Welcome this new archive relating to the men and women service personnel and the part they played at the Liberation and subsequent Humanitarian Effort of the Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp in 1945.
We are now inviting any relatives of service personnel who may have been at the camp to get in touch. We do not believe there are any records of the diverse group of men and women, many completely untrained, who were involved with the camp, after it’s liberation.
Jesse worked in the Pioneer Corps and served in France and Germany with Canadian troops.
He was one of the first in to the Concentration Camp of Bergen-Belsen.
Submitted by: Martin Greatbatch
Dixey, John Roger Bertram (Medical Student)
Medical Student. St Bartholomew’s Hospital
“We were dealing with the killer, the main killer, which was typhus.”
Submitted by: Belsen Archive
Doherty, Muriel Knox
"Australian nurse, who ran Belsen Hospital, is going Poland as chief nurse UNRRA Mission. This practical - looking woman with a kindly smile had one rule only in her Belsen hospital It was “No rules and regulations allowed.’’ ...
Muriel Knox Dougherty (1896-1988) was a leading figure in Australian nursing and nurse education.
BOOK. Letter’s from Belsen:
A moving account from a nurse charged with establishing a hospital at Belsen concentration camp at the end of World War II.
When British troops arrived at Belsen concentration camp in April 1945 they found 40,000 desperately ill men, women and children and 10,000 unburied dead bodies. In a final act of cruelty the Germans had withheld food and water from the inmates for a week. Typhus was raging and conditions were chaotic.
Muriel Knox Doherty arrived soon after as Chief Nurse with the task of creating a hospital, scrounging supplies and saving as many of the camp survivors as possible. In letters written to her mother and friends in Australia, Doherty describes her experiences at Belsen in moving detail.
She tells of the plight of Jewish survivors unable to return home, and the challenge of rebuilding their health and their self-respect. She is inundated with appeals from desperate families trying to find their loved ones among the camp survivors and the many displaced people at Belsen. For one particularly memorable day she attends the Luneberg Trials as Belsen survivors gave evidence against war criminals.
This remarkable collection of letters is illustrated with drawings by one of the Belsen survivors and period photographs. It is a compassionate tale of the effects of war and the effort made to heal Europe after World War II.
Submitted by: Belsen Archive
REME Corporal attached to the 109th Heavy Artillery, RA. He too was at Belsen and he told me of some of the most appalling events there. He entered there on 15th April 1944 and remained there until he was sent home on leave, sick with dysentry, on the 18th May
My Grandad John Duff went into the camp April 1945. He said it was a terrible place. I remember as a child playing with 2 silver rings a silver signet ting with a black enamel line through it and the other a silver skull and cross bones. He took them from a dead SS officer. He told me the skull and cross bone ring was an honour ring gifted to the Nazi members by Heinrich Himmler as a reward for good service. The camp had to be destroyed it was rife with Typhus.
This site will progress and I’d encourage anyone with any info to get in touch. My granddad, Reg Price served with the 113th Durham Light Infantry*, as part of 369 Battery. As a signwriter, he produced this sign…
And this was kept in the family for years – so for the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Belsen in 2020, subsequent VE Day and VJ Day, I thought it’s about time I’d try to find out more about Reg – his comrades (many of which are names, simply written on the back of photos), what they did together and for a way to remember them all, properly.
To coinicide with the anniversary, I was able to be filmed both on national and local BBC TV to tell Reg’s Story. Whilst this was totally out of my comfort zone and I dreaded every moment – I decided I needed to do something to start this all off. BBC Midlands Today aired 7th May and a VE Day Antiques Roadshow Special aired Sunday 10th May.
The main photo, shown here was coloured for the 75th Anniversary and we’ll tell you all about it shortly – and what happened next!
*Just 113th Durham Light Infantry? No we are interested in all Service and Medical personnel who took part during the humanitarian effort at Belsen Concentration Camp. Their roles and names are largely forgotten, as many were too horrified to ever speak of what they had to do, so this archive seeks to form a tribute to ALL those that were there, to find out more and to remember them. If you have a relative, or any info, on the relief effort at Belsen, we’d love you to please get in touch. Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org – Thank you
Any 113th Durham Light Infantry friends or family are encouraged to get in touch via email@example.com
** In 1938 the old 5th Battalion DLI changed its role to Searchlights and then in 1940 to Anti-Aircraft. This 113th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment went to Normandy in June 1944 and joined the advance into Germany in early 1945. Official designation – Brigade: 100 AA • Division: 30 Corps. • Unit: 113 LAA Regt. RA (DLI) TA.