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Remembered Today:

Prisoners of Spring Offensive 1918


danielgeorge
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Hi,

His war record shows that my great uncle was taken prisoner at Ronssoy during the Spring Offensive 1918. His last place of internment looks something like Heuberg but the ink is very faint. No living relatives have any knowledge of conditions etc. Does anybody know of POW witness accounts from this time? He had a metal plate fitted in his head and it may have been at this time. It would be great to read accounts of men who had a similar experience. Thanks.

Danielgeorge

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Thanks Anne.

That's really interesting. I'll hopefully find that some of the Spring Offensive prisoners ended up there. He was with the Connaught Rangers and that Regiment didn't survive the war as they were more than decimated during the Offensive.

Danielgeorge

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Daniel, if you give his name and number I'll try to find out what I can about him.

Anne

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Hi Anne,

Brilliant. I got a war record for him but some details are quite faint. I'd really appreciate your opinion. His name is Joseph Payne. He was in the Leinster Regiment (4261), the Connaught Rangers (18187) and the Royal Engineers (616530) after the war. I'd love to know more about his time in prison. I got the Connaught Rangers War Diary but March 1918 had been lost. Is there any German site where they have released information about prisoners? There may be information out there if I knew how to access it. He was awarded the military medal but I don't know exactly where the action took place.Thanks,

Danielgeorge

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Daniel, I have some information about Joseph Payne, born 12.06.1895 at Mount Mallick but too large to post on the forum. If you PM me with your email address I will send it to you via email.

Anne

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Hi Anne,

That's very good of you. I continued searching this evening and found the ICRC site. it's amazing. That information wasn't available earlier in the year when I was researching. I found info on him and that very faint print on his record actually said Metz. he was in Munster II for a month and was then transferred to Metz which seemingly had the most important hospital. That must be where he got the metal plate in his head. I think that might be the info that you found? Thanks so much for going to the trouble. I couldn't find much info on Metz but I might find it eventually. Thanks again.

Danielgeorge

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Brilliant Daniel, I do wish you success in your research.

Anne

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  • Admin

Does anybody know of POW witness accounts from this time? It would be great to read accounts of men who had a similar experience. Thanks.

Danielgeorge

You could have a look at Richard van Emden's 'Prisoner of the Kaiser' or John Lewis Stempel's 'The war behind the wire' for accounts of British PoWs in WW1

both are on Amazonwhich if you link to by the 'More' link in the top task bar it helps support the forum. Both have a 'Look Inside'.

Martin Middlebrook in 'The Kaiser's Battle' describes the experience of capture on March 21st 1918.

Ken

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  • 1 month later...

Didn't it depend on whom took our soldiers prisoner, as to where they were interned ?

My Grandfather was captured near Steenwerck on the 11th. April 1918 and was interned at Soltau after medical treatment at Munsterlager for gunshot wound.

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I have included two accounts by Australian POWs in "The RSL Book of WWI" - see forum discussion under "Reveille Magazine."

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www.harpercollins.com.au/books/RSL-Book-World-War/?isbn=9780732299651

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  • 4 weeks later...

Didn't it depend on whom took our soldiers prisoner, as to where they were interned ?...

Earlier war years, yes, they were generally sent to the Armee Korps area that captured them. The POWs during 1916, began to be viewed as a manpower resource to be used as and where needed by Germany. By the latter end of 1917 and in 1918, few were sent to the areas you might expect to find them (that is if you can find the unit that captured them in the first place). With the stance adopted regarding them being a manpower resource, it also made for a lot of movement of POWs. They might have been sent to the AK area that captured them but later, moved to where they were needed to work. Reprisal movement of POWs also took place. Add to that, the camps in some areas already overflowing with prisoners necessitating they be sent elsewhere...each man needs to be researched as an individual.

I knew the where, when and by whom my granddad and five others were captured in 1917. I had drawn up a shortlist of camps I would have expected them to have been interned. After the release of the ICRC records, I found not one of them were sent to the area I had thought. Three of the men were moved three times within POW camps (not counting the movements before arriving in Germany). One man was moved eight times before he died and it seems that of the five men, only granddad remained at the same camp for the duration - nowhere near the HQ area of the AK that captured them.

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