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Private Lonsdale POW


Guest Desmond6

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Reprisals for the death of Pte. Lonsdale, the British POW in Germany, in case the sentence of execution is carried out, are hinted at in the 'Montreal Star' which prints the following from its Ottawa correspondent:

"Major General the Hon. Sam Hughes states that if the death sentence on Pte William Lonsdale, the English POW is carried out there will be reprisals in Canada. There is a much more serious case against the German mutineers at Fort Henry, Kingston, than against Lonsdale.

"Lonsdale attacked a German NCO after much provocation, according to the evidence, whil the German prisoners at Fort Henry, without provocation on the part of the Canadian guards, attacked the latter who had to defend their lives.

"The purpose of the Germans was to escape. If Lonsdale is shot it means that the same sentence will be passed on the Germans at Kingston. One of these Germans who is supposed to have been the ringleader of the revolt, is a count, and is the owner of large estates in Western Canada. The case will be dealt with by Court Martial."

Ballymena Observer May 28, 1915

Does this mean anything to anyone; anybody know what happened?

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For what it is worth his name is not included in "shot at dawn" By Julian Putkowski and Julian Sykes. They listed all known executions and an alphabetical list of the men.

Tom

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For what it is worth his name is not included in "shot at dawn" By Julian Putkowski and Julian Sykes. They listed all known executions and an alphabetical list of the men.

Tom

It wouldn't be included in this book. "Shot at Dawn" covers British military judicary executions only.

Lonsdale was (probably tried and)executed by the Germans, so his death wouldn't be covered by this book, nor any further issues of it.

Dave.

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Lonsdale was (probably tried and)executed by the Germans, so his death wouldn't be covered by this book, nor any further issues of it.

Dave.

Dave..........not too sure he was executed............I did a quick search on the CWGC site for Pte William (& W) Lonsdale's & I couldn't find any who have been buried in German cemeteries.............I am of course assuming that the info that he was a POW in Germany was correct & that if he died (or was executed) whilst in a POW camp in Germany that he would have also been buried in Germany

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Guest Desmond6

Latest snippet on Lonsdale.

He was apparently a former tramcar conductor from Leeds. Ballymena Observer of November 12, 1915 says his treatment has much improved.

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Latest snippet on Lonsdale.

He was apparently a former tramcar conductor from Leeds. Ballymena Observer of November 12, 1915 says his treatment has much improved.

This would suggest that the execution did not took place & was merely a threat.................hopefully William Lonsdale made it through the ordeal of being a POW & returned home after the armistice

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

I have just been reading "The Prisoners 1914-18" by Robert Jackson, from which the following information about Pte Lonsdale is quoted.

"The test case for imposing the death sentence on a POW, in Germany at least, had come in January 1915, when a Private Lonsdale had been court-martialled and sentenced to death for striking a guard. The incident caused a diplomatic flurry and the sentence was commuted to twenty years imprisonment, of which Lonsdale, naturally, served less than five. Lonsdale had a serious offence under the military code of the country in which he was a captive, and his punishment (although severe in the extreme) was justified."

Regards

Steve

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Guest Desmond6

Nice to know it wasn't just jingo-newspaper talk! Amazing what this forum continues to churn up ... now I know it's worth continuing with obscure posts!!!

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  • 7 years later...

Private Lonsdale, of the Duke of Wellingtons regiment, who, while a prisoner of war in Germany, was sentenced to death for striking a military guard, and who is now undergoing a commuted sentence of twenty years imprisonment, has sent the

Following letter to his wife.

“Sorry you heard of my trouble. I did not want you to know of it. I am not allowed to say anything about my case in my letter, so you must wait until you see me again before you can hear my story of the affair.

“You can address your letters as usual to Doberitz, as I am in the guard-room here. I am not in prison yet. I expect to remain here till my trial comes to a satisfactory conclusion. When that will be I cannot say, but I am allowed a good lawyer—a German—but he speaks English.

“I have left everything to him, and I think he will do his best for me, so I am hoping and trusting that all will end well when the war finishes. I cannot complain of my home or my treatment since I came here on November 10, as everything possible has been done for my comfort and welfare. The men themselves who have to attend to my wants treat me with civility and respect. I am satisfied with everything, and I feel confident what all will come well in the end.”

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Wouldyou please indicate where you got a copy of this letter from? Would help in future discussion!

Trajan

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Its from a regional Irish newspaper of the period.

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Its from a regional Irish newspaper of the period.

Hi Desmond6

Private Lonsdale was repatriated 02/01/1919 arriving at Leith among other repatriated prisoners of war. He notified is arrival by telegram to his wife, as follows;-

"Edinburgh, four o'clock. Arrived safe Leith, Another wire later. Bill .(Man of few words) Kindest Regards DaveC

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Hi Desmond6

Private Lonsdale was repatriated 02/01/1919 arriving at Leith among other repatriated prisoners of war. He notified is arrival by telegram to his wife, as follows;-

"Edinburgh, four o'clock. Arrived safe Leith, Another wire later. Bill .(Man of few words) Kindest Regards DaveC

post-45185-0-34578900-1320086564.jpgPte W Lonsdale

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