The recent spell of hot weather has caused the outlines of the POW camp that was based in Beckenham in the Second World War to appear again. The camp was situated in Beckenham Place Park, and Italian prisoners of war are believed to have been kept there.
This week, spots where the huts once stood can now clearly be seen against the green grass that surrounds them. The shapes of the huts, which number 30 to 40, start to appear when the grass becomes parched from warm and dry weather. They serve as a reminder of the events that took place locally during the war and can be used to educate children about the sacrifices that their families would have made.
Unfortunately, very few records have been kept regarding the Beckenham POW camp, although it is believed to have been known as the Ravensbourne Summertime Camp. Some local residents can still remember the existence of the camp. The site was probably chosen due to its proximity to the railway, water mains, and sewage outlets.
The POWs housed on the site helped build many of the pre-fab properties that were needed immediately after the war to reduce the demand for housing, but the majority of them are no longer standing.
Do you or any of your friends or relatives remember the Beckenham POW camp? We would love to hear your stories or see images of what the area looked like during this time.