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Remembered Today:

Working German Cameraman


Tony Lund
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During the war German Cameraman Clem Winterman was a senior cameraman for local movie makers and postcard producers, James Bamforth and Company, of Holmfirth and New York, and he was allowed to carry on working. It is interesting to note that his brother Fritz, was interned at the same time. I believe their father was running the White Hart pub but I have no further information.

Why would the powers that be allow one brother to carry on working in Holmfirth and intern the other one? Would there have been an appeals tribunal where a man’s employers could speak up for him?

Any information on internment would be welcome.

Thanks,

Tony.

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In the 1901 census, the father Frank Winterman, aged 53, was a Hotel Keeper at the Cherry Tree Hotel in Huddersfield. He is shown as being born in Bavaria.

His wife Mary, born in Skelton in 1850 is also there, as is son Fritz, aged 26. Fritz is shown as being born in Hull, which makes his internment even more interesting. His birth was registered in 1st quarter of 1875 in Sculcoates.

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An aside: I have to say Tony, you're really coming up with some great material on the Holmfirth area, keep going!

Did Bamforth do much by the way Of WWI soldiers portraits etc?

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Thanks Stephen, I can see I shall have to look into this family. I was thinking Clem might have been through a similar process to a Military Tribunal.

Simon,

The Holmfirth Express produced a full set of Memorial Cards for all the local men who were killed that they were aware of. They said at the time that after receiving a photograph they had to wait a couple of days to get the plates prepared and returned to them.

It would seem most likely that Bamforth did this job. I know they took photographs for the Express and that they were Holmfirth’s local professional photographers, they were certainly qualified to do this kind of thing. The paper also did all the routine printing work in Holmfirth so I think these cards were a joint enterprise. Unfortunately I have not been able to find a single one. I have made inquires about the contents of the Bamforth archives with a member of the former management, and with Kirklees Libraries Collections Department, and nobody has heard of anything like this. I haven’t asked about any archives of the Holmfirth Express yet, because I am still reading the newspapers, but it is something that can be looked into later when I have read all the wartime issues.

I don't think the concept of putting a dead man's photograph on a card is considered to be something that could ever be popular, and yet it certainly was. It might sound morbid but if I could have three wishes then a complete set of those cards would be one of them.

I suppose that means I am addicted now.

Tony.

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Tony

I assume that his brother was interned in 1914. There need be no particular reason one should be interned and not the other, given the anti-German hysteria that swept the country at the outbreak of war. It could have simply turned on that fact that his first name was Fritz and his father was German born!

German-born Siegfreid Bettman, the chairman of the Triumph cycle and motor cycle company in Coventry, was listed by the Home Office for internment in August 1914, despite the fact that he was Mayor of Coventry and Mayor elect for a second term, and that Triumph was fully cooperating with the War Office in war production. He was saved by the intervention of the Chief Constable, who was a personal friend of his. However, MJ Schulte, his business partner and the company's chief designer, a German national, was left alone by the authorities.

There are a number of Home Office files at the NA that refer to this. One of interest may be HO 144/11720 - Classified list of enemy aliens.

Terry Reeves

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Thank you, but I think it will be a long time before I can go the NA or spend a lot of time on one man. At some point in the future when I have a reasonable history of Holmfirth during the war, I can go over it again and see what I can do about all the little mysteries that keep cropping up. I have made a note of the reference, thanks again,

Tony.

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During the war German Cameraman Clem Winterman was a senior cameraman for local movie makers and postcard producers, James Bamforth and Company, of Holmfirth and New York, and he was allowed to carry on working.  It is interesting to note that his brother Fritz, was interned at the same time.  I believe their father was running the White Hart pub but I have no further information.

Thanks,

Tony.

Any morning now I should be getting a postcard won on eBay published by Frederick Rosener of Durrington, Wiltshire after the outbreak of WWI. He was a German photographer who took soldiers' portraits (usually group shots) in the Larkhill/Bulford area. Not until November 1915 was he charged with being an enemy alien and as such having four cameras without the permission of the registration officer. When applying for a trading pass to visit the local camps he claimed to be a Dane and said he had tried several times to enlist in the German army. He was sentenced to six months' imprisonment with hard labour.

Moonraker

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Fascinating - would the county record office have any I wonder?

For comparison: no such thing in Otley by the Wharfedale and Airedale Observer, but local postcard publisher H. Stephenson of Westgate, Otley produced many hundreds of the usual portrait/group photos. and (crucially) visited local army camps/recruiting offices to find trade. So collections range is quite large - none of Holmfirth I'm afraid but plenty of 49th Div. artillery on Doncaster Racecourse during concentration.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have received this information from Michael Staniforth, who is working on a documentary on Bamforth’s films. He writes:

“I believe the family were in charge of The White Hart Inn in Holmfirth, which still exists in the centre of town. Clem Wintermann married Elizabeth Bamforth –– they of the magic lantern slide, film and postcards business –– and lived at Thorp Heys in Back Lane, Holmfirth. When film-making finished in Holmfirth Clem went to London and, we think, joined Pathe Gazette. He then set up Brent Laboratories and became impressively wealthy, living in Ewell.

Clem’s sister Cissie married a local textile manufacturer. Fritz appears to have been interned on the Isle of Man during WWI and at some stage the Wintermanns felt it politic to lose a final ‘‘n’’ from their name.

Clem Wintermann was the main cameraman for Bamforth films in their second period of film-making (1912-1915) and is seen in a crew photo, dated 1912.”

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