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Guest lynsey1

internment

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Guest lynsey1

Hello everyone,wonder if anyone can help me with this querie.I know that people were interned in this country in ww2 in various places but did this also happen during the great war,and how do i find out where these internment camps ,were.I am interested in smethwick,oldbury and the black country in particular.My mum tells me she can remember there being some kind of camp or whatever which was for italians,this was in smethwick during ww2.Many thanks

lynsey

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Terry Denham

Internment certainly did take place in the UK and other Empire countries during WW1.

There were camps in various places in the country often in out of the way locations such as the Isle of Man. There were large numbers of Germans and Austrians plus a few Turks and others in these camps.

I can't help with details of all the camps but many died in internment and were buried locally at first. However, most of the Germans and Austrians were moved to Cannock Chase German Military Cemetery in the early 1960s along with the military casualties from their countries. These internee graves are in the care of CWGC and are treated as Foreign War Graves.

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Guest Simon Bull

The Anglo-German Family History Society have published good books on this subject, although I cannot now bring the titles to mind. I will ask my wife when I have a chance, as she had German ancestors and is in the Society.

Two of the main centres of detention were at Knockalee (not sure of spelling) on the Isle of Man and (I believe) at Alexandra Palace in London. The Anglo-German Family History Society have been involved in setting up memorials to those who died at such places.

Germans in Britain were treated very badly during the Great War (even those who had lived in this country for many years, and may well have left Germany partly out of a lack of sympathy with the Second Reich). My wife's Great Grandfather (resident for about 40 years) had his shop attacked by a mob after the sinking of the Lusitania and this was not an unusual experience.

Simon Bull

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Graham-McAdam
There were camps in various places in the country often in out of the way locations such as the Isle of Man.

Terry - are there CWGC graves in IOM? Perhaps I can answer - a few isolated ones?

Always remember that the Amadeus Quartet met while interned there in WW2. Some good things happen... Where would our culture be without all that movement in the '30s

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Guest lynsey1

Many thanks for all replies,if anyone can suggest books on this subject,i would be grateful.

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Clive Maier

You can probably tell by my name that I have an interest in this topic.

I can recommend this book by Panikos Panayi:

Panayi, Panikos. The Enemy in our Midst: Germans in Britain during the First World War. Oxford: Berg, 1991

The book is still in the Berg catalogue at the forbidding price of GBP50.00. It is hard to find second-hand and the only copies I have seen have been priced between GBP52.00 and GBP85.00!

You mentioned the Black Country, so perhaps you are based there. If so, Birmingham library has a reference copy.

You can find the Anglo-German Family History Society at http://www.art-science.com/agfhs/. There is a page of publications on the site, including this:

Civilian Internment in Britain during the First World War. Newly revised and illustrated version. GBP10.00

I have not seen this book. If any Pal has, I would appreciate an opinion on it.

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Guest lynsey1

Hello clive,thanks for the info, i will definately see if i can get a look at this reference book,im not too far from b,ham.

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Terry Denham

Graham

There are about 400 WW1 war graves in the Isle of Man and a large number from WW2.

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Myrtle

Clive

I have read Panikos Panayi's paper on "Germans in Britain 1914-1918 "which I believe was written as part of his thesis. I am wondering what his book "The Enemy in Our Midst" consists of and if it is illustrated.

His paper is fourteen sides in all.

Regards

Myrtle

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Chris_Baker

Something in the back of my mind says there was an internment camp of some kind in or near Shrewsbury. Any Salopians out there?

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Myrtle

The internment camps I have come across are:

Exhibition Hall at Olympia until December 1914

Alexandra Palace, London

It appears there were ships which were used for internment lying off coastal towns such as Southend, Ryde and Gosport. There were about nine altogether. (That idea sounds familiar)

Douglas - Isle of Man

Knockaloe Moor, near Peel, Isle of Man.

(The camps on the Isle of Man were the largest. Knockaloe held a maximum of 23,000 people.)

There was another in the Sunderland area NE England but I have not yet located the address.

I'd be interested to hear about any more.

Myrtle

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Clive Maier

Myrtle et al,

It is some time since I read ‘The Enemy in our Midst: Germans in Britain during the First World War’ and I don’t have my own copy because the book is so expensive. So I have to answer from memory. I think it is probably the definitive book on this topic. It is about 300 pages long and includes copious references and a bibliography, making it invaluable as a resource. There is material on internment but the book deals with anti-German sentiment in all its aspects. There are interesting chapters on spy mania, literature, the role of newspapers and magazines, anti-German riots and disturbances, the decline of the German community, and much more. It is a scholarly read but very good indeed. I am afraid I can't remember illustrations apart from one cartoon on the front cover board.

Panayi has specialised in this area; other works include (this is from the British Library catalogue):

Panayi, Panikos. Minorities in wartime : National and racial groupings in Europe, North America and Australia during the two World Wars : Conference on "National and racial minorities in total war" : Revised papers. 1992.

Panayi, Panikos. Racial violence in Britain, 1840-1950. 1993.

Panayi, Panikos. Immigration, ethnicity, and racism in Britain, 1815-1945. New frontiers in history. Manchester: Manchester University Press 1994.

Panayi, Panikos. German immigrants in Britain during the nineteenth century, 1815-1914. Oxford: Berg 1995. Includes bibliographical references and index

Panayi, Panikos. Germans in Britain since 1500. London: Hambledon 1996.

Panayi, Panikos. Racial violence in Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Rev. ed. London: Leicester University Press 1996. Includes bibliographical references and index Previous ed. published as: Racial violence in Britain, 1840-1950. 1993

Panayi, Panikos. The impact of immigration : a documentary history of the effects and experiences of immigrants in Britain since 1945. Documents in contemporary history. Manchester: Manchester University Press 1999. Includes bibliographical references and index

Panayi, Panikos. Outsiders : a history of European minorities. London: Hambledon Press 1999. Includes bibliographical references and index

Panayi, Panikos. Ethnic minorities in nineteenth and twentieth century Germany : Jews, gypsies, Poles, Turks and others. Themes in modern German history series. Harlow: Longman 2000.

I still have to do the research but I suspect that my father and his parents, and almost certainly their German friends, suffered in the post-Lusitania uproar. Our name is German but I had always understood that my father’s parents were Swiss and that all the children were born in England. My father would never talk about this or say why they had come to England. I think I now know why. I believe, as a defensive measure, he was told when he was only 10 or 12 years old to say nothing about the family’s origins. He went right on saying nothing about it for the rest of his life. I only recently discovered that although his father was indeed Swiss, his mother was German. I have little doubt that they concealed this, and perhaps to establish pro-English credentials, their house was used for a while – around 1902-1905 - as the company HQ of the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment

My father was born in 1900 and was in the Royal Sussex Regiment right at the end of the war but his elder brother Oscar served with the 3/1st Battalion of the West Kent Yeomanry and the 13th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. He was killed in Delville Wood. Right from the moment I first became interested in his fate and that of his companions on the Southborough memorial, I took the view that he was killed by people indistinguishable from himself. People with the same hopes and fears, the same decencies and failings. I have been happy to see that this is the general view of the forum. But I had no idea how true or how close to home this was to prove. The 1901 census gave me the astounding news that Oscar was born in Nuremberg. The feelings of his mother hardly bear thinking about.

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Myrtle

Clive

Thank you for the wonderful amount of information that you have supplied regarding Panikos Panayi's work. I will attempt to obtain "The Enemy in our Midst" from my Local Library. It sounds well worth reading.

My interest in this area is through my husband's family. My husband's great grandfather arrived in the north east of England in 1869 at the age of 16 with his younger brother and cousin of similar age. The family story is that the German Army at that time called boys into military service at the age of 17 and that is why these three lads came to this country. They settled in the north east, married and had children including my husband's grandfather and great uncle. In 1915, my husband's grandfather who had been a policeman for a number of years and his brother enlisted. In 1916 they were transferred to the Middlesex Regiment as they were not allowed to carry arms because of their father's nationality and were therefore moved into one of the Middlesex Labour Coys. As you probably know this was where many of the "alien" serving soldiers were put.

My husband's great grandfather was one of 7 children. Only two of those children came to England. It is therefore very likely that there were first cousins from this one family serving in both the British and the German forces.

Why does that remind me of another family ?

:rolleyes:

Myrtle

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BIG DAVE
There were camps in various places in the country often in out of the way locations such as the Isle of Man.

Terry - are there CWGC graves in IOM? Perhaps I can answer - a few isolated ones?

Always remember that the Amadeus Quartet met while interned there in WW2. Some good things happen... Where would our culture be without all that movement in the '30s

There are 20 burial grounds in the Isle of Mann containing war graves the largest of these being Douglas Cemetery, St Patrick Churchyard Jurby, Holy Trinity Churchyard Kirkpatrick and St Brendan Churchyard Kirk Braddan.

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Guest JIMEDWARDS

I well remember an article appearing in the Camberley News in the late 70's about a POW camp at Frith Hill. This is Just opposite the Blackdown Barracks at Deepcut in an area still owned by the MOD. Although completely overgrown it is still possible to see remains of the camp as described in the newspaper article - which incidentally was well researched and contained quite a few photos.

Jim Edwards.

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Myrtle

While looking through a 1914 newspaper I came across mention of another Internment Camp at Queensferry near Chester.

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manxman

paperback book re internment in the Isle of Man

"Living with the wire"

Edited by Yvonne M. Cresswell

published 1994

ISBN 0 901 106 35 6

paperback 76 pages, loads of photos

covers all Manx camps, both WWI and WWII (Civilian internment).

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Roy Evans
I can't help with details of all the camps but many died in internment and were buried locally at first. However, most of the Germans and Austrians were moved to Cannock Chase German Military Cemetery in the early 1960s along with the military casualties from their countries. These internee graves are in the care of CWGC and are treated as Foreign War Graves.

There was a POW compound at Brocton Camp on Cannock Chase which is thought to have been used from the middle years of the war. By the end of the war German prisoners were apparently seen working freely under supervision in nearby fields.

Several of these POWs died in the flu epedemic of 1918 and are buried in the nearby CWGC cemetary at Broadhurst Green, a few hundred metres from the later established German Military Cemetary. A number of German graves in Broadhurst Green are however from the early years of the war and it seems that in the 1960's the CWGC felt that the cemetary was not set out symetrically, so with agreement from the Volksbund, the spaces were filled with German burials which would otherwise have been placed in the German Military Cemetary. Perhaps Terry D. can confirm this?

Roy

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Clive Maier

Since I last posted on this thread, I have had the great good fortune to find a copy of Panayi’s book (The Enemy in our Midst: Germans in Britain during the First World War) in fine condition and at an affordable price. I flung myself on it before anyone could snatch it away.

According to Panayi’s account, internment proceeded chaotically. It was pursued with such enthusiasm initially that arrests rapidly outran available space. The policy was reversed with a spate of releases and thereafter waxed and waned in response to the conflicting demands of popular pressure and space. Repatriation helped to alleviate the shortage of accommodation.

In his text, Panayi mentions the following internment locations but I imagine this list is far from complete .

Alexandra Palace

Olympia

Islington

Stratford

Aylesbury Inebriate Reformatory

Prisons at Brixton, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Wakefield, Stafford, Manchester and Reading

Ships moored off Ryde, Gosport and Southend

Working camps at Corby, Whitley (near Coventry) and Hackney Wick

Douglas and Knockaloe on the Isle of Man

Frimley

Newbury

Lancaster

Queensferry

York

Handforth (near Manchester)

The Libury Hall premises of the German Industrial and Farm Colony

Lofthouse Park, Wakefield

Stobs (near Hawick)

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Derek Robertson

Stobs Camp near Hawick in the Scottish Borders was used as an internment camp before being taken over to house German POW's from 1915.

I've a website set up which gives some detail of the camp:

http://members.aol.com/stobsmilitary/Pages/page6.htm

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Guest Simon Bull

My wife has the book "An Insight into Civilian Interment in Britain During World War One" (£10, but £7 for members of the Anglo-German Family History Society), I have only had a quick flick through the book, but thought it looked quite interesting. My wife thinks it is a good read and well worth the money. Certainly she has an interest in the subject, having had a relative interned at Wakefield.

Simon Bull

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healdav

At least outside Britain these camps were often known as concentration camps!

Contrary to popular belief (half the population think that the Nazis dreamt up the name and the other half the British during the Boer War), the term goes back well into the 19th century, and at least to the Mexican War. its origins are uncertain. It may have been used before that. In World War One the term is used freely throughout by the French.

All it meant of course was that it was a place where people were concentrated i.e. large numbers of them. By all acounts they were not pleasant. Nothing amlevolent about it, just overcrowding.

One big complaint was that the French had picked up a lot of foreign prostitutes from the streets of French cities, and they were happily plying their trade in the camps, to the intense displeasure of the wives who were there.

Internment was not, to the best of my knowledge, introduced in Germany until mid-1915.

I have the memoir of a British author (pretty inaccurate, but as it was written from memory and with a British audience in mind, let it go) who found himself trapped in the north of Luxembourg (along with some others whom he never names) and was desperate to be repatriated via Switzerland as he was penniless.

He was promised repatriation from early 1915 onwards, but it was always put off. Eventually they set off, but to his surprise he found himself heading to Berlin and Ruhleben, not to Holland.

The delay seems to have been engineered so that the he (and many others) would still be in Germany when general internment was introduced.

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Guest Hannah-bella

During my research, I've discovered an internment camp in Islington, London. The Public Records Office hold a very interesting file on this camp. It includes details regarding the general living conditions of the prisoners, and most interestingly, a petition submitted by the prisoners complaining of the poor state that they were held in, of few visitors etc.

The main aim of my research is to locate camps in Hampshire, particularly in the Southampton area. Generally I am drawing a blank. Can anyone help?

Thanks

Hannah-bella.

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Stuart Brown

Noticed at Cannock Chase - does Internierter signify a person who was in Interment?

Stuart

post-20-1080929624.jpg

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fatbob

In a similar vien there is a book relating to British interns in Germany titled 'Ruhleben - A Prison Camp Society' by J. Davidson Ketchum.

The author was an intern at the camp himself.

Fatbob

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