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Remembered Today:

Repatriated POW's


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Does anyone know what would have occurred when a POW was finally repatriated to the UK after being a POW.

Were they assembled on the continent first then transported 'en-masse'?, Were they initially taken to a transit camp once they arrived home?

My G-Grandfather was repatriated in March 1919 which seems a long time after the end of the War (after being captured on retreat from Mons in October 1914 serving with 1st Bn Glosters) , was this the normal time scale?

Surely there must have been some sort of 'form' filled out and filed somewhere? Does anyone know of anywhere that has photos of POW's being repatriated?

Thanks

Paul

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Hi Paul

This is the link to the items on a POW i posted a couple of weeks ago

Dan

 

 

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Hi Paul,

If you had posted this 23 minutes earlier I might have seen it sooner but I left at 11.00am on Sunday an 8 hour train trip to Plymouth and got back last night. I have a couple of photos of PoWs in transit back home which I will try and post later.

There is a thread with the arrangements for repatriation on it but I am not able to look for it at the moment. Basically there were three routes back, via Switzerland, via the front line and via the Baltic ports, all depending on the camp they were in. Depending on logistics they may have been sent via a transit camp as my Grandfather was (Viborg in Denmark) or they could have gone straight back without depending on the availability of ships.

Some just walked out of the camps due to the fact that the Commandant decided that he was no longer going to feed them.

There is another thread where there is a transit card posted which is the only one have seen. Unfortunately it is not fully filled in so it gives no clue as to his route.

Back in the UK it is again dependent on where and when, Ripon was a transit camp serving Hull whilst Leith and Dover have also been mentioned as ports for returning PoWs.

My Grandfather was returned from Gustrow in Dec 1918 via Viborg and Ripon (captured 31st Oct 1914) and most seem to have been returned from the camps in Germany by Feb 1919. There were some hangers on that took some time to find and I posted a link a while ago to some letters sent by a guy who was looking for them. I suspect that the last ones to be returned were some who were too ill to move or were either in Switzerland or Holland who were a lower priority as they were well cared for. A colleague of mine had a Grandfather who escaped from Aachen to Holland just before the armistice which turned out to be a mistake as everyone in Aachen got back before he did!

Doug

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This is Viborg. I do not know who the guys are in the windows but they are possibly not PoWs as this was taken probably in 1917.

post-7895-1165598611.jpg

Doug

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Hi Doug

Thank you (once again) for this infomation. As you can probably see from my posts I am trying to piece together my GGrandfathers movements in the Great War and am having difficulty in sorting the 'wheat from the chaff' ie family 'lore' from fact.

Like your Grandfather mine was also captured in October 1914 and I know that he was in a POW in Munster, I have letters addressed to him whilst he was there. I recall being told that he had attempted escape 3 times, I have a press cutting from a local South Wales Newspaper stating this, but theres no 'meat on the bones'. I have a really crude ship in a bottle which he made during his time as a prisoner and I'd love to find out more facts. I personally believe its tragic what his generation had to endure and feel almost obligated to his memory to find these things out.

I also have his discharge card from 1st Bn Glosters upon which it is stamped

'Repatriated Prisoner of War'. I have his 1914 Mons Star Medal but unfortunatley his other two have been lost/mislaid etc.

Thanks again for this info its really helpful.

Regards

Paul

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Paul,

This is the thread with the repatriation info on it

I missed out the route that your Graandfather is likely to have taken and that is through Rotterdam. Munster is one of the closest camps to Holland.

Doug

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Hi Paul,

I've just been searching the internet for information for my dissertation and I found this memoir on the bbc's website relating to a Private Jim Brady. He talks about his time as a POW from the 11th Nov 1918 onwards.

It tells about his experience of repatriation and his post-war life. Hope it is of some interest to you.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/worldwarone/s.../memoir01.shtml

BBC

I hope the link works. Its in a format to make it accessible to schools but I think it is very interesting

Oli

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This is Viborg. I do not know who the guys are in the windows but they are possibly not PoWs as this was taken probably in 1917.

post-7895-1165598611.jpg

Doug

Starting from 1915 to I think about 1919 the Swedish Red Cross used at least 2 small ships as hospital POW transports between Russia, Sweden and northern Germany.

Hope this is of some hel There are some quite good histories of the Swedish Red Cross and they do have an archives.

John

Toronto

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  • 3 weeks later...
Does anyone know what would have occurred when a POW was finally repatriated to the UK after being a POW.

Were they assembled on the continent first then transported 'en-masse'?, Were they initially taken to a transit camp once they arrived home?

My G-Grandfather was repatriated in March 1919 which seems a long time after the end of the War (after being captured on retreat from Mons in October 1914 serving with 1st Bn Glosters) , was this the normal time scale?

Surely there must have been some sort of 'form' filled out and filed somewhere? Does anyone know of anywhere that has photos of POW's being repatriated?

Thanks

Paul

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paul i'm new to all this computer stuff so forgive any errors. My dad was captured 2 days before Passchendaele in the 3rd Ypres, just south of Houlhurst forest, in charge of a Lewis gun. He was sent first to Dulmein, then Gustrow in Germany until the armistice. I have a number of original photographs including some of german sailors. Dad told me he could have returned to England with the German Navy, but there were rumours (unfounded as it turned out) that the ships might have been blown up, so he opted for a boat from Denmark instead. He said he regretted this decision, because the german sailors partied all the way to Scapa Flow! Dad's paybook shows he was then at Ripon. ellibos

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  • 6 months later...

Hi

This string is ages old and I have just read through it and I am very envious of the pack of records. I would love that!

Anyway, this is a very interesting topic as I have wondered where John Weir would have come back to if he was imprisoned in Sennelager. I always thought it a bit strange that his first child was born in Ballymena as were his last 4 but his second child (my husband's father) was born in Cheshire in Feb 1920.

I often wonder if he somehow ended up there when he returned to the UK.

Any ideas anyone?

Thanks

Regards

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Hi, me again!

Forget the bit about the pack of records. It refers to a posting I was reading prior to this string!

I am going daft afterall.

Regards

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