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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Chaplains etc.


Northern Soul

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Reading through returned PoW interview files I have come across mention of Chaplains and Padres etc. in the prison camps but it is not clear (to me) whether they were actually incarcerated or had a bit of a 'roving brief.'

Would these individuals have been captured (or even have given themselves up voluntarily!) or was there some sort of arrangement (perhaps through the Red Cross) whereby men of the cloth could visit the camps under a sort of 'diplomatic immunity' in order to minister for the spiritual needs of the men?

Andy.

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Reading through returned PoW interview files I have come across mention of Chaplains and Padres etc. in the prison camps but it is not clear (to me) whether they were actually incarcerated or had a bit of a 'roving brief.'

Would these individuals have been captured (or even have given themselves up voluntarily!) or was there some sort of arrangement (perhaps through the Red Cross) whereby men of the cloth could visit the camps under a sort of 'diplomatic immunity' in order to minister for the spiritual needs of the men?

Andy.

Hi Andy,

I'm not sure how far Army Chaplains would be allowed to minister from camp to camp, but I do know that there was one Anglican minister - the Vicar or whatever for St.George's Church Berlin (if my memory serves right) - who was given virtual carte blanche by the German authorities to visit most POW camps. There may have been a reciprocal arrangement for a German minister to do likewise in the UK.

His typescript memoirs are at the Department of Documents, Imperial War Museum, London if anyone's interested. He was probably unique in being British yet having authority to travel all over Germany. Sorry, can't remember his name.

Regards,

LST_164

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