Representing "HOMEFRONT ARCHIVES"
Private research / collection centre for Prisoners of War
(and others) artifacts and information.
6015-5th Ave. Regina, Sask. S4T 6V4 Canada
Ph. (306) 5435822
38 years Bob Henderson of Regina, Saskatchewan, has been an exhibitor at
the Saskatchewan Gun Collectors association annual winter show and sale.
With his special interest in artifacts from German prisoners
of war held in Canada during the Second World War, his presence at the
show may not seem obvious. But for Bob, being at the show that features
gun, knife, military and police collectables, is a chance to make contacts.
A sign on his display table asks for any information about
guards or former prisoners form the Canadian PoW camps.
“Most of the guards are dead except for the very young
ones that came at the end of the war. Some have information or photographs.
Former PoWs are dying off fast, but there are still a few around. Many
of them moved back to Canada because of their treatment during the war.
I’m able to contact them. It is a domino effect, if you find one they always
know of someone else.”
Bob’s interest in German PoWs began when he was 12. His
parents told him stories of prisoners escaping in Northern Ontario, where
he lived at the time. In 1985 he traded with a friend for a carving made
by a PoW.
“I thought, ‘Well this is an area of Canadian history
that is completely ignored and unknown. If everything is as nice as this
carving, I’m going to start collecting it’.”
most treasured piece in his collection is a PoW’s painting of a soldier
walking with his machine gun on his shoulder. The 250 cm. X 120 cm. Painting
is done in shades of brown and cream.
This painting hung at Camp 122, Medicine Hat, Alberta.
An inscription on the bottom indicates it was copied from a wooden carving.
After the war it was mailed to Dr. Caldwell, who had been a Canadian doctor
serving at the PoW camp.
Coincidentally, three separate sources resulted in the
locating and final acquisition of the painting. One was via a former
Canadian Doctor by the name of Jim HELMSOTCK who had been posted to the
Medicine Hat PoW Camp. He recalled the very young son of another Canadian
Doctor had been allowed to visit his father, and who in turn received gifts
from the Prisoners and Guards.
A collecting friend had seen the picture, and told Bob
of it's existence, identifying the Canadian Doctors wife as being the owner.
That information was supported by another collector who spoke to Bob of
Bob located the son of the owner in Saskatoon, Sask.,
and found the painting was being stored in the rafters of a forlorn insecure
garage. The roof leaked, and the painting had been placed face up,
so that birds were nesting on it, and lawn chairs were piled on top of
After three years of on and off negotiations, a purchase
value was agreed upon. The acquired painting was cleaned of
dirt and grime, suffering minimally from the storage problems.
In SEPT 1996, Mr. George HOEGAL of Munchen, Germany, wrote
to identify himself as the artist who had painted the picture. He
had seen the picture of the painting in Bob Henderson's book, German Prisoners
of War in Canada. The two have corresponded ever since.
A hand stitched RAF wing, dyed with vegetable colouring,
made for an escape attempt by Hermann Boecklin.
Camp 30 Bowmanville, Ontario
Prisoner of War Grave Sites
Woodland Cemetery, Kitchener, Ontario.
In 1970, German Prisoners of War who had died in Canada
were moved from their original burial sites, 36 locations across Canada,
to a final resting place provided by the Royal Canadian Legion at Kitchener.,
where they receive perpetual care.
A stone plaque at the site
IN THIS CEMETERY SECTION REST
187 GERMAN WAR DEAD
this book was published, further research and comments from those who read
the book resulted in more information.
For example; on the cover the Naval Officer on the right
is Chief Engineer of the submarine U-35, Gerhard Stamer. The other officer
on the left is Heinz Erchen, of the U-35. The men are being
escorted to Gravenhurst Camp 20/c.
Not only German military occupied the PoW Camps. An internment
camp was constructed at Victoria Newfoundland to accommodate Civilian internees
from Britain who were considered pro-Nazi. ARANDORA STAR, the ship
they were on was torpedoed at 7:00 hours July 2, 1940 by submarine U-47
commanded by Captain Gunther Prien. 671 casualties. The camp at Victoria
A Guide for Historians, Research,
C.M.V. Madsen and R. J, Henderson
Published 1993 by R. J. Henderson
– address above.
ISBN 0 – 9697888 - 0 – 0
The extensive collection of both memorabilia and information
held by the combined Museum/Archives has only been made possible by individual
people like you.
To assist in expanding the collection, your assistance
is requested. Anyone with either memorabilia or information
relating to the German PoW's and /or Veteran Guard of Canada Members from
the 2nd World War time are requested to contact Mr. Robert Henderson @
It is essential that this brief period of Canadian History
Sgt. Peter Engbrecht CGM
424 Squadron RCAF Air Gunner Ace
Bursts June 1991 Issue #34
On the passing of Peter Engbrecht
Oh how time flies and Oh how quickly our memories dim.
Peter’s obituary in the Winnipeg Free Press was just six
inches in length. Just a few family facts and a mention of his once receiving
the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal. No reference to his wartime service as
an Air Gunner with RCAF 424 (Bison) Squadron.
For Sgt. Peter Engbretch, age 18, it all starter on the
night of May 27, 1944, when his Squadron was part of a raid on the German
supply line at Bourg-Leopold. The first enemy fighter attack knocked out
the rear turret. Peter, in his mid-upper turret, not only successfully
fought off the ensuing thirteen separate attacks, but shot down two of
the enemy aircraft.
Two weeks later on another operation, he shot down two
more enemy fighters. He then followed this up by scoring another two victories
during a future raid on Brunswick. This truly amazing feat was completed
when, on the Falaise Gap raid Sept. 14, 1944, he shot down two more enemy
aircraft. Eight officially confirmed victories. He was a real Ace.
Sleep well Peter, rest in peace. Amen Brother, Amen.
Fast forward to 2007. Why was Peter only awarded the G.C.M.
and C.D.? He should have been awarded, at least, the DFM and three Bars!
This 1991 article was resurrected due to the following
letter received from Colin James.
From: COLIN JAMES
Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 5:22 PM
Subject: Fwd: Re: Engbrecht's Photographs (Copies)
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Moyles,
My name is Colin James and I am a collector of RAF/RCAF
medals and display them in various history classes to help students learn
about WWII. I have put together a reproduction group of medals for
Sgt. Peter Engbrecht, CGM and would like to have your permission for Stephen
Hayter, the Executive Director of the CATPM, to make copies of the three
photographs in Sgt. Engbrecht's display and the Air Museum.
Regards, Colin James
Thanks to people like Colin and the CATP Museum, Peter’s
memory lives on. . .
In my travels through cyberspace on Sunday, I came upon
a poem that interested me -- an RCAF wartime poem written in the style
of William Henry Drummond. Remember him? In school we studied his poetry
written in a French-Canadian accent. I wonder if his writing is still in
the curriculum, or in these days of political correctness he is no longer
read by junior high school students?
I thought you might enjoy the poem, "Dat Goddam Bird,
De Link," so I've attached it. I re-typed it from the image I found on
the 'net, but included the graphic which appeared with the poem. I think
this may have originally appeared in a station newsletter. I have also
added a photo I found in my research that shows a Link Trainer room in
operation during RCAF training.
I’m working on an unpublished manuscript by my father,
which is a history of aviation in Alberta from the first powered flight
to the amalgamation of the Canadian armed forces.
Last week I sent his book of RCAF memoirs to a publisher.
It's about serving as a navigation student and instructor in Canada, in
the BCATP. I finished the book late in the year and have qualified for
a grant from Alberta Historical Resources Foundation, to be used only for
actual printing costs when it is published, with grant funds actually going
to the publisher. So now I wait a few weeks to see if the publisher is
We're going England in August, and at the beginning of
September will attend the 90th anniversary of RAF 101 Squadron, with which
my F/S Navigator uncle Alfred R. Chalmers, flew and died, along with all
other crew in their Lancaster. I hope the trip will provide a chance to
see some of the major air museums in England, and Linda would like to include
a visit to Vimy Ridge as well. The monument there is scheduled to have
its restoration completed in April.