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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Reverend Somerville WW1 Veteran

James Blonde

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Hallo Gentleman & Ladies,

recently I was reading an old book called ""DEEMED SUSPECT, A Wartime Blunder" by Eric Koch printed by Goodread Biographoes / Canadian Lives. 1980.

While the book is mainly about the lives of Jewish men rounded up and shipped off to Canada as suspect aliens, and quite astonishingly mixed in with Nazi P.O.W. (and no distinction beeing made between the two groups,) and some Roman Catholic priests of German origin or mixed families :blink:

On page 19 of the chapter "Internment" is the following: "Walter Loevinsohn remembers that the commandant summoned the Camp Committee (Isle of Man Camp) and explained to them that he understood the situation we were in. We were not there at our wish, he said, and he was not there at there wish. He was a soldier, who wanted to fight the enemy. "But in wartime you don't ask questions. You do as you're told. "Lovinsohn continues: He proposed an understanding; if we made his life easy by complying with all the regulations, he would try to make our life as pleasant as he could. He stepped back, very pleased with himself.

Then an impressive-looking white-haired gentleman got up. He introduced himself as the Reverend Somerville. He said he that his three sons were officers in the R.A.F. He was born of an English father and a German mother, in Germany before the First World War, during a visit. As soon as his mother had been fit to travel she had taken him back to England. Nobody had ever explained to him that at twenty-one he would have to opt for British citizenship. He had fought in the First World War.

He had been arrested on Whit-Monday while preaching a sermon in his church. Scotland Yard had taken him directly off his pulpit. All of this was not really serious, but, since the commandant had said he respected our postion and that we should pespect his, he felt the commandant should know that about 90% of the camp were Jewish and about half had been inmates of German concentration camps, we were thus on the same side as the commandant and rather resented any implication that we were on different sides of the fence.

The commandant was shaken to his roots. He got up, put his cap on, saluted the Reverend Somerville, and the rest of us and marched out. He didn't know what to say. He had been prepared for riots, for hostility and demonstrations, for everything. But not that . . . . "

Any information as to the Reverend Gentlemens WW1 Service??

Connaught Stranger :D

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  • 6 years later...


Possibily the REVEREND J. A. SOMERVILLE MID He served in WWI and was awarded a MID to his 1914-15 Star trio having served at Gallopoli and France and was at least Chaplain 3RD Class basically a major in rank. I can't imagine what he would be doing in that situation but he did serve in Scottish parishes after WWI. If anyone can add to this please do?


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