Durham Park by Mathias Hess

My family are very thankful to Mathias Hess. I never knew him – in fact I don’t think any of us still alive ever knew him but we know of his existence and we know some of what he did.

Mathias was a German prisoner of war in England. When he was captured, I do not know, but he was still in England in 1946. My dad was working in POW camps at that time and got to know Mathias and this is what he wrote about him.

MATTHIAS HESS was a German prisoner of war in 145 GPW Working Camp based at Normanhurst Court, Battle (now demolished). I was on the staff and my home, Beals Oak, Wadhurst was in the grounds of the satellite camp at WadhurstPark.          

Matthias Hess was given some purely nominal work and allowed, in practice, to exercise his artistic talents around East Sussex, staying from time to time at any of the satellite camps – Hollington, Robertsbridge, Hurst Green, Wadhurst,   Halland, Hadlow Down & Hurstmonceax.  We often entertained him at Beals Oak.

Two drawings by Mathias (I use his own spelling of the name rather than the one Dad used with two ts) are of that home, Beals Oak, and the people there – my dad, my mum and their first born who was my sister.

My dad’s memories of him come from about 1980 but he added that after the war:

I never heard, of him again. As I remember him, 35 years later, he must have been around 40 at the tine – certainly above average age for a POW.

I have a picture that has come to me which is by Mathias Hess and here it is.

image002

The picture carries a signature, a year and a title.

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So there we have it. In 1946 Mathias Hess created this picture and called it Durham Park.

Now I want help. I’d love to trace any family of Mathias. On my dad’s estimate he’d have been born in around 1906, presumably in Germany but I have no idea where.

And where is Durham Park. Again, on my Dad’s memories you’d think it was in East Sussex. Maybe Mathias got the name wrong for I trace no Durham Park in Sussex.

Do get in touch if you can help me find any information about Mathias or can identify where this picture shows.

Thanks.

 

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