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Timbertown - The English Camp


Bob Coulson
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Recently came across an article about the above where the RND were interred after the fall of Antwerp.

It states that the morale of the men was of such a concern that at one stage they were allowed leave in England under certain conditions and would then return to the camp.

This seems remarkable and I was wondering if anyone has any further info as to what happened in these circumstances.?

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Free movement outside the camp was increased when the war progressed. At first only under armed guard, later on without guard after the promise to return. From December 1916 onwards it was allowed for the British (regardless of rank) to return to England twice a year.

Since the crossing was done by neutral ships there was the danger that the ship would be searched by the Germans and the internees captured.

The advantage for the Dutch was that the internees could strengthen en release sexual tension :blink: at home....

The whole business of internees is interesting when you first get into it. There is more then meets the eye. You would think a camp for each nationality. But this has to be done twice because you have internees and deserters. In the early stages it was not a great succes to house these together, to put it mildly. Then you have family coming over (esp. the families of Belgian mil. personnel). And the Dutch took over POW’s from both sides. Meaning British soldiers captured and imprisoned in Germany could find themselves being handed over to the Dutch.

And then there was the exchange of (seriously) wounded prisoners of war. On the first time this was done in Rotterdam the Germans returning from England where put into the same building as the English who where waiting to board this ship. A fight broke out between the wounded soldiers that had to be broken up. After this the groups were kept separate.

etc etc.

Information from: Roodt, E. de OORLOGSGASTEN – VLUCHTELINGEN EN KRIJGSGEVANGENEN IN NEDERLAND TIJDENS DE EERSTE WERELDOORLOG. 2000, 464 pages, 26x18 cm., Europese Bibliotheek.

Kind regards,

Marco

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