District Council are to take over a portion of the former German prisoner-of-war camp at Ganger Farm for the provision of temporary housing accommodation. This was made known at the meeting of the Council on Monday when it was reported that. a meeting of the Finance and General Purposes committee had been held just prior to the Council meeting to discuss the matter.  

 

The suggestion had come from the Principal Housing Officer of the Ministry of Health who stated that part of the camp had now become redundant to service needs and was available for transfer to other Government departments. The Building Surveyor reported that there were 31 huts in very good condition which could he adopted to provide 56 units of accommodation and that there was a main water supply, electric lighting and a sewage disposal plant on the site. A Sub-Committee, comprising Messrs. C B Scott, J R Bright, E E Hoddinott, R H Diment  and  W Wilcox and Captain J Hayter, were appointed to inspect the camp together with the Building Surveyor and Sanitary Inspector and the District Estate Surveyor. They thoroughly recommended the adaptation of the huts for housing purposes and the Building Surveyor was instructed to prepare a plan and specification for submission to the Ministry of Health for approval. “These huts are not available yet." said Mr Hale reporting to the Council. “They have to be adapted and we don't want to he inundated with applications before we are ready to receive them."

 

Romsey Advertiser Report 1950

 

Are Ganger Camp Folk Social Outcasts?

 

GANGER TENANTS' VIEWS

 

You can go into a shop in Romsey and order something costing a few pounds, said a housewife at Ganger Camp, 'and they will be all smiles, asking where to send it. When you tell them Ganger Camp- you can see their attitude change at once, as they think 'Will they pay?' It's very embarrassing for all of us I'm not the only one to notice it."

 

This was the view of several camp residents, who would like to see the name of the ex P.O.W. camp changed, now that it has become a housing estate a view expressed during an "Advertiser" visit on Tuesday, following R.D.C. action recently in this and other camps. It was good to find, when asking tenants what they thought of the camp, that, on the whole, they were quite well pleased with it, the main objection being the lack of privacy. Other complaints were of the small amount of space between the huts although most agreed that they had adequate space when actually in them and the lack of somewhere safe for the children to play.  

Several people, however; were quite well satisfied as it was, one of them being Mr. J. Burnett, who said that as far as he was concerned the camp was all right and there was plenty of room at No. 23 for the seven in his family. His sister, Mrs. Joliffe, did not altogether agree, as she did not like the lack of privacy. The walls of the huts, she said, were very thin, and people could not only hear every word spoken by the neighbours on each side, but everyone had to have the wireless on as low as it would go unless they wanted everyone else to have the same programme. Anyone could hold a conversation with these in the hut next door. As the windows of each hut were exactly opposite those in the next, one could see through three buildings when the lights were on.

 

Mrs. Joliffe, also thought that the huts should have something in the way of gardens, as the roadway ran directly past the doorstep, so that it was dangerous for anyone, especially children coming out of the door, whilst in the summer so much dust was raised by traffic going to the further part of the camp that all the windows had to be closed. She had been in the camp for a year and a half, how-ever, actually found that the hut itself was quite comfortable.

 

Nearby is hut No. 79, which was not at all comfortable, according to Mrs. J K. Webb. In the severe   storm recently water came into the building to make it about two or three inches deep in water on the floor, so that she was throwing it outside with a bucket, while her neighbour, Mrs. Young was in a worse plight Several huts had suffered in this way, although the majority were fairly watertight. Mrs. Webb remarked that a number of people brought new linoleum up with them on entering the camp, and, as the floors were concrete, had to put sacking underneath. The water came up through the floor and at the bottom of the walls, and the lino floated on top.  

 

SATISFIED  

 

A completely satisfied tenant was Mrs. Harman of No. 17, who said she had been in the place for. a year and that was long enough to know what it was like. She had plenty of room in the hut (families of different sizes are allotted varying numbers of rooms in the long huts, which are split generally into two or three units), liked her neighbours, and did not mind the noise of the children playing almost on her doorstep. Her living room was fitted up very nicely, and, contrary to some ideas about the huts, there were pictures on the walls. Her daughter in-law at No. 11 Mrs. I Harman, did not like the place at all and complained of the lack of privacy. The bedrooms were in a row, she said, so that at bed-time they could hear everyone talking. She suggested that if anything were to be done to make the huts permanent dwellings perhaps every alternate one could be knocked down and the rest kept on, and this would give much more space, which was what they needed. There were no leaks at No. 11 except for a small one in a bedroom. ..

 

REFINED  

 

Some tenants have reclaimed small patches of garden from the roadway between the huts.

 

Mrs. B A. Dittrich, of No. 52, with eight children besides herself and her husband, found the accommodation problem more difficult than most. Down at the far end of the camp, she complained of the smell of the sewage, when the wind blew towards them from it, and several other people agreed with this. Asked what she thought of the camp, she remarked tactfully that you "couldn’t exactly call it refined." It was gloomy all the time and, of course, there were no real gardens, as they paid only for the actual living accommodation and the electricity. She, too, wanted somewhere tor the children to play, as there was not much room between the huts for them, and the only places they could use were the fields behind the camp -- or the road — which was hardly fair to the younger ones.        

 

THE CHILDREN  

 

The problem of the children was a big one for almost every tenant. There are 70-odd huts occupied now. And soon the larger ones near the entrance will be used for permanent accommodation. Most people agreed that three children to each hut was a fair average, and although, of course, this is a rough figure. it looks as if there are About 200 children there now, of school age and under.

 

This as they pointed out is almost enough for a small village, at any rate a school and for all these children there is not even a patch of ground where they can play in safety. Several householders pointed out however, that no one can expect that much for 39/- or so that they pay a week. and they are really entitled only to the huts, as they do not in fact pay even pay the small piece of garden, which some of them have wanted from the runways.

 

I was shown the hut which it is proposed to use for a social centre, a rather discouraging dull green Nissan hut. There is no floor, not many windows, and only a door and a half. Tenants who wanted to rent one hut for use as a community centre met with courtesy and co-operation from the Rural District Council, but the Ministry would not allow the use of a hut which might house a family, although it was fur the benefit all those already there. This cuts both ways, as the tenants themselves pointed out, but the of main thing is the proposal that of they shall pay 3/6 a week and "take the hut as they find it”, according to  the only decision the R.D.C. could make.

 

Taking it as they find it means putting in floor before they can do anything else, and that means £15', even if they supply their own labour. Then there will still be no chairs, tables, curtains. or any other fittings.

 

The camp is divided between those who say they could do something to the but if they could raise some money, and those who point out that they cannot raise the money until they have the hut to hold some function and this seems to bring them to a dead end.  

 

SOCIAL LIFE NEEDED  

 

If money is forthcoming, they can do something to improve what is now a mere shell dumped on bare earth and there will then be, if their dreams come true, darts, dominoes and billiards for the men, socials and parties, a cosy chat for the ladies. Christmas parties and summer outings for the children,, and in short, some kind of social life for the few hundred people there.  

 

As one housewife said, it is bad enough in summer, but in winter the vista of nothing but one block but after another, with early dusk, and no pubs or clubs, gets on one's nerves.  

 

Not many women, I was told, go out to work, as apart from the fact that they are not so badly off as those in the more expensive Reema houses, there is nowhere for them to put there children during the day.

 

 Another complaint was that the huts are badly insulated so that it is very cold in winter and very hot in summer, while tenant after tenant repeated that the camp had been given a bad name in the days of prisoners-of-war and foreign agricultural workers, and that now ordinary people were forced to live there because of the housing shortage they were treated as pariahs.

 

This is Ganger Camp according to the residents who are, an far as can be seen, about the fairest and least biased of any group of Council tenants in the area. Ganger is in a sense the Cinderella of the housing estates, as tenancies are open for anyone from the rural district.

 

Therefore, although the site is in Romsey Extra, and the Councilors for that area look after them, they belong to none of the parishes in particular, and are nobody's baby. In the words of another of the camp housewives, in a case like that the responsibility attached to the camp should be “not mine, not thine, but ours.”

 

many thanks to Chas Burnett

 

Ganger Camp POW's During World War 2

Ex POW Mr  Guerino Pipitone (Pip)

Article From

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar

Contributed by Romsey Community School, Hampshire
People in story: Mr. Pipitone
Location of story: Africa/Glasgow/Romsey
Background to story: Army
Article ID: A2821907
Contributed on: 09 July 2004


On the 17th May 2004 Jordan and Ian interviewed a man called Mr. Pipitone aged 88

Mr. Pipotone is Italian but he lived in Tunisia for most of his younger life when he was old enough he joined the Italian army serving under Mussolini he was sent to Libya and Ethiopia in Africa. Towards the end of the war his regiment was sent to South Africa for a few months until the British Ghurkhas caught him. He got sent to a prisoner of war camp. He said "the conditions were alright for a POW". He then told us "when my captain surrendered on behalf of our regiment he shot himself in shame, I however was glad to be caught as the conditions in the camps were good and we were safe".
Even though he was Italian he hated Mussolini and he was very pleased when Mussolini got publicly hung at the end of the war.
After a few weeks in the camp Mr. Pipitone was asked if he wanted to go to another camp but they weren't told where they were heading for. The journey took over a month, when they eventually arrived n Glasgow, Scotland in 1945.
From there he was sent to another camp just outside Glasgow. Then finally he was sent to Woodley, Romsey. He was sent to work at Ganger farm. He wanted go back home to Tunisia but the French wouldn't let him. So he stayed in England and met a girl and they later got married in Lockerley. They had four children, two boys and two girls. A car unfortunately hit and killed their eldest, aged 45.
Rationing was not a problem for Mr. Pipitone and he remembers things on the radio about Dunkirk and the D-Day landings.
He has recently been to Italy to see his brother and catch up on old times and listen to Elvis music.
In the war Mr. Pipitone never got shot or wounded.

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author.


Mr Pipitone sadly died on January 26th 2006

 

Albert Charles John Wiedemann

Letter from Lewis Parvin

ljparvin@ymail.com

Albert CharlesJohn Wiedemann

Hello there,
Photo above is Albert Wedemann, my Great Grandfather. Born 06/06/1921 in Soltau, Lower Saxony, Germany. During the war he was a 'Motor Transport Driver'. He was imprisoned on Tuesday 08/05/1945 to an Internment Camp in Austria, for reasons unknown to me. Then he was transferred on Friday 01/06/1945 to Munster, Lower Saxony, Germany. On Thursday 19/12/1945 he was abducted to Camp 2232 in Belgium, taking a day to get to the camp. And finally on Thursday 30/05/1946 he was transferred to Ganger Camp, Romsey arriving on Saturday 01/06/1946 where he was kept for over 2 years. On Saturday 18/12/1948 he was released from custody and returned home but I believe he returned a few times for a couple of years as he had made connections during his time in Romsey. In that period my Grandmother was conceived. I am unsure why he did not remain in England… I know little about my Great Grandfather, if anyone knows anything please do get in contact.
Thanks for your time,
Lewis

POW Names

Some names of POW's who were at Ganger Camp during and just after the war
Paul Ewald* Gerhard Gebauer Gerhard Kievel Ewald Korner
  Heinz Mucke Michele Marchisio (Italy)  
Hermann Mydeck Guerino Pipitone (Italian) Heinze Reiss Elbin Ritzmann
Wolfgang Stein Rheinhard (Ricky) Tiroke Paul Villbrandt Albert Weidemann
*Paul Ewald married a Nellie Hayley at Braishfield All Saints Church on February 18th 1950

 

Albin Ritzmann, Paul Ewald and Gerhard (George) Gebauer book

Gerhard Gebauer went on to be a Church of England priest. He has a book out called "Hitler Youth to Church of England Priest".

Book Review by Mike Tanner

This remarkable autobiography, written in the 70th anniversary year of his capture shortly after D-Day in World War II, is a valuable piece of social history, which would have been lost if it had not been recorded.

It covers his early years in East Berlin under the Hitler Regime; indoctrination into the Hitler Youth; conscription into the German Army; resulting in his capture by the Americans at the age of 18½.

His time as a Prisoner of War continues from immediately post capture; travelling through England; the transatlantic crossing to New York; is followed by his journey to the western seaboard of the USA. His life and treatment in the three POW camps in the U.S.A. are described.

His repatriation back to England to a POW Camp in Romsey follows, when the integration process into the British way of life began.

The book then continues with his marriage to the daughter of the Farmer, who owned a smallholding; his exploits of becoming a Farmer; his Discharge from being a POW; and how he became a British Subject.  The final Chapters conclude with his calling to the priesthood and his training in Salisbury prior to his Ordination into the Church of England in 1973.  It closes with an Epilogue listing his Appointments as a clergyman.   This autobiography gives a fascinating insight into George’s long life.  

Mike Tanner  

This book can be bought from  Amazon either as a paperback @ £7.99 or as a Kindle e-book @ £5.41.

Other Letters

Letter from Barry Marchisio

barrymarchisio@yahoo.com

 

My dad's name was Michele Marchisio.  He was a member of the Italian Navy and was stationed at the Italian Navy Base in Massawa, Ethiopia.  He was taken prisoner in early 1941 in Massawa and arrived at Ganger Camp later in 1941.  He was there until he was repatriated to Italy at the end of the war.  After the Italians vacated Ganger Camp, I am given to understand that the camp was repopulated with German POWs.  I don't believe the Germans were repatriated to their country as quickly as the Italians after the war... He told me a few great stories about his time at "Campo 41"...

 While there he met my mother who lived in Southampton. He worked at Forest Farm (I believe) for a family named Browning.  He was also used as an interpreter and worked for a British interpreter officer named Higgins.  My father returned to the Browning farm after being repatriated to Italy...the Brownings helped him get a visitor visa to America and after settling in America my mother joined him.  They eventually settled in California.  In about 1955 I remember getting a visit in California from Mr. Higgins who my parents had stayed in contact with.

More Photos

Two German POW's outside Pearces Bakery in the Hundred Romsey 1947


POW's Ganger Camp

POW's at Ganger Camp in January 1947

 

Letter sent to Brown Ave, Evanston, Illinois USA in 1943 from Ganger Camp

 

Paper money used in Camp 41 Ganger Camp

(Rod Briggs photos)

 

 

 

 

 

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