Charlesworth, John

John Charlesworth

I am trying to find out more about my grandfather, Sapper John Charlesworth, who served with the BEF and was captured near Dunkirk in 1940.

I don’t know what happened to him immediately after that. My grandmother was initially told that he had been killed, but later received notice that he was being held as a prisoner of war. His POW number was 11963 and the book ‘Prisoner’s of War British Army 1939-45’ gives his camp as Stalag 344 (which I understand was previously Stalag VIIIB). I have a photo of him that has a Stalag VIIIB stamp on the back.

I know that he worked in the mines at the camp. He was a miner before the war (a reserved occupation, I believe) and was presumably called up because he had joined the TA, aged 18, in July 1938.

I never had the chance to talk to him about the war as he died in 1974, when I was still a small child. But I remember him and would really like to find out more about what happened to him. So if anyone knows anything about him, that would be really great!

Received: February 2006 
From: Nicola Cutts
On behalf of: John Charlesworth


  1. Alan Coole says


    FAO: Nicola Cutts

    My mother is Mrs Irene Coole nee Charlesworth whose brother was the John Charlesworth in the picture. My mother is still alive (born 1925) and lives on the south coast. Please feel free to email me at the address below.

    • Nicola Cutts says

      Thank you Alan, sorry for my slow response, I only just saw this.

      I actually spent a few days with your mother back around the time of my original post, she was incredibly generous with her time and kindly lent me some family photographs to scan.

      We unfortunately lost touch after I moved house. I used to send her a Christmas card each year, and would always receive one from her. When they stopped I assumed the worst, but didn’t have any family contact information to find out for sure. So I am glad to hear I was wrong about that.

      If you would like to keep in touch then I would be very happy to.

      Best wishes,

      • Alan Coole says

        Hi Nicola,
        Many thanks for the note, I’m really pleased you got it. Yes please keep in touch either through Facebook messenger or via email at I can update you re my Mum etc, and it would be nice for me to tell her that we’ve been in touch. She would appreciate that I’m sure.

  2. Dawn Marguerite knowles says


    My granddad was in stallag 8b his name was Albert Edward Wilberforce .

    He really never spoke of his time in the camp but it effected him through out his life he passed away in August 1979
    But my mum would like to have contacted with other family members of stallag 8b all he would say was he was on the long walk where other prisoners collapsed if anyone could get in touch my mum could probably fill in some gaps in and hopefully someone could help her

    Thank you Dawn

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