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seaforths

Foreign Office Files on POWs (FO 383)

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seaforths

I have been busy this last couple of months, chipping away and producing a single document that lists the file numbers and contents of the FO 383 files on POWs. Since the release of the ICRC POW records we can now research the records of individual POWs. However, there are other research resources also available such as the WO 161 interview files, which have a hefty index on the TNA site and it is free to download. However, there was not a single source and searchable document for the FO 383 files. Originally produced and intended for my own personal use, I thought I would share it and hope it helps those who choose to take their POW research further. It is quite a hefty file as there are over 500 files in the series and I have put a header sheet, and a sloping shoulder disclaimer along with some tips for anyone intending to go and look at these files.

Each file has been copied and pasted with its original short form title and bullets added. It's not pretty, but it's functional.

The files cover many issues regarding the prisoners themselves of many different nationalities (not just British and not just military prisoners). In addition, there is information about camps, conditions and named individuals etc.

It can be downloaded by clicking on the link below:

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=8DF1E713C2B47BF5!564&authkey=!AASh5BUKod70mbM&ithint=folder%2cpdf

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Chris_Baker

A work of art, seaforths! Well done and thank you. Very handy.

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Maureene

Thanks seafoths

I found some references to POW camps in India, including FO 383/436 1918 which refers to the transfer of German civilians from East Africa to India, which I had not previously heard about.

Cheers

Maureen

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Standard Bearer

Thank you very much for your efforts, seaforths. I am sure that this will be useful to many.

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seaforths

Thank you for the comments and I'm glad it is proving to be of some use already. It was borne of some frustration on my part. While being no stranger to Kew it was my first foray into these documents in July. I usually plan well ahead of my visits travelling the distance I do, but that planning months ahead is no longer possible for me. It was a window of opportunity to go and any future visits will be likewise. No disrespect to TNA but their search facilities can be unforgiving/cumbersome at times. Refine and narrow the search and you end up missing information. Broader searches throws up a ton of stuff to trawl through, some of which is outwith the files you want to be in. As a result, I missed out on information because I didn't know it was there. While compiling that document, I can now see stuff I would have liked to look at and if I'd seen it sooner, my list and priorities of the last visit would have been a little different. However, there is so much there, I know another trip eventually will be inevitable but at least next time, I will be able to prepare quicker than before. In fact, I've already highlighted and splattered my copy with notes here and there.

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archangel9

Nice one seaforths!

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seaforths

Hi folks a message for anyone having downloaded and are using the PDF, having just recently copied some extracts from FO 383/406, I would like to point out that they seem to have made a transcription error when they compiled the content lists. For this file (FO 383/406) where instances of 'Towmai' or 'Towinai' are seen, please take that location as being Tournai and I will upload an amended version in due course. Cheers.

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seaforths

I'm bumping this one to help those looking for sources of information on POWs and camps all over the world and those also interned in neutral countries such as Holland and Switzerland.

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Old Cove

I have been busy this last couple of months, chipping away and producing a single document that lists the file numbers and contents of the FO 383 files on POWs.

Pte Frank Edgar Yeomans, no 241434 2/5th Lincolnshire Regiment escaped from Germany in October 1918. I have found his interview file in the WO 161 series and his name is also mentioned in your excellent list as one of approximately 160 soldiers listed in file FO 383/381 1918 under the heading 'Return to the UK of British soldiers escaped form Germany'. Do you happen to know whether this file is likely to contain material about each of these soldiers, as well as the names?

Roger

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charlie2

A fantastic piece of work.

On page 43 I found a reference to a Professor Carl Fuchs a naturalised british subject and distiguished professor of music held in Germany. My Grandfather studied the cello under him and always had a signed photo of him on the mantlepiece, sorry but it just brought back memories.

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seaforths

Pte Frank Edgar Yeomans, no 241434 2/5th Lincolnshire Regiment escaped from Germany in October 1918. I have found his interview file in the WO 161 series and his name is also mentioned in your excellent list as one of approximately 160 soldiers listed in file FO 383/381 1918 under the heading 'Return to the UK of British soldiers escaped form Germany'. Do you happen to know whether this file is likely to contain material about each of these soldiers, as well as the names?

Roger

Hi Roger, I'm not on my computer but I will be later on this evening. I can't remember off the top of my head if I have that file or extracts from it but I will check and get back to you.

A fantastic piece of work.

On page 43 I found a reference to a Professor Carl Fuchs a naturalised british subject and distiguished professor of music held in Germany. My Grandfather studied the cello under him and always had a signed photo of him on the mantlepiece, sorry but it just brought back memories.

charlie2 these FO files are a treasure trove of information for German POW research as well as British and of course, other nationalities. Maybe some day, they will get around to digitising them but they are big files. Some of the contents lists are quite short but that can be deceptive because they have just sent a lot of correspondence back and forth on a particular subject/person.

Also, using the search on some words doesn't quite work because they might have spelled it differently. For example, searching Murrens, they have put the two little dots above the 'u' so I had to search 'rrens' to locate all the files for that!

It is sometimes strange how you come across information about someone in those files...I found a Gordon Highlander escaper, in the files, who lived a couple of doors away from where my uncle now lives and his old cottage was up for sale last year and had a 'sold' sign up and I wondered to myself that the new owners are probably oblivious to the history of who lived in that place before them.

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seaforths

Pte Frank Edgar Yeomans, no 241434 2/5th Lincolnshire Regiment escaped from Germany in October 1918. I have found his interview file in the WO 161 series and his name is also mentioned in your excellent list as one of approximately 160 soldiers listed in file FO 383/381 1918 under the heading 'Return to the UK of British soldiers escaped form Germany'. Do you happen to know whether this file is likely to contain material about each of these soldiers, as well as the names?

Roger

Hi Roger, I'm not on my computer but I will be later on this evening. I can't remember off the top of my head if I have that file or extracts from it but I will check and get back to you.

A fantastic piece of work.

On page 43 I found a reference to a Professor Carl Fuchs a naturalised british subject and distiguished professor of music held in Germany. My Grandfather studied the cello under him and always had a signed photo of him on the mantlepiece, sorry but it just brought back memories.

charlie2 these FO files are a treasure trove of information for German POW research as well as British and of course, other nationalities. Maybe some day, they will get around to digitising them but they are big files. Some of the contents lists are quite short but that can be deceptive because they have just sent a lot of correspondence back and forth on a particular subject/person.

Also, using the search on some words doesn't quite work because they might have spelled it differently. For example, searching Murrens, they have put the two little dots above the 'u' so I had to search 'rrens' to locate all the files for that!

It is sometimes strange how you come across information about someone in those files...I found a Gordon Highlander escaper, in the files, who lived a couple of doors away from where my uncle now lives and his old cottage was up for sale last year and had a 'sold' sign up and I wondered to myself that the new owners are probably oblivious to the history of who lived in that place before them.

Oh bother! I got an error message saying I had used too many quotes and wouldn't post my reply so I tried again, got the same message and tried a third time and it went - twice - it seems!

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seaforths

Pte Frank Edgar Yeomans, no 241434 2/5th Lincolnshire Regiment escaped from Germany in October 1918. I have found his interview file in the WO 161 series and his name is also mentioned in your excellent list as one of approximately 160 soldiers listed in file FO 383/381 1918 under the heading 'Return to the UK of British soldiers escaped form Germany'. Do you happen to know whether this file is likely to contain material about each of these soldiers, as well as the names?

Roger

Roger. I have the file and there are three telegrams plus three cover sheets so a total of six sheets. Seems he escaped from a leather factory with a chap called Turner which is probably in his statement that you have. It might be worth pulling Turner's statement too if there is one. They were in quarantine at Sittard and returned on British ship 37. The file sizes are far too big to put here but if you want to PM me your email address, I will be happy to email you the six pages.

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Old Cove

That would be great. I'll send you a PM.

Roger

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AndrewW

Thanks so much for your work on this Seaforths. I look forward to looking through the listings and then some of the documents - a great resource!

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seaforths

Thanks so much for your work on this Seaforths. I look forward to looking through the listings and then some of the documents - a great resource!

You are welcome. It's nice to know that people are making good use of it and popping up with queries or success stories.

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Hedley Malloch

A great piece of work. Well done.

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johntaylor

Excellent catalogue - many thanks to you for preparing and sharing it.

All the best, John

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maggie_h

This is a very useful document.  Word searches have provided several new threads to follow up about prisoners from SS Appam and in Afion Kara Hissar. Great! Many thanks.

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Maureene

 

 

3 hours ago, maggie_h said:

  Word searches have provided several new threads to follow up about prisoners ... in Afion Kara Hissar. 

For more information  about POWs in Turkey, see the FIBIS Fibiwiki page Prisoners of the Turks (First World War)

http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php/Prisoners_of_the_Turks_(First_World_War)

 

Cheers

Maureen

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