Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

JWK

Interned in the Netherlands - Pictures of 1500 soldiers found

Recommended Posts

JWK

Don't know if this is the correct forum to put it in, as technically they weren't POW's....

Pictures of ca 1500 British soldiers, who were interned in the Netherlands in 1914/15, were discovered in the Rotterdam Municipal Archives..

They have now been digitalised and are searchable through a dedicated website :

http://www.navalbrigade.nl/en/

About this project

Almost all the British soldiers belonged to the First Royal Naval Division. This unit was deployed in the defence of Antwerp in October 1914. After the fall of the Belgian port city some battalions were cut off from the main force, after which they sought a safe haven in neutral Netherlands. According to international treaties the Dutch Government’s neutrality required forces belonging to one of the belligerents to be interned. The British sailors were interned in a purpose- built barracks on the grounds of the Rabenhauptkazerne in Groningen, the so-called Englishman Camp. They would stay there until the end of the war.

The photos and associated list of names which have now surfaced, were used by the Rotterdam police to trace internees who had escaped from internment camps. Records show that foreign soldiers escaped from these camps in large numbers. Often they tried to reach England by the ports of Rotterdam or Vlissingen to rejoin the war effort. The Dutch authorities wanted to prevent these escapes at all costs because they endangered the neutrality of the country. As the war progressed, the Rotterdam police put more and more effort into apprehending the escaped internees.

The police put in place rigorous checks at railway stations and in the port. If the police suspected a traveller to be an escaped internee, he was taken to the police station for further investigation. There the photos and name lists obtained by the internment camps were checked. In the course of the war the Rotterdam police picked up several hundred soldiers of different nationalities in this way.

More information:

an example of the pictures : Here's J Thompson, stoker

NL-RtSA_63_170_0223_1048.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ianw

Extraordinary. What a great resource.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
trajan

Indeed, an outstanding find, news of which should be widely spread. I'd guess there are a fair few out there today who might be able to get a photograph of a relative from these.

Trajan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
redbarchetta

Wow, this is great - I may be able to find photos of the guys who made the picture frames and boxes that Groningen produced and sold - the earlier ones were named... Can't wait to get home now and try!!!

Thanks

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
horatio2

An excellent resource. Be aware, however, that the search engine and data are not without error. For example, the five able seamen of Nelson Battalion interned at Groningen are listed as Collingwood Battalion. The few internee ratings from Drake, Hood and Howe Battalions are also attributed to the wrong battalion (usually Collingwood) or are missing. Officer internees are also not included, nor are some men who escaped from Holland in May 1915.

Edited by horatio2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Derek Black

Always good to see new material come to light :)

Derek.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sepoy

Excellent!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Standard Bearer

Great news that this valuable resource has finally come to light.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roel22

Sheer luck this archive survived 14 may 1940 (city hall top center, large building with towers on the corners)

Roel

post-5443-0-33161900-1415684530_thumb.jp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
redbarchetta

Finally have faces to names and objects that they made around 100 years ago! Lovely to be able to see them! Wonder whether they ever thought, 100 years on, their little wooden boxes and picture frames would even still exist, let alone now be repatriated with their photo!!

post-2897-0-99838700-1416224877_thumb.jp

post-2897-0-81278200-1416224897_thumb.jp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
redbarchetta

And especially E Ray Jones of Collingwood Battalion, responsible for these iconic paintings of Antwerp in flames, on boxes and picture frames - I alone have two boxes and two picture frames by this prolific chap! Great to see him, finally!

post-2897-0-54239500-1416224970_thumb.jp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
trajan

That's excellent news! I was rather thinking when the discovery was announced that people might find photographs of lost relatives for whom they had no imagery - but this is also something nice and personal!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JWK

BBC Alba documentary on HMS Timbertown, focusing on the men from Lewis. Véry interesting :

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04kg1q1/galleries

http://www.stornowaygazette.co.uk/what-s-on/leisure/remarkable-wwi-story-of-hms-timbertown-1-3565101

and this website has some scans of the Camp magazine:

http://www.groningencamp.co.uk/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
redbarchetta

JWK,

Thanks for all this!! The site with the camp magazines is new to me, and very useful!!

Thanks

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sommewalker54

i run a facebook group dedicated to the RND

and ive set up a proper website to :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
redbarchetta

And the website address is.....??!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pamela Bolam

Hi do you have any information of my late father Thomas Marshall Thompson interned in HMS Timber town during the First World War 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pamela Bolam

I do have his original discharge certificate from HMS Helicon ex Calliope with dates from 2nd aug 1914 to 6th mar 1919 also a postcard photograph sent I believe to his sister Eliza. of him on a football team.Victory III RND Collingwood is on the certificate as well. Are these items of use to your web site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
horatio2

There was only one Thomas THOMPSON, of Collingwood Battalion RND, who was interned in Holland: He was a pre-WW1 (August 1912) recruit to No.2 Company of Tyneside Division RNVR, Official No. Tyneside 2/157. He served as an Able Seaman RNVR in 'B' Company, Collingwood Bn. However, he did not give a middle name (Marshall) on enlistment. Born 14 August 1894 and resident at Heron Street, South Shields. I believe this could this be your late father.

Edited by horatio2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
derekb

Is this website still available?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JWK
1 hour ago, derekb said:

Is this website still available?

 

I just noticed it's offline!

I have sent a message to the Rotterdam Cityarchives asking for the new webaddress (if there is one!), as I couldn't find it on their website/in their archives.

Will post their reply when received.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
derekb

Many thanks JWK, I have some postcards I need to get out that may be associated.

D.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...