Monday, April 04, 2016

Former prisoner of war camp, Gaulby Lane, Billesdon

Billesdon's Woodland Pool nature reserve can be found just outside the village on Gaulby Lane.

With woodland and a pool it is a pleasant spot, but it has a surprising history.

Because the reserve occupies the site of a wartime prisoner of war camp that held first Italian and then German prisoners.

The remains are labelled and, according to Derelict Places, there is a hut still standing (which I failed to find). Another is said to have gone to Thurnby to be used by a youth club.

And the pool was dug out on the site of the camp's football pitch.

After the war the camp housed people displaced by the war.

It is a sobering thought, on a day when refugees are being bundled out of Europe, that they once found a home among the green hills and ridge-and-furrow fields of High Leicestershire.

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