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JWK

Interned in the Netherlands - Pictures of 1500 soldiers found

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JWK
On 02/11/2019 at 22:50, Pamela Bolam said:

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

On 03/11/2019 at 11:25, horatio2 said:

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.

 

This is "T Thompson", Collingwood Btln:

thompson.jpg.9465ea1948cdbf09748cdd9a9554a82a.jpg

 

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JWK

Rotterdam Cityarchives replied.

The new link is:

https://www.archieven.nl/nl/zoeken?mistart=4&mivast=0&mizig=236&miadt=184&miaet=54&micode=63_170&milang=nl&misort=last_mod|desc&miview=ldt

 

Not as elaborate as the website, but all photographs are still there.

 

To search:

- click on "zoeken" top left

zoeken.jpg.12d002bd7d67d1d042725e23fabc21e8.jpg

 

- type in surname

zoeken1.jpg.5dcd5f023001da397d793f74a2292052.jpg

- click "zoek" [= "search"]

 

If there is a match/are matches, then the name/names is/are highlighted, and the photograph on which he appears is highlighted.

zoeken2.jpg.b8f2f57fc3a0ae35eb7a85c1f49b78ff.jpg

 

- Click on the +  before the name, and you get the paynumber, which is written next to his photo on the photopagezoeken3.jpg.fc2500f009ba49d19a23938157f147f0.jpg

Edited by JWK

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JWK

It's not all photographs, there are also some 100 pages of correspondence in this archive. All massively interesting (if you can read Dutch that is.... sorry)

Starting at:

https://www.archieven.nl/maisi_ajax_proxy0.php?miview=viewer2&miahd=1427923880&miadt=184&mizig=236&mivast=0&mialg=&mizk_alle=t*om*son&mistart=0

including telegrams about missing soldiers, asking the Rotterdam police to look out for them; W Inman who was released from internment in sept 1915, and allowed to return to the UK; and a letter from the Head of Rotterdam Police stating that W.J.Bull frequently visits Rotterdam, as he gives swimminglessons to the sailors in Dutch Navy vessel "Schorpioen"!

 

zwemmen.jpg.2d9e8426c732420ab7d7e2167dd0a9a0.jpg

Edited by JWK

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horatio2

JWK, Thank you for re-linking us to this valuable archive material.

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Prue Peters

Well, this is so fascinating!  I have my Grandfather's account of his escape from Groningen and happy to add.  For me, I am particularly interested in finding out the names of other internees as I am trying to find out who my biological father was.  I do know his family were friends of my Grandfather's family and a 'POW' was overheard... that's it... so I am not leaving this particular stone unturned!  I have a bit more info which suggests the person may be linked back to a friend of my Granddads..

Edited by Prue Peters
spello

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Prue Peters
On 12/12/2014 at 20:14, JWK said:

Redbarchetta : Here's a picture of the lads hard at work making your pictureframes :

https://www.flickr.com/photos/22543487@N07/8242820456/sizes/l

From this brilliant photostream on Flickr, with 189 pictures of life in Timbertown :

https://www.flickr.com/photos/22543487@N07/sets/72157631685465647

Thank you so much for those... absolutely fantastic.  Can't spot my Granddad but don't have many pics of him young.  But just to see where he was is spine tingling... Wish he was alive to see them but long gone of course...

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JWK
4 hours ago, Prue Peters said:

Well, this is so fascinating!  I have my Grandfather's account of his escape from Groningen and happy to add.  For me, I am particularly interested in finding out the names of other internees as I am trying to find out who my biological father was.  I do know his family were friends of my Grandfather's family and a 'POW' was overhead... that's it... so I am not leaving this particular stone unturned!  I have a bit more info which suggests the person may be linked back to a friend of my Granddads..

 

Prue, what's your grandfather's name and when did he escape? Maybe I can find something in the Dutch newspapers of the time, or in police-reports.

 

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Prue Peters
47 minutes ago, JWK said:

 

Prue, what's your grandfather's name and when did he escape? Maybe I can find something in the Dutch newspapers of the time, or in police-reports.

 

Exciting... thanks... It must have been May 1915.  His name is easy.... Albert Paul Mecklenburg (sometimes people added an 'h') -.  He changed it to Mexborough in 1919 by deed poll.

Screenshot 2020-01-16 at 22.18.17.png

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JWK

@Prue Peters  "He appeared in fine fettle and in the pink of condition" :)

 

And whát a surname to have being interned in Groningen! The Queen-consort at the time was Henry, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Any relation?

 

Just one mention of English Internees escaping in the month of may 1915 in the newspapers, as far as I can see:


5th May 1915

"On the wire from Groningen

4 English internees have escaped on Monday night [= 3rd May 1915].

On Sunday night [another] 4 tried to escape.

They cut through the barbed wire surrounding the camp, and tied it up again with some rope.

Two of them were apprehended at the railway station"

escape.jpg.94e70df63a878b95aa26f6c50d50ea86.jpg

 

(Note to self: when escaping do NOT go to the nearest (and the only one for miles around) railwaystation! ;) )

Guess your grandfather was one of the other two?

 

Would love to know how the story of his escape unfolds.

How did he get through the Netherlands, knowing no Dutch presumably, to a port like Rotterdam or Vlissingen, undetected?

 

 

 

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Prue Peters
17 hours ago, JWK said:

@Prue Peters  "He appeared in fine fettle and in the pink of condition" :)

 

And whát a surname to have being interned in Groningen! The Queen-consort at the time was Henry, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Any relation?

 

Just one mention of English Internees escaping in the month of may 1915 in the newspapers, as far as I can see:


5th May 1915

"On the wire from Groningen

4 English internees have escaped on Monday night [= 3rd May 1915].

On Sunday night [another] 4 tried to escape.

They cut through the barbed wire surrounding the camp, and tied it up again with some rope.

Two of them were apprehended at the railway station"

escape.jpg.94e70df63a878b95aa26f6c50d50ea86.jpg

 

(Note to self: when escaping do NOT go to the nearest (and the only one for miles around) railwaystation! ;) )

Guess your grandfather was one of the other two?

 

Would love to know how the story of his escape unfolds.

How did he get through the Netherlands, knowing no Dutch presumably, to a port like Rotterdam or Vlissingen, undetected?

 

Thank you sooo much for this and definitely a good idea to do a bit of reconnaisance first!  I am just trying to sort the muddled account so that it is readable to put on here (his escape) but here is a short summary that I found on line - of his career - right through to Military Cross which was being sold!  (I had no idea, nor how it got to be sold.   Was very sad but unable to trace it as the auction houses won't allow).  But anyway, very proud of him.

 

 

Screenshot 2020-01-17 at 18.01.53.png

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horatio2

When Albert MECKLENBURG (later MEXBOROUGH) enrolled in the RNVR on 10 Augst 1914, the RNVR was not yet enrolling men for 'duration of the war'. This started in London Division RNVR on 31 August, the men being given London/Z (L/Z) numbers. Albert instead enrolled into No.7 Company of London Division RNVR with number London 7/3545 (L7/3545). His record as a rating is here:-  https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D7284067

 

A new record card was started for his service as an officer. That record is here:-  https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D7279096

 

His 1914 Star trio of campaign medals appears in the medal roll under the name of MECKLENBURY.

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Prue Peters

Will add this account of my Grandfather's experience as best I can.. written by my Grandmother and some of it dictated by him.  They are all out of order and difficult to manipulate as are jpgs.   Bear with me if some are slightly out of order..

Screenshot 2020-01-17 at 22.24.31.png

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Prue Peters

This is a piece from my Grandmother's account of her life and includes her engagement and information about planning Albert's escape.. so bit out of order...

Screenshot 2020-01-17 at 22.33.20.png

Screenshot 2020-01-17 at 22.35.46.png

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Prue Peters
3 hours ago, horatio2 said:

When Albert MECKLENBURG (later MEXBOROUGH) enrolled in the RNVR on 10 Augst 1914, the RNVR was not yet enrolling men for 'duration of the war'. This started in London Division RNVR on 31 August, the men being given London/Z (L/Z) numbers. Albert instead enrolled into No.7 Company of London Division RNVR with number London 7/3545 (L7/3545). His record as a rating is here:-  https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D7284067

 

A new record card was started for his service as an officer. That record is here:-  https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D7279096

 

His 1914 Star trio of campaign medals appears in the medal roll under the name of MECKLENBURY.

thank you so much for that - fascinating reading...  I suppose people never get the medals back.... would so love to have the MC in the family for future generations.  So pleased that his service is recorded.  

 

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Prue Peters
21 hours ago, JWK said:

@Prue Peters  "He appeared in fine fettle and in the pink of condition" :)

 

And whát a surname to have being interned in Groningen! The Queen-consort at the time was Henry, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Any relation?

 

Just one mention of English Internees escaping in the month of may 1915 in the newspapers, as far as I can see:


5th May 1915

"On the wire from Groningen

4 English internees have escaped on Monday night [= 3rd May 1915].

On Sunday night [another] 4 tried to escape.

They cut through the barbed wire surrounding the camp, and tied it up again with some rope.

Two of them were apprehended at the railway station"

escape.jpg.94e70df63a878b95aa26f6c50d50ea86.jpg

 

(Note to self: when escaping do NOT go to the nearest (and the only one for miles around) railwaystation! ;) )

Guess your grandfather was one of the other two?

 

Would love to know how the story of his escape unfolds.

How did he get through the Netherlands, knowing no Dutch presumably, to a port like Rotterdam or Vlissingen, undetected?

 

 

 

No he was not related to the Mecklenburg-Schwerins.!  When he eventually lost his arm, it was amputated by a German surgeon and they got on really well.  Think he must have been POW - I need to research that period of his life too.  But no wonder he eventually changed his name to Mexborough. Probably wise.

 

 

 

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horatio2

Many thanks for posting those very interesting accounts.

Albert was not a POW in WW1.

The rating with whom he escaped was Leading Seaman Arthur Percy TAYLOR, London 7/3339 - another No.7 Company man who had enrolled in the RNVR five days before Albert. Like Albert, Taylor was commissioned after his escape and they joined Nelson Battalion together. He later served in kite balloons in the RNAS and RAF.

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Prue Peters

Well, thank so much for this response.  This is great.  So he was never a POW himself.  Ihave seen (buried deep in one of my computer drives from years ago,) a report of how his injuries occurred and how he kept on fighting, hence MC. I really really appreciate this h2. and very pleased that Granddad's account of his escape and time at the camp will bring it all more to life.  (Like the photos have for me). 

 

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horatio2

When your grandfather and Sub Lt Taylor joined Nelson Battalion at Mudros, on the island of Lemnos, in early January 1916, another Sub Lt in their draft was Arthur K Smithells (London Z/700). This officer was, like your grandfather, badly wounded in the Battle of the Ancre on 13 November 1916. His grandson is the author Louis de Bernieres ("Captain Corelli's Mandolin", "Birds Without Wings" et al)

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Prue Peters

Well, that's given me goose bumps all over!  And brought a tear to my eye.  Really kind of you to find that out.  I have linked this forum to a couple of cousins so they can read all about him too.  I loved Captain Corelli's Mandolin!  As they say "well I never did"!

 

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JWK

@Prue Peters Thank you véry much for that report!

Especially the third jpg file you posted.

Lóve that Quaker Oats trick.

Uncle Oscar selling ancient chateaux, and shipping them to America stone by numbered stone! How many did he sell?

"Heilbronners" could well be Raoul Heilbronner's business: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raoul_Heilbronner

And yes, those poor Dutch soldiers trying to herd a flock of goats aka a group of young English soldiers, and ending up blind drunk!

 

Having a mate who could speak Dutch sure helped them along their way.

It says they "walked some sixty miles across the country" to a train-station.

The distance Groningen-Zwolle (via Assen, Hoogeveen and Meppel)  is 60 miles. Maybe he entrained there?

 

He escaped on "Whitmonday" [ 24 May 1915] but I can't find any newspaper reports about internees escaping.

 

Is the date of arrival in the UK known? Maybe it's possible to find out on which ship he sailed from Rotterdam.

 

 

Edited by JWK

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JWK
33 minutes ago, JWK said:

Is the date of arrival in the UK known? Maybe it's possible to find out on which ship he sailed from Rotterdam

 

Could it be the SS Cromer?

Cromer_(1902).jpg.7be34e5103233f5862d967d3d4613264.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Cromer_(1902)

 

It arrived in Maassluis (part of Rotterdam Port, just west of the city of Rotterdam) from Harwich on May 25th 1915

cromer1.jpg.15fd8b73d76a8e55cf0e71be04c7693d.jpg

 

And passed Hook of Holland out to sea on the 27th 06.30hrs, bound for Harwich.

Cromer.jpg.69bd84736513797098c74b336ef31c51.jpg

Edited by JWK

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Prue Peters
15 hours ago, JWK said:

 

Could it be the SS Cromer?

Cromer_(1902).jpg.7be34e5103233f5862d967d3d4613264.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Cromer_(1902)

 

It arrived in Maassluis (part of Rotterdam Port, just west of the city of Rotterdam) from Harwich on May 25th 1915

cromer1.jpg.15fd8b73d76a8e55cf0e71be04c7693d.jpg

 

And passed Hook of Holland out to sea on the 27th 06.30hrs, bound for Harwich.

Cromer.jpg.69bd84736513797098c74b336ef31c51.jpg

It definitely seems as if could be THE one!.  More goosebumps here!  I have sent links to my cousins so that they can see the interesting correspondence on this forum.   Makes it all so much more real and appreciate what they all went through.  I am moving on to finding out about the battle where he lost his arm....in France - .... something he lived with so well for the rest of his life and was the only person we knew who get get winkles out of a shell with one arm.  He gave up on the false arm very quickly!.  Will post anything else if I find it.  (Have just been reading all about the Naval Reserves at Blandford Camp where he started out).

On 18/01/2020 at 11:54, horatio2 said:

When your grandfather and Sub Lt Taylor joined Nelson Battalion at Mudros, on the island of Lemnos, in early January 1916, another Sub Lt in their draft was Arthur K Smithells (London Z/700). This officer was, like your grandfather, badly wounded in the Battle of the Ancre on 13 November 1916. His grandson is the author Louis de Bernieres ("Captain Corelli's Mandolin", "Birds Without Wings" et al)

Thanks so much for this (see my other response too)... can you point me where to find out about the account of his losing his arm and the Battle please.  Someone sent them to me many years ago and I have no idea where I put them.... I belong to all the main ancestry sites.  Thank you.

Screenshot 2020-01-19 at 13.44.58.png

Screenshot 2020-01-19 at 13.44.09.png

Edited by Prue Peters

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Prue Peters

Don't want to hijack this thread so wil lleave it there or Admin please delete ....these two images.

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