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First World War Internees

Posted on 15.12.2015

PG-7870-41784

First World War Internees inside an Internment Hut, Douglas or Knockaloe Camp, Isle of Man (© Manx National Heritage PG/7870/41784)

The addition of over 12,000 First World War Internee records onto iMuseum was particularly significant to me, having spent an extended period collating, checking and adding to the existing database. Unfortunately, many of the records relating to this subject do not survive, so the entries now held on iMuseum provide researchers with a valuable resource. I have selected three internee records that demonstrate some of the primary sources consulted during this process.  Click on the internee name to view the record in iMuseum.

Walter Wollanke The information about Walter Wollanke was provided by the Douglas Alien Detention Camp administration and discharge register (MS 09310). This archive gives little other than name, internee number, date of discharge or transfer, but as the registration cards no longer survive, it does confirm the names of over 5,000 internees. The rest of the information about Walter Wollanke was taken from Internment Camp newspapers which are now, along with an English translation, available also on iMuseum through Newspapers & Publications.  Walter’s record on iMuseum gives us an insight into what internees did for entertainment.

George von Streng This information comes from a number of sources, the most significant being Douglas Alien Detention Camp records, 1914-1919, which comprise official journals and a register of received documents and notes of action taken (MS 06465). No-one successfully escaped internment in the Isle of Man but that did not stop George von Streng from trying, on more than one occasion.

Hans Topp Again the Douglas Camp register confirms the date on which Hans Topp was released, well after the end of the War in March 1919. The Internment Camp newspapers also demonstrate the wide range of sporting activities arranged to promote good health and alleviate boredom.

Steve Jackson (Manx National Heritage Library & Archives Services Assistant)

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