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Howard Wootton

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Howard Wootton

Can anyone help.....My Grandfather Charles Wootton ,Wilts  Regt ,was captured during the first battle Ypres in October 1914.

 

My question  was   he lost his, what commonly know as his trigger finger. The rumour is that it may have been cut off by his captors in the camp,is this a true  theory.

 

He pass in 1969,said nothing, only lost his finger & was a POW and thats it .Bless him.

 

Ive researched him & the regt ,but this troubles me.

Thanks his Grandson

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seaJane

It would be so massively against the First Geneva Convention that I don't believe a perpetrator would get away with it in the Western theatres. I can't say I've ever come across it in the usual books, and I would expect it not to be a single occurrence and therefore for i) there to be a lot more missing index fingers on returning POWs ii) many more rumours to flourish, if it happened at all.

 

I know none of that is proof that it didn't happen, but my whole "feel" is that it isn't a fact. 

 

Oh, and - welcome to the Forum! 

 

seaJane

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clk

Hi Howard,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

35 minutes ago, Howard Wootton said:

My question  was   he lost his, what commonly know as his trigger finger. The rumour is that it may have been cut off by his captors in the camp,is this a true  theory

 

I didn't see much about Charles, so I don't think that you'll be able to 'prove' that one way or the other. If it were to be the case, I don't think that you'll ever find out why. The PoW records I saw suggest that he was taken captive with no wounds. Maybe he had it amputated subsequently as a result of an accident, an infection, or perhaps because of frost bite - all just speculation, but in the absence of any evidence to the contrary I would guess that mutilation would not be the front runner. From his 8968 service number it looks like he joined the regular army in 1912/13. 

 

Regards

Chris

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Howard Wootton

Thanks..... yes he did join as a regular ,signed up at Devizes...Sadly all his records were destroyed in WW2.

 

I wrote  several years ago  to Geneva for any info on his POW camps  ,After about a year I received a reply stating   which camps he was held in.

 

Thanks again for the POW link  , and I hope, and you are right, accident etc. I don't expect they would be that cruel ,but as we know many returning soldiers  never spoke about anything

 

Just a little footnote......He had a great love for cricket,& if he were alive today he would have had the best seat at Lords

 

Thanks again  Howard

 

 

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Michelle Young

I have an Old Contemptibles Association badge that my nephew dug up from my father in laws garden. The previous owner of the house was an old soldier of the Wiltshire Regiment who was taken prisoner at 1st Ypres. I wonder if they were interred together? 

 

Michelle 

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Howard Wootton

They might have known each other. Grandad was listed as missing on the 24/10/1914 &  his detention according to the International Red Cross Geneve was at Gottingen Camp Listed  30/1/1915 & transferred to Langensalza Camp & listed 23/02/1917.

 

Regards  Howard

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charlie962
14 hours ago, Howard Wootton said:

The rumour is that it may have been cut off by his captors in the camp

Given that prisoners were often put to work and accidents happen , the probability is that as a result of an accident he had the finger removed.He spent a long time as a PoW.  He could quite rightly say 'it was the fault of the Germans'  and 'it was cut off by the Germans' without it being a deliberate act of cruelty!

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