Drawing of Ruhleben Horse-box - WWII

Contributed by Judian

Drawing of Ruhleben Horse-box - WWII

My father was interned in the Ruhleben Prisoner of War Camp at the beginning of WWII. He was 19 and was living in Germany to improve his knowledge of the language. The camp was on a converted racecourse, and this card depicts one of the horse-boxes which served as 'cells'. It was drawn by Robert Walker, one of the inmates, in 1917.

Initially German and British prisoners were imprisoned together, but later they were separated, and the British contingent set about creating a multi-activity community of their own in the 'Engländerlager', even running their own post office for a time. While a prisoner, my father took part in sport, drama, music, and woodwork, and studied physics and chemistry and two more languages. He also befriended two German fieldmice which he kept as pets. One survived to travel home with him in a tobacco tin, arriving back in England on 1st December 1918. Joey now sits in a glass case on top of my china cabinet.

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Ruhleben, Germany


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