Arthur Dodd was born on December 7, 1919; his parents were Arthur Manning Dodd, originally from Wettenhall, and Elizabeth Ellen Dodd, from Northwich.

Elizabeth was a widow previously married to James Horton in 1904, who died in 1911.

Arthur and Elizabeth married in Northwich in 1913 and lived in various streets on Castle.

Arthur's father, Arthur Manning Dodd, had served in the British Army during the Boer War and First World War. Arthur junior left school in 1934, aged 15, and worked for a motor transport company as an apprentice mechanic in Northwich.

He moved to the Weaver Navigation Company in 1937 on Navigation Road and, during his employment there, had a nasty accident when his foot was trapped in a turning wheel.

Due to his injury, he could not enlist in the army to serve during Second World War; however, as he held an HGV licence, he could join as a military driving instructor in the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC).

Initially, Arthur volunteered in France and took part in the evacuation of Dunkirk. After this, he was posted to the Western Desert, where he was captured.

Northwich Guardian: The IG Farben-run labour camp at Auschwitz III (Monowitz)The IG Farben-run labour camp at Auschwitz III (Monowitz) (Image: Rose Hurley)

He was imprisoned in Italian and German Prisoner of War camps until August 27, 1943, when he was sent to Auschwitz III (Monowitz), just five miles from Auschwitz II (Birkenau).

To explain, the Auschwitz concentration camp complex had satellite camps known as Auschwitz I. The main camp, then in total, there were 44 Auschwitz sub-camps which contained from 12 to 12,000 prisoners each.

They were set up for various reasons, including experimentation, extermination and using slave labourers to work for the German war effort.

Many of these were run by private enterprises using slave labourers.

Auschwitz II, or Birkenau, was a concentration and extermination camp. Auschwitz III Monowitz Buna Werke was a labour camp run by company IG Farben and held 10,223 prisoners. IG Farben was the main civilian contractor in the camps.

Northwich Guardian: Auschwitz III (Monowitz)Auschwitz III (Monowitz) (Image: Rose Hurley)

After the war, directors at IG Farben were tried for war crimes, but the company continued into the 1950s.

The commandant of Monowitz from 1943 to 1945 was SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer (Captain) Heinrich Schwarze. At the war's end, he was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

He was executed by firing squad in 1947 at the age of 40.

Monowitz Buna Werke was the site of a big industrial plant manufacturing synthetic rubber.

It was built in 1941 on land stolen from Jews and owned by IG Farben. The camp held more than 10,000 Jews, forced labour, and POWs.

Arthur saw many atrocities whilst there, including the torturing and killing of Jews by the SS guards.

Northwich Guardian: The killing wall at AuschwitzThe killing wall at Auschwitz (Image: Rose Hurley)

Forced to undertake hard labour, Arthur and his comrades worked on the construction of pipelines. They would regularly sabotage the pipes and, when caught, were subject to being shot by the guards.

Arthur's liberated POW questionnaire also notes this, where he admits he put a pick through a pipe.

On the day that Arthur was found out, he was lined up with others against the 'killing wall' in preparation for his execution once the SS had completed a pressure test on the pipeline to prove the sabotage.

But an air raid siren sounded just before the shootings, and everyone was moved to safety. A bomb dropped and destroyed the pipe site so fortunately, no test could occur. The horrendous things he witnessed would remain with him for the rest of his life.  

In 1944 there was another air raid, and Arthur was in a shelter with other POWs when a bomb dropped.

A total of 38 prisoners were killed, and Arthur was one of many injured. A commemoration plaque was unveiled on the 60th anniversary of the liberation from Auschwitz in 2005, and the remains of the dead were interred at the Krakow Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery.

On January 23, 1945, the SS gave the POWs the choice of walking towards the Russian army or the US army; Arthur chose the Americans. The journey, known as one of the death marches, was in atrocious weather and claimed the lives of many marchers as they walked towards freedom.

Northwich Guardian: Colin Rushton's book with Arthur Dodd, 'Spectator in Hell'Colin Rushton's book with Arthur Dodd, 'Spectator in Hell' (Image: Rose Hurley)

Arthur told his story in a book by Colin Rushton called 'Spectator in Hell' and also in several documentaries, including 'Satan at his Best' and 'Auschwitz: The Forgotten Witness'.

In the second programme, it was recorded that Arthur tried to enter the IG Farben plant to claim his 14 months' wages for the time he worked there but was prevented from entering.

Arthur, formerly of Sandiway, died on January 17, 2011, aged 91, in a nursing home in Lostock Gralam. He was a courageous man who experienced horrendous crimes but ensured that, by sharing his story, others would never forget.