DPs in Scotland - Jan
23, 2012, Reply to reader from: Alan Newark
It is not impossible that some documentation
at Kew might mention your father when he was at Lockerbie - you could
try running a National Archives catalogue or Archives search. If
you have the camp number just run a search with that number and every
file, on assorted topics, with that number in the title should
be listed. There might among files so listed be files about the
camp and your father's name might, when files are checked at
Kew by you or your researcher, be mentioned but there are very
few, if any, surviving lists of camp inmates at Kew.
In the 1960's, masses of documents pertaining to individual German (sic) POWs
were transferred by the UK to the German Red Cross. I know this because until
I, as a freelance journalist and researcher, pressed for an internal inquiry
about the claimed disposal of such documents, the then Public Record Office
had officially stated in its POW research guidance leaflets that all such files
had been destroyed in that decade. These files are now held by the WAst-Dienstelle
Personnel Records Centre in Berlin. Your father's military service records
might also be available. Enquiries are, be advised, sometimes not pursued by
staff / replied to for several months.
A problem with the Rimini Ukrainians et al is that the bulk of German POWs
were repatriated from Britain by 1947, the year in which most of the Rimini
Ukrainians arrived in the UK. The Rimi Ukrainians were collectively exempted
by the UK authorities from the compulsory repatriation provisions of the Yalta
Agreement and therefore avoided Soviet punitive action.
The Geneva Archives of the International Red Cross and the International Tracing
Service at Arolsen in Germany might also hold information. Again, the ITS can
take some time to reply. Both centres permit access by researchers, though
this can be limited at the ITS.
"From the outside, this doesn't look like a place of worship. The small,
corrugated iron hut is pretty anonymous but the crucifix on the door marks
it as special. Inside the drab exterior there is an ornate world of wonder.
Simple wooden pews face a beautifully decorated altar. There are religious
statues on both sides and numerous brightly-coloured ornaments. If you look
closely you can see that they’re hand-made, the best example being
the Blue Peter-style chandelier made from tinsel and coathangers, still going
strong after 60 years service.
"This chapel was built by Ukrainian prisoners of war who were sent
here in 1947. Between 420 and 450 men were imprisoned in Rimini and sent
to Scotland instead of being sent home where they would have been tried as
traitors and faced almost certain death. They arrived in Glasgow wearing
German uniforms, and came to Happendon Lodge near Motherwell, then Carstairs
before landing up in the camp at Hallmuir, 3 miles outside Lockerbie in the
"90% of the men were farmers so the Ministry of Agriculture gave them
jobs on the local land. One man, Mr Fallat, bought some fruit seeds from
Italy and planted an orchard that still stands to this day. Inside the church
they were just as creative. The landowner, Sir John Buchanan Jardine gave
them this small hut and after humble beginnings they began to decorate it
as a home from home. On the high altar is a model of their local Ukranian
cathedral, carved with a pen knife. It was made from memory as the Russians
destroyed the real one. The candlesticks beside it are made from shell casings
and the standards surrounding the arch from a tent brought over from Rimini.
For a place decorated in a time of austerity it's wonderfully cheerful."
Step inside to see what lies hidden behind the outer walls of this
relatively unassuming pre-war building.
Early on the morning of 27 May 1947, between 420 and 450 Ukrainian
prisoners of war arrived at Glasgow docks from a POW camp near Rimini
in Italy. Unlike German and Italian POWs who were repatriated, the
Ukrainian POWs could not return to the Soviet Union for fear of reprisals
by the Communist authorities.
After a short stay at Happendon Lodge, they were then taken by train
to Lockerbie on the morning of 6 June 1947 where Ukrainians marched
through Lockerbie to Hallmuir Camp. Of the 40 huts that were home to
the Ukrainians, only seven now remain. The Ukrainian POW's quickly
adjusted to life in the local community and the landowner at the time
was Sir John Buchanan Jardine kindly donated one of the huts to the
Ukrainians so that they could use it as a chapel. At first the chapel
was very plain but with a lot of hard work and devotion, the simple
timber and plaster board chapel was transformed and decorated to become
the inspirational place it is today.
It is the first Ukrainian chapel of its kind in Scotland and is still
in use to this day. Services are still held on the first Sunday of
every second month. The Garden of Remembrance for the Lockerbie Air
Disaster is situated 3 miles from the chapel.
David Guide, Published at 01:00, Friday,
01 October 2004
Mykola Pufkyj, 80, chapel caretaker, of Lockerbie
MEMBERS of the Ukrainian community in Carlisle may soon be able to
worship more often in a cross border Greek Orthodox chapel
that is one of Scotland’s
Created by prisoners-of-war half a century ago and cared for devotedly ever
since, it is now an officially listed and protected building where services
are held every two months.
Soon, it is planned to hold them more frequently for the Ukrainian faithful.
Created in a one time PoW hut on the Hallmuir Camp at Lockerbie, the chapel
was looked after for a very long time by just one or two people, and especially
by Mykola Pufkyj who has died, aged 80.
Now, his voluntary caretaking job has been taken over by his son and daughter-in-law,
Zennon and Ina.
Widely known as Nick, Mr Pujkyj was born in Ulich and was a Ukrainian army
soldier when the Russians invaded his country. Unable to resist the invaders,
many Ukrainians decided that their enemy’s enemy was their friend
and threw in their lot with the Germans, fighting with them through World
War Two. Thousands were captured by the Allies and, after the war, were
offered repatriation to their home country, which was by then part of the
As most of them detested the Russians and believed labour camps or execution
awaited them, they took the advice of a British officer and pretended to
be Poles. The Ukraine borders Poland and most of them spoke Polish and
so it was that they were put aboard a ship for Glasgow, arriving in May
1947. There were about 10,000 and 450 of that number arrived in Lockerbie – Mr
Pufkyj among them, where they were put to work in farming and forestry.
In one of the 40 huts on their camp they created a Greek Orthodox Chapel,
using their traditional skills in wood carving and rich decoration to create
a place of worship that is still a thing of beauty today. The area’s
Roman Catholic Churches helped, giving statues and other items and the
chapel was completed.
Mr Pufkyj had too many memories of Russian brutality and never wanted to
return to the Ukraine and so he stayed in Lockerbie and married a local
girl. He worked in forestry on the Castlemilk estate and, later, at the
cheese factory until he retired at 65.
In retirement he put even more time into caring for the chapel and he also
helped with activities at the local Holy Trinity RC Church, where his funeral
A guard of honour was mounted for him by Ukrainians from Lockerbie,
Carlisle and Annan and he was buried at Ruthwell, close to
his wife. Published by
Please can you help me. I am trying to trace my grandfather who was from
Hungary (Budapest). He came over to a POW camp in Stuartfield in
the north east of Scotland around about 1945 -1946 but it is possible he
was over before that. Could you tell me if there would be any lists of
the personnel who were at the camp. I would be greatful if you could help
me or give me some leads i could try and follow. With Regards, Donna
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