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Remembered Today:

Pte William Simon Stephens


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Can anyone tell me where to find out which POW camp William was in please? His records show that he was in a POW camp in Germany in 1918 - repatriated on 25 November 1918. BUT there are no STEPHENS at all on the Red Cross POW records which seems strange. He was in the Royal Irish Rifles and I wonder if that is why?

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The records on the ICRC site are challenging to search. I have found men under completely the wrong regiment or under a variation on the spelling of their name. I am still missing two men who I know were POWs and all I can do is to continue to search for them. There are an awful lot of Stevens listed on that site. Have you searched through them?

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On a closer look, the Stephens and Stevens seem to be lumped together and if there is nothing for Irish Rifles then you will have to search through the other units and regiments to see if he pops up in those.

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Many thanks for your replies. I'll just have to keep looking. Do I just look down all the lists on the left hand side of the screen?

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You have a couple of options. At the top and just above the list on the left is a window showing names in white (I think) if you click on that it will show you the ranges you can work within so you can find the range that would include Stevens. Alternatively, you could just type in the name Stevens and click on 'Validate' and then start searching through them that way.

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If you input Stevens (and Validate if necessary) then under "Irish" on the left hand side there are 6 men's cards. Scrolling down those there is WIlliam Stephens, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, No. 47142.

There is one list on that card - R/52483

"List of Repatriated British Prisoners of War arrived 24th November 1918 notified by embarkation officer Calais"

47142 Private Stephens, W. 2/R. Irish Rifles

That's all I'm afraid.

Steve.

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If you input Stevens (and Validate if necessary) then under "Irish" on the left hand side there are 6 men's cards. Scrolling down those there is WIlliam Stephens, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, No. 47142.

There is one list on that card - R/52483

"List of Repatriated British Prisoners of War arrived 24th November 1918 notified by embarkation officer Calais"

47142 Private Stephens, W. 2/R. Irish Rifles

That's all I'm afraid.

Steve.

The OP doesn't say when he was captured and I am assuming from his first post that he was captured in 1918. I was working on the theory that if there was a repat record, so it would follow there would be a camp record somewhere, unless their cross referencing was awry. However, after a recent museum and archive visit I copied a couple of recounts and diaries of captured men. Two of these were same regiment different battalions/divisions captured around the same time but different areas according to the disposition of their division. Both had similar outcomes the most comprehensive of these was a SNCO who wrote; they were moved from pillar to post around France and Belgium and never got to Germany. Their numbers rapidly dwindling due to overwork, starvation and shelling from the British. He continued to complain that after 5 months as prisoners, they were still unregistered. The Germans gave them registration cards on more than one occasion after numerous complaints but it was quite obvious they weren't being processed as the men received no mail or parcels. They were eventually allowed to write home but receiving no response he surmised that their cards/letters were also not being processed.

I checked his details through the ICRC he has a repat record but no camp record.

Thought I would post this as it goes some way into explaining why men might appear on a repat list but not have a reference linked to an official internment camp in France, Belgium or Germany.

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