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geraint

4 German Escapees

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geraint

April 1916, the local paper here gave a detailed account regarding the escape of four German prisoners from Frongoch POW camp. They had been captured at Neuve Chapelle and imprisoned at Frongoch. They escaped, (no information as to how) and made off across the mountains heading for Liverpool. They were spotted at Llandegla, and finally caught by a search party of the 2nd RWF. They had £10 and food, a compass and an "accurate line drawing map." When caught, they gave Welsh surnames, admitted that they were POWs (they were still wearing German field uniforms with blue POW patches), and that they were going to join a neutral ship at Liverpool to return to Germany. They were convinced that Germany would win the war. They stopped at a pub for food and drink, stating that they were German prisoners working on a local farm, and were duly served!

Their details are as follows

Pte JULIUS BARNARD KOCH, age 22, 6'6" in height, clean shaven, brown hair, blue eyes.

Cpl HEINRICH BRINKMAN, age 24, 5'9" in height, full imperial beard, blonde hair, blue eyes

Pte HANS SCHAENHEIR, age 21, 5'7" in height, brown hair, clean shaven

Pte WILHELM ALENKENS, age 23, 6'2" in height, fair hair and moustache.

Two were from Westphalia, one a Bavarian, the other a Saxon.

How does one find out about them?

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Drover

This may give a few pointers:

From POW in British Hands during WW1 by Graham Mark (The Postal History Society):

"On 13 April 1916, four escaped (they were not named in the newspapers) and they were recaptured 48 hours later by a Police Constable from Bwlchgwyn (nr Wrexham). They were making for Liverpool. All had originally been taken at Neuve Chapelle in March 1915. On 12 October 1916, the US Ambassador sent a letter from two of these complaining of their treatment after recapture. Julius Reinhard Kock and Unteroffizier Heinrich Brinkmann wrote from the camp at Jersey. They had got out of Frongoch on 13 April with Gefreiter Wilhelm Arenkens and Hans Schonherr and were recaptured on 17th and sentenced to 84 days at Woking. The War Office refuted all allegations of mistreatment. (FO 383/164)"

The spelling of the names above are as shown in G Mark's book (apart from the two dots over the 'o' in Schonherr.

Regards

Jim

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geraint

Excellent follow up Jim. Thanks! Shall attempt to follow up on the names ^_^

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