Prisoners of War at Hainault, 1917
1914-18 War the three large barns and kitchens were taken over by
the army and German prisoners were encamped there for the duration.
There was also a searchlight based on top of the backs hill beside
what is now the 17th fairway of the golf course".
Susie Harvey 1910-2004 was born in 4 Foxburrows Cottages, Hainault
party of German POW's hoeing a field. Picture from THE GRAPHIC, June
HAINAULT FOREST TO
It is announced that
a large part of Hainault Forest is to be ploughed up during the
ensuing summer and the necessary labour will be provided by 200
German prisoners of war. Over a thousand acres of this ancient
woodland, which forms part of the eastern portion of Epping Forest
were formerly good corn land, the property of the Crown and private
owners. In 1906 about 800 acres were acquired for the use of the
public, and a portion of this area will now be utilised for the
production of food in war-time.
Post Friday 18th May 1917.
Charles Reynolds, Chairman of the Romford District, Essex
Agricultural War Committee, based at Fencepiece Farm  wrote in
the Chelmsford Chronicle 25th May 1917. "Seventy five German
prisoners have arrived at Foxburrows Farm, Hainault, for work on the
land. Lieut. Parker is in command. The organising of their
employment is placed in my hands and I have met with hearty
cooperation from neighbouring farmers who have readily applied for
their services. In fact nearly the whole gang are already at work on
the surrounding farms in squads of 5 and multiples of 5. The 10 that
work for me are doing good work in cleaning crops, and the scheme
which is the first to be tried in Essex has every prospect of
success. The men nearly all had agricultural experience in Germany.
hay-making party loading up a waggon. Picture from THE GRAPHIC, June
The Coventry Evening
Telegraph 24th May 1917 wrote:
At Chigwell Row, on the borders of Epping Forest the first batch of
German prisoners to be used on the land in Essex began working on
Wednesday. They came by train to Grange Hill, 75 of them, and are
being accommodated in the farm buildings at Foxborough Farm,
Hainault Forest. They have a guard of 35 soldiers, and are working
on several farms in the district, all pleased with this relief from
camp life monotony. Their pay is 3s.6d (17p.) a day for skilled men,
and 2s.6d. (12p.) for others. Some of them speak English.
The Essex Newsman
16th June 1917
reported a meeting of the Romford District War Agricultural
Committee was held at the White Hart Hotel, Romford, on Wednesday,
Mr. C. E. Reynolds presiding.
It was reported that
efforts were being made to get more German prisoners to work on
Foxburrow Farm, Hainault and also to get a camp of German prisoners
in the Dagenham district. – Mr Isaac Gay drew attention to a
statement in a London periodical which commented adversely on the
allegation that the German prisoners were receiving a certain amount
of pay, which was put at a high figure. He pointed out that the
amounts which the farmers were to pay for the services of these
prisoners were not paid to the prisoners themselves, but to the
Government, and the prisoners personally only received a penny an
hour. This was evidently a misapprehension which should be cleared
Farm comprised of the area of the Tudor estate, beginning at Cleves
Walk and including the CO-OP and shops at the junction of New
North Road and Fencepiece Road, Hainault, Essex.