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Chateau d'Oeux


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I am researching men of the Somerset Light Infantry who were taken prisoner at Le Cateau on 26th August 1914. Some of these were wounded and later repatriated through Switzerland and I find that most were sent to Chateau D'Oeux. I have not been able to find any information on this although there is some reference to an hotel. I wonder if anyone has any informmation on the process of repatriation in general and the Chateau D'oeux in particular.

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I've got a short account of a prisoner at Chateau D'Oeux - if you let me have an email address I'll scan the page and send it.

Regards - Sue

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Hi Light Bob

Chateau d'Oex was described as follows in a report on the conditions in Swiss Internment Camps compiled in 1917:

Chateau d'Oex is better than Mürren, but it is a miserable little saucer of a place, surrounded by hills, covered in slush at times, and thoroughly unsuitable for wounded men. Some of our men have been there for nearly a year, and no settled employment has been arranged for them. Experts from home have now come out with lordly schemes, involving the spending of some thousands of pounds. No scheme now seems to be looked at which does not involve vast expenditure, and no doubt magnificent results will be obtained in the months to come but in the meantime the discontent is increasing. How can anyone expect the six hundred odd idle men will be contented and happy? Why should our men be poked away like criminals, and put in places where work is impossible? Here there is a factory where boxes and the boards that go inside rolls of cloth are made by the French, who are paid proper wages, and everything is sent to France. Something of the same sort could be arranged for our men, although it might be difficult.

We are blasting rock on top of a mountain 3000 ft above Chateau d’Oex, but we are not rushed. We come down on Saturday morning and go back on Monday morning, and get our food for the week. Others are sent to farms, but found the hours too long. Fifteen hours a day for 3 fr. seems excessive.

By July 1917 there were approximately 1800 British prisoners interned in Switzerland.

This information comes from The Prisoners 1914 - 1918 by Robert Jackson, published by Routledge in 1989.

I have a couple of postacrds sent by Pte A Fouracre, 6730, Ist Somerset Light Infantry who was interned in Mürren. Have you come across him?

I hope this is of interest.

Regards

Steve

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Sue. Thanks for the offer, much appreciated. Have posted my e-mail address.

Steve.

Regards Harold Fouracre, he was a regular born in 1884, and enlisted in 1903. He was one of the many wounded who had to be left behind at Le Cateau as the transport carrying the stretchers had been withdrawn.

I have him as being transferred from Murren to Switzerland on 18th November 1916, repatriated to England 11th September 1917 and discgarged with Silver Star on 13th November in the same year. If it is possible to scan me copies of the postcards I would be very grateful.

With regards to Chateau d'Oeux, it appears that it was more an internment than transit camp as prisoners seemed to have stayed there for considerable periods.

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Hi

Thanks for the information on Harold. I will send you scans of the cards as requested. I have attached the reverse of one of the cards. It is a view of Geneva dated and postmarked 9 September 1917 and has the following text:

"Dear Wife I am at Geneva on the way to Blighty hope to be home soon love to you and dear baby from your loving husband

H Fouracre"

Regards

Steve

post-6-1094594535.jpg

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  • 5 months later...
  • 1 year later...
Sue. Thanks for the offer, much appreciated. Have posted my e-mail address.

Steve.

Regards Harold Fouracre, he was a regular born in 1884, and enlisted in 1903. He was one of the many wounded who had to be left behind at Le Cateau as the transport carrying the stretchers had been withdrawn.

I have him as being transferred from Murren to Switzerland on 18th November 1916, repatriated to England 11th September 1917 and discgarged with Silver Star on 13th November in the same year. If it is possible to scan me copies of the postcards I would be very grateful.

With regards to Chateau d'Oeux, it appears that it was more an internment than transit camp as prisoners seemed to have stayed there for considerable periods.

Hi Light Bob

Just came across your information re Harold Fouracre. I believe this may well be my Grandfather (who I never knew as he died the year I was born). Regimental no. 6730> from an Army form I have him posted missing after an engagement 26.8.14. Would really welcome any information.

Alan F

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Hi

Thanks for the information on Harold. I will send you scans of the cards as requested. I have attached the reverse of one of the cards. It is a view of Geneva dated and postmarked 9 September 1917 and has the following text:

"Dear Wife I am at Geneva on the way to Blighty hope to be home soon love to you and dear baby from your loving husband

H Fouracre"

Regards

Steve

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  • 3 months later...
There are photos of Chateau d'Oeux on the Australian War Memorial website.

Libster

Where? I can't find any there...I'm looking because my family originates from Chateau d'Oex, my great grandfather might have been a POW there..but we are still searching.

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