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16 DLI POW Pte J B Hindmarch, 4464321
Pte J B Hindmarch, 16 DLI POW, 1945 Group Photo

The somewhat battered photograph above features Pte J B Hindmarch, 4464321, 16 DLI, as a POW on the far right. The photograph is courtesy of his daughter Jean Pearson, who writes:

‘Please find the enclosed picture of my father taken in May 1945, who was a prisoner in Stalag 18A. My Father is the one standing on the far right and his name is Joe Hindmarch, 4464321, POW 6151. He was in the 16th DLI and the date on the back of the pic is May 1945. We think it is a camp where he was moved to from Stalag 18A.

‘Written on the back is Brunton Collingbourne, Kingston, Marlborough, Wiltshire with the words, "Photo taken May 1945 at the end of world war" underneath the location. The location and statement are in different handwriting. We have a letter written to my mother from my father and the address sent from is 6 Com, Farnley Park, Otley nr Leeds, dated 23-8-45 whilst waiting to be demobbed. We also have letters from Hut 30, Military camp, Husbands Bosworth, no date and C Coy. 4th holding bat, DLI Greatham, near W. Hartlepool.

A few years ago Pte Hindmarch’s son, Mark, was also in touch with me regarding his father. This is what he wrote:

I've just come across your website on DLI POWs. I have an interest in this subject as my father was a member of of the DLI and was captured in North Africa. He was never very specific about details of his service and I no longer have the opportunity to enquire further as he is no longer with us. I have tracked down his POW number which is listed on your site, it being 6151. I don't have details of his battalion but a few of his stories lead me to believe he may well be in the 16th. He was captured in Africa, and although he didn't say exactly where, he did say that he was captured by German paratroopers after his comrade was killed and he was wounded trying to defend a ridge. He was taken to an internment camp in Italy, again unspecified, but he did say that when the Italians capitulated the guards left and they debated whether to leave but decided to wait till the next day by which time a German panzer detachment had taken over the camp. He was transferred to Graz, where he was made to work as a farm labourer. On a pedantic note the POW records have spelt his surname wrong it is Hindmarch not Hindmarsh.

Pte J B Hindmarch was indeed a member of 16 DLI and was wounded and taken POW during the Battle of Sedjenane in February-March 1943. He is recorded, under the misspelled surname Hindmarsh’, as being at the PG 206 POW Military Hospital in Italy in 1943 before being transferred to Germany in late 1943. I wonder could some of the names listed above, ‘Brunton, Collingbourne and Kingston’, be those of his POW friends? A postwar portrait photograph of Pte Hindmarch, note the campaign ribbons, is featured on the next page.