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Stanhope, Prisoner of War Camp (1916-)

Newlandside Working Camp

Type: Prisoner of War Camp

Established 18 August 1916, Newlandside Working Camp, Stanhope had prisoners extracting limestone from Newlandside Quarry. Inspections of several working camps were carried out including Stanhope. At the time the inspection was carried out on 19 September 1916, it was under the command of Captain HW Shearsmith (regiment unknown) and at this time held 220 German military prisoners.

The parent camp was at Handforth, Cheshire, where the prisoners’ accommodation had been in brick buildings. In the covering letter to the report, it is stated that the prisoners found the move to tented accommodation a “sharp contrast”, however, it also notes that in all the camps visited “…there is no difference to be seen between the camp of the guard and the camp of the prisoners, except that the prisoners are surrounded by a barbed wire fence.”

The inspection of Stanhope states there are 24 bell tents and gives information of the daily routine of the prisoners, food and sanitary arrangements, discipline and medical services (a British doctor living at Stanhope visits the camp). It also includes complaints by the prisoners which mainly refer to the condition of the tents.

In early 1918, the parent camp changed from being Handforth to Catterick, North Yorkshire.

Site first appears on 3rd Edition Ordnance Survey map and is gone by 1940s. Info from County Record Office suggests is a Prisoner of War Camp. Documentary evidence suggests that a hut from this camp ended up as a War Memorial Mission Hall at High Grange c1920, the only surviving piece of this hut now being a memorial plaque located in St. Pauls’ Church, Hunwick.

German prisoners in British or British Empire custody, The National Archives, FO 383/164

Keys to the Past

Civil Parish: Stanhope Urban

Contributed by Durham County Council Archaeology Section | Durham County Record Office

Comments on this story


I have a picture of Italian prisoners of war working at heights quarry at west gate
Back in the 1980,s my father worked at height quarry and during his break time during the summer he was taken up to an abandoned prisoner camp up in the fields behind the quarry workings by a fellowWeardale work mate by this time it was in bad repair
Another camp was in hamsterley forest the prisoners built the open air swimming pooL
Please reply to my message

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In April 1914 'Army List' Capt HW Shearsmith was listed in 11th Battalion, The London Regt. His rank dated from October 1900. In Nov 1916 he was listed in the Territorial Reserve, 11th Bn, London Regt. He had the same entry in October 1918 'Army List' with the addition of "Commandant Prisoner of War Camp".

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