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Prisoners of war –where were they held?


ZackNZ
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I wonder if anyone can direct me to any sources that give some insights into soldiers caught and made POW’s in the Gallipoli campaign by the Turks? There were about 25 New Zealand soldiers caught by Turks and they seem to have been imprisoned in a variety of locations e.g. Tel-Helif Ras-elain, Constantinople, Afion Kara Hissar, Iraq, Angora, Kargale Camp near Adapazar, and Islahie. Some died there and some came back home.

Similarly can anyone provide me with sources that give insights into Turkish soldiers caught on Gallipoli by allied troops?

All suggestions gratefully received.

Thanks

Zack

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HI Zack,

Archives New Zealand has the repatriated prisoner of war statements of the 400 New Zealander's captured by both the Germans and the Turks. You might like to look up Archive Reference: ACID 17590, WA 1 1/3/25, Record 10/75. These statements give a brief descriptions of the when, where, hows of capture as well as treatment and conditions in camp.

I hope this helps,

Cheers,

Aaron

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No worries mate. Don't hedge your bets on all POWs having statements. The Australian series of repatriated POW statements only account for half of those taken prisoner, so the New Zealanders may be the same. It wasn't early 1919 that repatriated Australian POWs were made to give statements either for historical reasons or future investigations into prisoners maltreatment; by which time many had been sent home or were recuperating in England. Not to mention the hundreds of men either repatriated through neutral countries or had escaped when the war was still going (which is what the WO/161 series at National Archives, Kew is all about - it might be a good source for Kiwis too, and its indexed and available online).

Cheers,

Aaron

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Hello Zack,

A number of Ottoman and German nationals were detained on Malta. Among these were the crew of the EMDEN who had been brought here via Egypt. The names of the Prisoner of War Camps that I know of were: St Clements Camp; Polverista Camp; Verdala Barracks and Fort Salvatore.

One of the Ottoman servicemen detained at Verdala Barracks was reported to have murdered a fellow national in October 1916 and was hanged for this crime the following April.

Hope this helps.

Regards

Wayne

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Zack,

The following accounts give a lot of detail on different POW experiences, including where they were held, after capture by the Turks:

Halpin, J. Blood in the Mists, Sydney, Macquarie Head Press, 1934.

Halpin, J. 'Captives of the Turk', in Reveille RSS&AILA, Sydney. 1 Mar 1934, 1 Apr 1934, 1 May 1934, 1 Jun 1934, 1 Jul 1934.

Halpin, J. 'Praise of the Turks. A 'Captive' in Reply', in Reveille RSS&AILA, Sydney. 1 Aug 1934, p 6.

Jones, E. H. The Road To En-Dor , London, Pan Books, 1955.

Luscombe, L. H. The Story of Harold Earl - Australian, Brisbane, W. R. Smith & Paterson, 1970.

Lushington, R. F. A Prisoner With The Turks 1915 - 1918, London, Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co. Ltd, 1923.

White, T. W. Guests of the Unspeakable. The Oddyssey of an Australian Airman - being a record of Captivity and Escape in Turkey, 2nd Australian edition, Sydney, Angus & Robertson, 1935.

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Zack

Here's a link to one of my men I am researching. The the pals on the forum came up with the answers.

 

Ray

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Armenian soldier serving in Ottoman forces, captured by Allies at Gallipoli:

Pye, E. Prisoner of War 31,163 Bedros M. Sharian, New York, Fleming H. Revell, 1938.

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Hi Zack,

This is a bit off topic, but its an interesting reference to NZ prisoners in Germany which I found in the records of the Committee of the Treatement of British POW (WO161/100, p.2478) at the PRO in Kew. The following quote is from the statement of Lance Sergeant Ramshaw of the 51st Bn AIF, captured at Mouquet Farm in September 1916. Between July 1917 and January 1918 Ramshaw was at a camp at Geissen in Germany:

As this camp there was a New Zealander, a private, who all the men said was a spy. He was given a free pass all over the camps about there, and allowed to associate with the English and French prisoners to try and get what information he could to tell the Germans. He could speak German. It was said he was a German by birth, although he was in the New Zealand Army. He was called by all the men in the camp 'Nemo'. I never spoke to him. Whenever any new prisoners arrived in the camp, they were immediately told to beware of this man. I believe he was in No.1 camp [p.2479] at Geissen. Everybody in the camp knew him, and I have often heard men hoot him. Some of the Belgians are spies. [interesting note at the bottom of the interview - examiner suggests that the information about the NZ spy was given reluctantly].

Again, its off topic, but interesting nonetheless!

Cheers,

Aaron

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Thanks for the fascinating story Aaron – wonder why the Germans would want one of their men to play the role of a New Zealander because any Kiwis present would likely spot the subterfuge - as maybe they did – because obviously he was spotted as a ‘spy’?

Zack

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Thanks for the fascinating story Aaron – wonder why the Germans would want one of their men to play the role of a New Zealander because any Kiwis present would likely spot the subterfuge - as maybe they did – because obviously he was spotted as a â€ËÅ“spy’?

Zack

Hi Zack,

Well I guess that if there was only 400 New Zealand prisoners captured by the Germans their numbers would have been spread thin across the camps, so there would have been few men in Geissen who might have known Nemo prior to him being captured. Then again he really could have been a German spy. But Ramshaw seems to think the Belgians are keen to collaborate with the Germans too, so who knows!

I get the impression that Nemo was a Kiwi, albeit one with German heritage. There were many German-Australians who enlisted in the AIF, and it doesn't surprise me that this phenomenon occurred all over the British Empire. Sharing information with the German may have afforded Nemo more food, more freedom, less work - a whole range of things really.

But because Ramshaw is uneasy about his statement, and Nemo's real name is not stated, I'm a little dubious about taking this part of Ramshaw's statement as gospel.

Cheers,

Aaron

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