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country park’s pow camp history

Beecraigs Country park near Linlithgow, site of a German POW camp.  Pic Ian Rutherford

Beecraigs Country park near Linlithgow, site of a German POW camp. Pic Ian Rutherford

 

Beecraigs Country Park has a secret, one which has been uncovered in a recent audit of World War One top-secret records.

Very few people will be aware that the park is also the site of a former German POW camp.

The construction of Beecraigs Loch, as a reservoir to supply water to Linlithgow, was undertaken by German prisoners of war who had been captured during the First World War.

German soldiers, other than officers and senior NCOs, could be put to work that did not directly further the prosecution of the war.

Information from the Linlithgow Central Water Committee in 1915-19 suggests that the German prisoners were housed in a camp at Broomieknowes, below and to the E of the reservoir.

Plans were submitted to expand the camp from 150 to 250 prisoners. However the use of German prisoners was not successful due to a general unwillingness to work and their labour was withdrawn. Navvies continued with the construction, and they were camped at Riccarton Mill.

 

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