These photographs and documents regarding Gnr Christopher Wilson, 15009645, 2nd Searchlight Regiment, Royal Artillery, are all courtesy of Keith Newman.

Keith writes: ‘He went over with the British Expeditionary Force on 1/1/40. He was granted 10 days leave on the 4th May, and was captured shortly after arriving back. His unit was set up at Cap Nez to monitor aircraft, I have the unit’s war diary from when they left England (from Devizes) up until the day the unit was captured.

‘I have his service and paybook which he kept throughout his captivity. This shows his payments in Francs and his 10 day leave date.

‘Pop’s earliest photo sent back home has the Stalag XX1D stamp on the back. His capture details are as follows. Wilson C, 1509645, 2nd Searchlight Regiment, Royal Artillery. Captured, Cap Nez, 22nd May, 1940.

‘Written on the back of Red Cross parcel content sheets are the dates and places passed through on the 1945 Death March, all the way from BAB21 to Moosburg. The entries cover each day from the 21st January 1945 to his release, courtesy of General Patton, on the 29th April 45.’

Gnr Wilson is featured at second from left middle row with a group of fellow BAB 21 POWs in the photograph above right. For many more photographs of BAB21 POWs, click on the image.

Reproduced at right are the two sides of an improvised late 1942 Christmas card, at which time Gnr Wilson was held at Bau und Arbeits Battalion 21, abbreviated to BAB 21, which supplied POW workers to the huge Blechhammer industrial complex. His exact BAB 21 address can be seen on the 1943 Red Cross parcel contents sheet reproduced on the next page.

Especially fascinating are the detailed dates and locations of every day of the Long March from January to April 1945 which Gnr Wilson wrote on the reverse of another surviving Red Cross contents sheet,. This is reproduced on this page.

Gnr Wilson’s POW No 3366 would have been assigned some time in 1940, presumably at Feldpost 19401/A, the address for the first Red Cross parcel label reproduced on the following page.

Looking at my listing of consecutive Durham Light Infantry POW numbers, there are quite a few DLI Other Ranks with numbers very near Gnr Wilson’s, so it is very likely that several of the DLI men listed as BAB21 would have been both colleagues of his in 1940-45 and on the 1945 Death March.

Known DLI BAB 21 men with numbers closely adjacent to 3366, are also listed on the next page Further details on these men most welcome.



POW Card, Gnr C Wilson, POW No 3366
POW Card, picture side, Gnr C Wilson, POW No 3366

Gnr Christopher Wilson, 1509645, 2nd Searchlight Regiment, Royal Artillery, German POW No 3366, BAB 21
Gnr C Wilson, BAB21 POW