Liberation of Bergen Belsen
First in,  AFPU Number 5 Unit

Norman Midgley (AFPU)

The Army Film and Photographic Unit was a subdivision of the British armed forces set up on 24 October 1941, to record military events in which the British and Commonwealth armies was engaged. During the war, almost 23 percent of all AFPU soldiers were killed in action; the AFPU was disbanded in 1946.

AFPU Number 5 Unit was formed during 1943, of 36 volunteers drawn from various regiments and led by Major Hugh Stewart. AFPU cameramen and photographers accompanied various army units in all theatres of action, including the Commandos, the Chindits, paratroopers, Special Air Service, Special Boat Squadron and the Long Range Desert Group. Ten AFPU members were attached to the main divisions during the Normandy landings in June 1944. Their recordings made during the campaign saw cameramen amongst the first waves ashore and then in the fighting inland.

AFPU recorded battles during the Italian campaign and across Western Europe including Monte Cassino, Liberation of Paris, Arnhem, the Rhine Crossing and the discovery of Belsen Concentration Camp.

Sergeant Norman Midgley
Contemporary description (17pp) by a photographer with No 5 Army Film and Photographic Unit (AFPU) about his visit to Belsen Concentration Camp, Celle, on 18 April 1945, in which he records the appalling conditions he found there and refers to cannibalism amongst the inmates, the indifference of survivors towards accepted standards of hygiene, and the use of SS Guards to load bodies onto lorries; he also describes the former Camp Commandant, Josef Kramer, whom he photographed.

Liberation of Bergen Belsen
This superb photo shows the entire unit – complete with names albeit in no particular order.

Major Hugh Stewart

Captain J L Evans
Captain Horton
Captain Knight
Captain E G Malindine

Lieutenant Barker
Lieutenant Handford
Lieutenant Alan Wilson

Sergeant Christie
Sergeant Norman Clague KIA at Amfreville on 12 June 1944
Sergeant J Connolly
Sergeant C Crocker
Sergeant A C Gross
Sergeant Bert Hardy
Sergeant Harrison
Sergeant Norman Johnson
Sergeant Bob Jones
Sergeant Laing
Sergeant George Laws
Sergeant Richard Leatherbarrow
Sergeant Michael Lewis
Sergeant Jimmy Mapham
Sergeant T McCardle
Sergeant Midgley
Sergeant Morris
Sergeant Harry Oakes
Sergeant Palmer
Sergeant Parkinson
Sergeant E Smales
Sergeant Dennis M Smith
Sergeant R Stiggins
Sergeant T McCardle
Sergeant Gordon Walker
Sergeant Ernest Walter
Sergeant Waterhouse
Sergeant Wilkes

Names but no ranks:
Ian Grant
Robbo Robinson
Jock Gordon
Bill Leason


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