Mrs Moss & Otto


On Saturday 31st May 2008 my wife Fliss and I were in Sawtry. Mrs Ursula Moss called me into her house as she had some information regarding the P. O. W. camp along Woodwalton Lane, Sawtry.

Ursula told me she married Herbert Moss in the Army Chapel in Germany 31st May 1947, so it was their 61st wedding anniversary on the day I spoke to them. They came to England during the summer of 1947 and lived with Herbert’s parents, and later found out that Ursula’s brother, Otto, was in a P.O. W. camp in Buckinghamshire. Herbert and his father went to the camp and managed to get Otto transferred to the camp at Sawtry. By this time it housed German prisoners; earlier it had held Italian prisoners and before that it had been an Army camp. When Otto was there the camp was run by the Pioneer Corps. One of the Constable Sisters married the C. O. of the camp. His nickname was Trees as his surname was something like Woods.

Otto began working for Jack Scotney who at that time ran the Durham Ox public house which was situated on the corner of St Judith’s Lane. Mr Scotney also did some woodworking, which came in handy for Otto as he was a master carpenter and Mr Scotney gave him some work. Ursula’s mother-in-law used to invite Otto to her house for Sunday tea, which was very nice for both of them. Ursula and Herbert’s son was born in 1948 and Otto was one of the Godparents at his Christening.

There was an ack ack gun site across the Great North Road near Archers Wood. The crew who manned the guns is believed to have been billeted in the P. O.W.  Camp. Another ack ack gun site was in Glatton at the end of Infields Road in the spinney just past the last cottages which were then numbers 31 and 33. These two cottages are now one house. I lived in number 31 with my family in the late 1950s before we moved to Sawtry, then in number 33 when I married Fliss in 1964.


                                                                                       Harry Milford