A photograph of a London Underground tube map made in a WW2 prisoner of war camp has emerged from a collection taken by a British inmate in the prison camp.

The album of 200 photos shows Allied prisoners of war being held at the Stalag XVIII-A prison in southern Austria, and showed how the prisoners kept themselves busy and entertained while imprisoned.

They were kept in the prisoner of war camp alongside other Russian, Polish and French fighters during World War Two, and had to make their own entertainment.

Among the activities were plays they put on, building their own sets and costumes, some in drag, and with an array of skills, some of the men imprisoned also set to building other items, such as this remarkable tube map.

It’s done from memory, obviously, but quite an achievement to make such a thing, for pleasure, in a prisoner of war camp.

The album of 200 photographs was compiled by British prisoner, 7517789 Private James Mulhern, of the Royal Army Medical Corps, and shows life inside the compound from 1941 onward.

The album was put up for sale last month by Private Mulhern’s daughter with auctioneer Tennants of Leyburn, north Yorkshire. Estimated to sell for around £150, it actually sold for £280 at the auction.

After the war, the camp was run by the British occupation forces for the internment and interrogation of former Nazi officials and war criminals from Carinthia and Styria; several were extradited to Yugoslavia or the Nuremberg trials. Renamed “Camp 373”, it housed up to 7,000 inmates until its closure in 1948.

Photos kindly supplied by Tennants Auctioneers.


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