Ganger Camp Woodley, Romsey

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 below 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

Hut No. Names Children Where Relocated
  Mr & Mrs Allen   Ann  
 39 Bill & Leita Abernethy Leita Hillyfields, Nursling
76 Mrs Andrews  Margaret, Winifred, Sylvia, Mina, Gwen, Bill and Carol,  
101  S Bartram    
  Mr & Mrs Baby    
  Mr & Mrs Barr    
40(45) Ruby & Victor Blake Jeanette, Jenny and Jimmy Spearywell, Mottisfont.
  Dora Brady    
48 Mr & Mrs Brown    
23-39 John & Win Burnett  Linda, Rosemary,  
Cecil & Queen Callen Pat, Dee Hunters Inn, Woodley, Romsey
53 Caunter. J    
50 Mr & Mrs Chappell Maureen, Linda, Derek, Trish, Ernie, Brenda, Peter, Terry, Woodley Close, Romsey
95 Mr & Mrs Conway Bobby & Terry Hillyfields, Nursling
   Geoff & Eileen Connell Annette, Linda, Emigrated to Australia
  Mr & Mrs Cox Brian, Marion, Marina,  
47 Mr & Mrs Dittrich Victor James (Mick), Teresa, Evelyn, Bernard, Muriel, Joe, Andrew, Donald, Debora, Bridget, Katherine, Woodley Close, Romsey
63-16 Mr & Mrs Edwards   Hillyfields, Nursling
67 Mr & Mrs I M Edwards   Hillyfields, Nursling
16 Wilf & Joan Fryer   Woodley Way
  Mrs P & Mr S Gerrard Brian, Jan, Anne, Ashley, Jenny and Sally, Hillyfields, Nursling
65 Harry & Joyce Gerrard Tony, Carol, Joan, Ron, Hillyfields, Nursling
  Norman & Sylvia Goodland Adrian, Robin, Bryony, Manningham Way, Timsbury
43 Les & Mrs Gwilt Margaret New Pond, Crampmoor
75 Harman  F W E   Hillyfields, Nursling
4 Hesketh family    
98 Mr & Mrs Jewer Valerie  
39 Mr & Mrs Jolliff Terry  
31 Jerome family    
62 John and Emily Jones Teddy, David, Martin and Molly  
100 Mr & Mrs D Jones     
68 Mr & Mrs Jones  Tony,  Dennis  Hillyfields, Nursling
  Mr & Mrs Keel    
 93 Mr & Mrs Legg Victor, Zedric  
44 Albert & Gladys Levy Brian, Jean, Carol, Len, Tony, Chris, Kath, Gwen, Woodley Close, Romsey
  Mr & Mrs Luffman Win, Leslie,  
25 Lyde family    
81 Derek & Lilian Maskell,  Carol. Diane and Linda,  
90 Mr & Mrs D Meehan  Betty  
Joe & Mrs Middleton Geoff, Mike, Hazel, Maureen, Woodley Close, Romsey
  Mr & Mrs Miffin    
49 Les & Barbara Milsom David, Geoff, Alan, Gordon, Pat, Chris, Derek, Richard, Steven, Julie, Woodley Close, Romsey
99 Mr & Mrs Murphy Chris, Susan Hillyfields, Nursling
Fred & Mrs Nichols Edgar, Horatio, Peggy, Christine, Charles (Bubbles), Susan, Woodley Close, Romsey
  Mr & Mrs Nut Colin, Iris, Hillyfields, Nursling
  Mr & Mrs Orham    
91  Mr & Mrs A W Osborne    
  Mr & Mrs Osey Sandra, Susan Woodley Way, Romsey
Nell Osman John, Brian, Celia, Woodley Close, Romsey
Ruby & Peter Payn Richard, Hillview Rd, Braishfield
Sam & Stella Porter Sam, Frank, Jean, Pauline, Angela, Rosemary, Woodley Close, Romsey
52 Mrs O B Ray Maureen  
42 Doug & Kay Reeves Stuart, Denise, Angela, Antony, Valda, Woodley Close, Romsey
  Mr & Mrs (Olive) Rogers Derrick, Pam, Jimmy, Linda. Jenny,  
  Mr & Mrs Scivier Terry, Shirley,  
33 Mr & Mrs Sellick Mike, Rosina, Angela, Woodley Close, Romsey
  Dennis & Mrs Smith Brian, School Rd, Romsey
72 Mr & Mrs (Joan) Snowden   Woodley Close, Romsey
5 Mr & Mrs Starke Colin, Carol,  
73 Stacy family  Meryl Jean, Sandra Mary  
73 G A Stevens   Hillyfields, Nursling
  Rob & Jo Taylor Ann Brownhill Rd, North Baddesley
  Bill & Pam Thornton Peter, Colin Woodley Way, Romsey
  Sid & Mrs Tubb   Peter, Hillyfields, Nursling
  Eli & Mrs Way Eileen, John  
41 Charlie & Violet Woods John, Charlie, Rosemary, Beryl, Garry, Steven, Geoff, Jackie, Woodley Close, Romsey
  Wally & Dorothy Wassell Barry, Woodley Way, Romsey
79 Mrs. J K. Webb    
  Thomas Webb    

Ganger Camp stood where Woodley Close now stands

Hut 45 Ganger Camp

Photo 1

Margaret Gwilt outside 45 Ganger Camp (Now 44 to 50 Woodley Close)


Concrete dwellings at Ganger Camp Woodley Romsey

Photo 2

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


Photo 3

Sylvia, Bill and Carol Andrews


Photo 4

Mrs Andrews with Carol, Sylvia and Bill Andrews


Photo 5

Sylvia, Gwen, Carol and Bill Andrews


Photo 6

Margaret Andrews 21st birthday party at Woodley Village  Hall 1956


In this photo:- Joe, David and Bernard Dittrich, Brian Austin, Winifred Andrews, Rita Donnarumma,

John Mathews, Beatrice Andrews, Janice Gerrard, Sylvia Andrews, Beryl Woods, Margaret Andrews,

Evelyn Dittrich, Mina Andrews, Ken Bundy, Gwen Andrews, Bill Andrews,

Andrew Dittrich, Carol Andrews, Bridget Dittrich and Debra Dittrich.


Photo 7

Possibly Peter Clark a regular visitor from North Baddesley

Sewage works visible on left of photo

This is now the Woodley Close play area


Eileen Connell & daughter Annette at Ganger Camp

Photo 8

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 the late Sonner White


Photo 9

Flo Luffman, Leslie Luffman and Daisy Pink


Photo 10

Win and Leslie Luffman


Photo 11

Wedding party at Ganger Camp (Now 36 to 42 Woodley Close)

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


Entrance to Ganger Camp, Braishfield Rd. 1957

Photo 12

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

Tony Levy on the push bike


Photo 13

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


Photo 14

Eli Way and John Way


Photo 15

Eli Way, Mrs Way and John Way


Photo 16

John Way and Eli Way


Top end of third row at Ganger Camp Woodley Romsey

Photo 17

Jessica Edwards on trike at top end of third row at Ganger Camp Woodley Romsey, 1952

Lady believed to be Nellie Jones


Photo 18



Valda Reeves at Ganger camp, Woodley Romsey

Photo 19

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

Kay Reeves left with Mrs Woods in background.

Approximately where 36 to 42 Woodley Close is now


Photo 20

Valda Reeves and Gwen Levy


Photo 21

The Reeves family outside No. 42 Ganger Camp


Some Young Ladies At Ganger Camp, Woodley Romsey

Photo 22

Some Young Ladies At Ganger Camp, Woodley Romsey

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


Photo 23

The two youngsters are Jimmy and Jenny Blake

at 40(45) Ganger Camp with their auntie and uncle


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

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

Photo 24


Huts at Ganger Camp, Woodley Romsey in 1953

Photo 25

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

Number 43 on right


Kids at Ganger Camp Woodley Romsey on Coronation Day 1953

Photo 26

Kids at Ganger Camp Woodley Romsey on Coronation Day 1953 (Photo by a Mr Barr)

Standing L/R:- Rosina Sellick, Mike Sellick, Don Dittrich, Horatio Nichols, Kath Levy, Carol Levy, Geoff Milsom, Joe Dittrich and Chris Levy

Seated L/R:- Len Levy and Gwen Levy

Photo 27

Young ladies at bottom of Ganger Camp in 1958

This is now a row of houses and the Woodley Close play area

L to R starting at top:- Brenda Chappell, Denise Reeves, Gwen Levy, Bridget Dittrich

Trish Chappell, Debra Dittrich and Angie Reeves


Photo 28

The Gerrard family after being rehoused at Hillyfields, Nursling

Mrs Joyce Gerrard, Carol, Derek, Tony

Joan and Ronald


Photo 29

Group of Youngsters at Ganger Camp (now Woodley Close)

rear :- Tony Levy and Brian Osman

middle:- Kath Levy, Angela Reeves and Gwen Levy

Front:- Antony Reeves (AKA Guv)


Photo 30

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.

Names in above photo are, Ron Gerrard, Edgar Nichols, Sylvie Andrews, Joe Dittrich, Chris Levy, Brian Osman and John Osman.

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


Romsey Advertiser report on US helicopter at Ganger 1957

One of the largest helicopters in the world, a Vertol H.21 belonging to the United States Air Force, a 22-seater twin rotor, single engine aircraft force-landed near Ganger Camp on Tuesday afternoon. It spent nearly 21 hours in a field on Ganger Farm the home of Mr. L. S. Marshall. The red and silver machine which looks something like a banana with rotors at either end is one of four in this country and is based at Wethersfield, near Braintree, in Essex. It is over 52ft long, 16ft. high, has a rotor diameter of 44ft. and a maximum speed in the region of 120 miles an hour.  

On Tuesday morning it set out from its base with a crew of four to fly to Exeter. It was piloted by Lt. N. F. Eldridge who had as his co-pilot Lt. E, V, Matthews and his two engineers were Sgts, H. G. Arnold and J. L. Banks, all of the United States Air Force. The machine was re-fuelled at Greenham Common near Newbury where the ILS. Air Force has a jet bomber base, but the Navigator mapped out a course to try and avoid the weather which was “clamping” down and this is why the machine came to be in the Romsey area when the weather became so bad and visibility so poor that it was decided to look for an emergency landing place.  

The pilot told the “Advertiser” representative that he saw a stretch of land below him, and intended when he got lower to land in one field, but before he touched down he realised that it was growing corn and decided to land in the field next to it. When the machine was on the ground the storm burst in all its fury and the crew sheltered in it until the rain had abated and the pilot took steps to inform his base of his whereabouts. The police were also informed.  

The two sergeants returned to the machine about 10 a.m. and in their capacity as engineers checked the various items of equipment. Then the two pilots checked the rotors and took their seats. And at 10.45 a.m. the helicopter rose into the air and continued its interrupted journey to Exeter.  

It is one of the machines of the 23rd Helicopter Squadron which has its headquarters at Falsburg, France.

 Romsey Advertiser report on British Helicopter at Ganger  1957

British Helicopter Arrives   During the afternoon a single rotor helicopter from Middle Wallop flew over and noticing the large machine on the ground landed next to it. After being informed that all was well the British pilot went off again. The two officers spent the night at the White Horse Hotel, Romsey, while the two N.C.O.s made themselves snug with blankets from the hotel inside the machine. The officers had an early breakfast and then immediately hurried back to Ganger Camp by taxi to relieve the two sergeants who returned to the town by the same taxi to have breakfast, a wash and shave at the hotel. A tribute came from one of the sergeants. who when asked if he had had a good breakfast replied. “Yes, and l have had a good cup of coffee, too, one of the best l have ever had in this country.”

The camp is mentioned in the autobiography of Lady Pamela Hicks:

“At thirteen and home for the summer holidays….” near Romsey, 1943. While out doing errands in the neighbourhood; “Our route often took us by the local prisoner-of-war camp, known as ‘Ganger Camp’, which housed Italian and German POWs. The camp’s… huts were well defended behind tall wire fences with gun batteries and a machine-gun post, and when the prisoners were out working on the local farms, they were watched over by a soldier with a gun. On one occasion, I noticed a Tommy reach into his pocket for a light. Fumbling a little, he passed his gun to a prisoner to hold for him while he lit his cigarette. He took a long, relaxed puff, then stuck out his arm, and his gun was gently handed back.

After I had been making the daily journey into Romsey for a couple of weeks, a young Italian hailed me from a field. To my utter surprise he presented me with a ring made out of shiny metal. I felt my cheeks heat up as I stammered a thank-you in my best Italian. It was the first ring I had ever been given, and when I examined it in the privacy of my room, I was amazed to see how intricate it was, how the man had somehow carved a little pattern on it. I never saw him again but I wore the ring proudly. Every prisoner could work if he so wished. Most helped on local farms, hedging, ditching, and doing seasonal chores, and they became very much part of the landscape, as our farmworkers were away at war.”

 (Daughter of Empire: My Life as a Mountbatten. Lady Pamela Hicks. 2012. Simon and Schuster

Romsey Advertiser Report 1948


Ganger Camp For Housing  


31 Huts to be Taken Over by Rural District Council




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?




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.  




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. ..




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


Mrs. B A. Dittrich, of No. 52 (47), 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 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 for 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.  




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.”

Romsey Advertiser report, September 1956


District Council gradually solving thorny problem

Thirty new council houses, l7 Three bed-roomed at 27/- per week plus rates, and l3 two bed-roomed at 24/- per week plus rates, will be occupied by those in hutted accommodation mainly at Luzborough and Ganger Camps- and the Rest Centre-s at North Вaddesley and Rownhams

This news was given in detail in a report of the Improvement Grants Sub-Committee of the Housing Committee presented at a meeting of the Romseу and Stockbridge Rural District Council on Monday.

The report stated that a letter had been read from Mr. G. Crowther (Ampfield) stressing the need of the occupiers of the Ampfield hutments for permanent housing accommodation. He had suggested that some of the Hillyfields houses should be allotted to them. The Sub-Committee (its action was endorsed) decided to allocate the Council houses to those in most need.

Col. W. F. R. Webb (Sherfield English) had written suggesting that а list should be prepared showing how many occupiers of hutted camps came from outside areas, from whence they came and where they were working and suggesting that in the cases where persons were not previously residing in the district they should be housed by the authorities where they had previously lived.

The Clerk to the Council (Mr. W. A. Tanner) had told the Sub-Committee that the Ministry of Housing and Local Government had urged local authorities to allocate accommodation to occupiers of hutted camps who had, by residence, established a claim to have their housing needs considered as part of the general needs of the area in which they now reside.

А total of 247 families had occupied hutted accommodation administered by the Council at one period but that number of families had been reduced to 89. The occupiers of hutted accommodation at the А Camp at Nursling, F Camp at Houghton and the Rest Centre huts at Chilworth had been re-housed and the sites had been or would now be requisitioned.

After considering a list prepared by the Sanitary Inspector of the 8 present occupiers of the hutted camps administered by the Council the Sub-Committee recommended the 30 houses at Hillyfields to be allocated to the following:


Seventeen three bed-roomed Council houses:-

Edwards. Mrs. F., 63 Ganger Camp;

Edwards. Mrs. l. M., 67 Ganger Camp;

Harman. F.W. E., 75 Ganger Camp;

Jones. J. H., 68 Ganger Camp;

Osborne. А. W., 91 Ganger Camp;

Snowden R., 72 Ganger Camp;

Stevens. G. A.‚ 73 Ganger Camp;

Betteridge. M. W., 1 Luzborough Camp;

Callen F. R., 9A Luzborough Camp:

Wale. E. G. C., l Rest Centre, North Ваddesley.

Sillence N. H. J., 2 Rest Centre, North Baddesley

Stratton. D., 4 Rest Centre. North Baddesley;

Grey. J., 5 Rest Centre. Rownhams;

Nut. Mr. C., 2A Rest Centre. Rownhams;

Rowell. R., 3a Rest Centre Rownhams;

Thomas. C. А. D., 49 The Crescent, Over Wallop;

Upton. P., 41 The Crescent, Over Wallop;



Jewer. A. L., 98 Ganger Camp;

Legg. A. W., 93 Ganger Camp:

Jones. D., 100 Ganger Camp;

Меehan. J., 90 Ganger Camp.


Thirteen two bed roomed council houses:-


Aberneathy, W., 39 Ganger Саmр;

Bartram. S., 1O1 Ganger Camp;

Conway. R., 95 Ganger Camp;

Murphy, Mrs. F., 99 Ganger Camp:

Burnett. J., 14 Luzborough Camp:

Hedges. H., 2 Luzborough Camp;

Linnett. W. F., 4A Luzborough Camp;

Luffman, С.‚ 8A Luzborough Camp;

Johnson. Mrs. M. E., 7A Luzborough Camp;

Russell. E. A., 12 Luzborough Camp;

Taylor. Н. F., 3 Rest Centre, North Baddesley;

Wiliams. Mrs., L. G., 4 Rest Centre, Rownhams;

Young, G. H., 2 Rest Centre, Rownhams.

Bartlett H., 3 Rest Centre, Rownhams;



Ray, Mrs. O. B., 52 Ganger Camp;

Caunter. J., 53 Ganger Camp.

Sillence, R. G., 5A Rest Centre, Rownhams;

Rest Centre Rownhams Location

Peter Williams Report

The Rest Centre, Rownhams was located between Bakers Drove and the now closed access to St. John’s Church, near St. Johns Glebe.

There were 5 huts, 4 subdivided to provide 8 units of accommodation whilst No1 was the kitchen/dining room for the Primary School under the headship of the redoubtable Mrs. Adcock.

We lived at No4 until allocated No29 Hillyfields about 1957.

In open Council


The Sub-Committee's report was in due course presented to the Health and Housing Committee and was adopted after which it was presented to the full Council by its chairman (Mr. С. В. Scott) on Monday. It was adopted after a short discussion.

Mr. Crowther said that he would like briefly to refer to the position of the hutted camps at Ampfield. He would like to ask whether at the meeting of the Sub-Committee Ampfield was not considered because its huts were concerned with the Ministry of Works.

lf this was so would it be possible if reserves mentioned in the allocations did not take up the new houses, for some of the Ampfield cases to be considered. At present the position was getting on the nerves of some of these tenants because they occupied huts that they had to get out of in a few months and had gained the impression that the position was tangled up. He felt that the Council should have more regard to the plight of these people than it had done.

Mr. Scott replied that the tenants of the huts referred to had been considered but the Committee was very anxious to free the sites mentioned that was why prior consideration had been given.

The order of occupation has already been arranged.


many thanks to Chas Burnett


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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,


Letter from Barry Marchisio


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.


Ganger Camp POW's During World War 2

Camp commandants at different times were Lieutenant Colonel N C H Downe. Formerly from the Royal Regiment of Artillery – transferred during 1947 to Camp 251 East Cams Camp, and a  Major E E Utley

Some names of POW's who were at Ganger Camp during and just after the war


Paul Ewald*, Rudolf Fehr, Gerhard Gebauer, Gerhard Kievel, Ewald Korner, Heinz Mucke

Michele Marchisio (Italy), Otto Hann, Hermann Mydeck, Guerino Pipitone (Italian), Heinze Reiss

Elbin Ritzmann, Wolfgang Stein, Rheinhard (Ricky) Tiroke, Paul Villbrandt, Albert Weidemann

Albin Ritzmann, (Heinz Mucke photo New Forest Knowledge) and Paul Ewald


Heinz Mucke info on the New Forest Knowledge website


*Paul Ewald married a Nellie Hayley at Braishfield All Saints Church on February 18th 1950

German  POW returns to his family

Albin Ritzmann back with his family after the war

German  POW visits Ganger Camp site

In Romsey in 1975 was a man who had spent some time in captivity. Not on the Continent, but in this country; at the former prisoner of war camp, at Ganger, Woodley near Romsey.   The young German soldier who then spent two years behind the wire, is now a mature married man of 50 with a son and daughter, aged 19 and 21 years of age.

The man in question Herr Otto Haan, of Kerlinger Strasse, G638 Dillingen, visited Romsey and went to the area of the camp which is at Woodley Close

Although the area is now covered by Council housing, one could see in Herr Haan's eyes that the clock had been turned back. He remembered and pointed out the position of the guard house and of the main compound. Then, at the end of the Woodley Close he saw the small wood. In the photo below he is talking to Mrs Lydia Hatchett who lived at No. 29 Woodley Close where the hut stood that he was billeted in.


Otto Hann former POW visits  and talks to Mrs Lydia Hatchett  in Woodley Close 1975


Otto Hann former POW visits Ganger Farm  Lane, Woodley in 1975

Ex Ganger Camp POW becomes Priest

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


Gerhard Gebauer 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.

Ex POW Mr  Guerino Pipitone (Pip)

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. Pipitone 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

POW Letters from Ganger Camp

Letter to Alex Schwartz after he was repatriated in 1946


Letter in German from above envelope. Translation below

My dearest Alex,

Please don't be cross about the ink, but I don't have any other at the moment. With great pleasure I can tell you today that I received a lot of mail from you today. Namely: a letter from February 1944 and a letter from January 1945. And to my great joy the R.K. (Red Cross) answer to my two telegrams. For this latest sign of life, from January 15th 1946, I thank you very much indeed. Unfortunately, I am missing a later detailed post from you because I would very much like to know how your parents tried to influence you.

Now I am somewhat worried about how you, my Alex, will decide. I would be very, very happy and very reassured to finally receive a more recent letter from you. We, that's Frank, Otti and I did a bike ride yesterday. We rode into the Hinterbrühl via Modling. It was a nice day and I almost want to say that I have forgotten my worries. Yes, you know, as the closer the moment of your so painfully awaited return approaches, so I become more and more impatient. That is easy to understand. So much depends on, I almost want to say, our happiness in life. Isn't it so, my Alex, we will both try and help each other at first? From your letters that you write to me and have written in the years of our separation I repeatedly gain the strength which I so much need. So much evil will be carried into our marriage and I only want to believe in you and the good in our marriage. I took a large bouquet of wild cherry branches from this trip. Under these blooming branches, your beloved eyes look at me. Long before I fall asleep, I always look at this picture and have a conversation with you. In the many hours of the night that I spend sleeping, my thoughts are always with you. You won't understand how much I care. In all of these mental sorrows there is still insufficient nutrition. I was already very lean, losing 10 kg within a year. Now I am an adult and therefore more resilient than a child. Here I see with great concern that Christl is probably very tall, but unfortunately very, very thin. We try everything to achieve weight gain, but unfortunately achieve nothing. In addition, she now has an evil cough, I tell you, the chain of my worries is almost endless. My parents also suffer from these conditions, just terrible. In addition, there is concern about Rudi, since we do not yet know whether he is alive. I would so much like to keep my parents away from any grief, but since these two people are so closely connected to the fate of our child, you naturally play a major role as my husband and father of this idolized child. Now my dearest, be wholeheartedly greeted by your Erika and Christl and many present.

Greetings to Franz and coming soon! …



Rudolf Fehr (Image from Lewis Parvin)


Rudolf Fehr to Elizabeth T Krachenfels, USA (Image from Lewis Parvin)


Rudolf Fehr letter to his aunt Elizabeth in the USA (Image from Lewis Parvin)

Lewis Parvin roughly translated the letter above:

My dear aunt Elizabeth, With great pleasure, I received your dear letter from 27.4. Thank you very much for that. I’m always pleased when I receive mail from you. So dear aunt, you write to me in your kind letter about a Miss Fäso. From a comrade I got her address and some cigarettes. He is now with her in Layer and Miss Fäso assigned him to greet and ask me to write to her. I did not know who I was dealing with. But I can imagine that you wrote to her. I will write to her on Sunday.

And something else dear aunt Elizabeth. Today I received a letter from my mother in which she told me that she has received your dear package. You wouldn’t believe how happy it made her. I too, dear aunt, would like to thank you once again, sincerely, for all you have done for my loved ones in Germany. May your heart be blessed dear aunt Elizabeth for what you have done is so good. With this I’d like to finish for today! Kindest regards from your Rudi. Best greetings also to August. Good bye

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

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

Paper money used in Camp 41 Ganger Camp

(Rod Briggs photos)






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