PoW Camp 97 Birdingbury

Maxstoke Park Golf Club and the site of former PoW Camp 97 Birdingbury

Location

Maxstoke Park Golf Club, Castle Lane, Coleshill, Warwickshire B46 2BU

Description

Site Visits

June 2019

Material

DSLR and Drone Photos
UK Foreign Office Inspection Report

It is fair to say that the site of the former Birdingbury PoW Camp has changed a few times over the years. The site of the former PoW Camp is within Maxstoke Park Gold Club which is part of the grounds of Maxstoke Castle. The name of the Camp Birdingbury like many former military bases is taken from that of the closest train station. It is intriguing that the signs outside a modern club house for the club identifies the Club as being funded in 1898.

I have no evidence as if the course were always at its current location or history although this is highly probable. As such it is probable that the military camp was sited within the golf course during the war and then adapted to become a PoW Camp. Following the end of the war the camp was removed and remediation and restoration work was carried out to reinstate the golf course. The course as it appears now is made up of:

  • A driveway running east to west leading to a very modern club house with a manager house at the entrance to the site.
  • The major portion of the golf course is located behind / to the West of the club house.
  • A driving green exists in front of the clubhouse and to the north of the driveway with an extension to the main course on the other side of the drive.

On talking to the club manager, a lady that lived in the house close to the entrance I was told a small amount of the known history of the PoW Camp. The camp accommodation was located between the present clubhouse and the main road and either side of the driveway occupying the driving green and the extension to the main course. The manager told me that her house was located on what was ornamental fountains and gardens built by the PoWs. Also, that a single remnant was still present from the gardens a chess / draughts board on bench. Photos were taken of the site with DSLR and Drone Cameras including a number with Golf Clubs and carts as metaphors along with images of the games board and bench.


Camera and DroneImages of the site of former PoW Camp 97 Birdingbury


Extracts from UK Foreign Office Inspection Report from UK National Archives Kew:

FO 939/306 PoW Camp 97 Birdingbury – Lecture Reports
FO 939/306 PoW Camp 97 Birdingbury – Narrative Reports