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Knockaloe marquetry money box

Date made: 1914-1918

Description: One of a pair of matching polygonal wooden money boxes with pentagonal faces, made in Knockaloe Internment Camp. The money boxes have a slot for coins in the top of the box, a marquetry inlaid three-legs design on the front and a hole in the base for emptying the money box (the cover is missing). The money box is part of a matching pair cut from one set of light and dark sheets of wood so that when the pieces are cut there is two sets of identical designs: one light on dark and one dark on light. This money box has a dark background with light edges and three legs design, the initials 'P.C' are burnt (pyrography) into the base.

The pair of money boxes belonged to Edward Charles Quayle (iron founder) of Lanark House, Derbyhaven, the donor's grandfather.

During the First World War (1914-1918) the Isle of Man was used as an internment base for civilian ‘enemy aliens’. They were held in two camps, a requisitioned holiday camp in Douglas and a purpose built camp located at Knockaloe near Peel on the west coast of the Island. These held at their peaks over 4,000 and 23,000 men in some cases for nearly five years between opening in 1914 and final closure in 1919. Over 30,000 men passed through Knockaloe between 1914 and 1917, more than the population of Douglas. Other historic names referring to the camp include Knockaloe P.O.W. Camp, Knockaloe Prisoner of War Camp and Knockaloe Alien Detention Camp. The confinement of the prisoners led to specific behavioural issues known as ‘barbed wire disease’. Receiving its name from the aimless promenading of inmates up and down the barbed-wire boundary, other symptoms included moroseness and avoidance of others. It was decided that providing practical stimulation would help. The Friends’ Emergency Committee (a Quaker organisation) based in Great Britain was invited to the Island from 1915 onwards with the aim of providing books, tools, equipment and materials for the inmates to work and establish workshops.

Measurements: overall: 9 cm x 10 cm x 9 cm

Materials: wood

Object name: money box

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 1993-0236/2



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