Catalogue description War Office: Directorate of Military Intelligence: Liberated Prisoner of War Interrogation Questionnaires

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Details of WO 344
Reference: WO 344
Title: War Office: Directorate of Military Intelligence: Liberated Prisoner of War Interrogation Questionnaires

This series consists of approximately 140,000 Liberation Questionnaires completed by mainly British and Commonwealth Prisoners of War (PoWs) of all ranks and services, plus a few other Allied nationals and Merchant seamen. While the plans to question all liberated PoWs never materialised, these records nevertheless represent a large percentage of those still in captivity in 1945.

Although the questionnaires for those held by Germany or Japan differ in appearance and format, the information they might provide is very similar. As well as giving personal details, name, rank, number, unit and home address, these records can include: date and place of capture; main camps and hospitals in which imprisoned and work camps; serious illnesses suffered while a prisoner and medical treatment received; interrogation after capture; escape attempts; sabotage; suspicion of collaboration by other Allied prisoners; details of bad treatment by the enemy to themselves or others.

In addition, individuals were given the opportunity to bring to official notice any other matters, such as courageous acts by fellow prisoners or details of civilians who assisted them during escape and evasion activities. Consequently, additional documentation is sometimes attached.

Both questionnaires also enquire if the prisoner had witnessed or had any information about war crimes. If so, they were required to complete a form 'Q'. These forms contained information about behaviour of enemy captors which could constitute illegal acts

Scattered throughout files in this series there are 'Special Interrogation Reports' which relate to prisoner of war reports in WO 208.

Date: 1945-1946

They are arranged alphabetically by name sequences with separate sections for those held by Germany and Japan.

Forms 'Q' were not kept with the main report, but passed to the appropriate Allied authorities investigating alleged war crimes.

Related material:

For further research into war crimes see the records of the Judge Advocate General, principally:

WO 235

WO 309

WO 310

WO 311

WO 325

Separated material:

The current whereabouts and indeed survival of forms 'Q' is unknown.

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

War Office, Directorate of Military Intelligence, 1939-1964

Physical description: 410 box(es)
Access conditions: Open
Immediate source of acquisition:

from 2004 Ministry of Defence

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