Broughton man Ron Brown had much to celebrate in May 1945.
When news came through that the war in Europe was finally at an end, he was a prisoner-of-war in Poland.
Ron, who served in the Green Howards army regiment, had been a prisoner-of war, in Italy, Germany and later Poland, between June 1942 and April 1945. Prior to this he fought at Dunkirk and in North Africa.
He was finally released by the Americans at Regensberg, in Germany, and according to The Hunts Post of the time, was among a contingent of men forced to march hundreds of miles from Cracow, in Poland, to Germany in severe weather. Many did not make that final journey.
During Ron’s incarceration in POW camp Stalag VIIIb at Monowitz, in Poland, he was assigned to a working party known as E715.
Ron, a keen sportsman, was part of the England football team at camp E715 and during his time as a POW he was awarded the YMCA sports medal, which his family still has.
He was also forced to work in a factory know as IG Farben at the camp.
When Ron came home from the war, he continued to play sport and was wicket keeper for the Hunts County Cricket team. He married his wife Marge in June 1945 and they moved to Abbots Ripton and later had a daughter Marion who now lives in Godmanchester.
Sadly, Ron died in June 1949 after a freak accident in which he was hit by a cricket ball during a county match.
Although Marion was only 18 months old when her father died, she is finding out more about the past as her granddaughter Lynn Selby is tracing the family history.
Marion said: “I was only 18 months old when he died so I don’t remember him. I don’t think my mum knew what had happened to him or about his experiences in the camps, if she did, she didn’t talk about it. It has been emotional finding out where he was, a bit of a roller coaster really. Mum kept a scrapbook so we have been able to find out a bit more about his life.”
Both Marion and her mum Marge played cricket for the Abbots Ripton Ladies Cricket team and Marge also kept score for the Huntingdon men’s team.
Lynn is keen to track down a copy of the citation that would have presented with the YMCA medal, if anyone can provide any information about this or has any information about Ron to share with the family, email: debbie.davies@archant.