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16 October 2014
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The Great War - POW camp - Entertainment

The pictures below were also taken of POW`s in the Schweidnitz prison camp, but for this knowledge it could be an army band anywhere.

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The Great War - POW camp - Entertainment

And The Band Played On...

The pictures below were also taken of POW`s in the Schweidnitz prison camp, but for this knowledge it could be an army band anywhere.

British Orchestra, Schweidnitz

Can you recognise anyone? The inscription on the photo below says Paul Kuntz Schweidnitz.

Orchestra practice, POW style

 

 

YOUR RESPONSES

JB- February '08

Message for Patrick Brolly, try 16th Irish Division in the Great War website.

Patrick Brolly - Nov '06
I was wondering if anyone knew of a Hugh Brolly POW somewhere. He was my grandfather and never spoke much ot it. He was in the Royal Enniskillin Fusiliers. Where could I start?

Don Miller - Dec '05
What great history you all have! I'm reading an old book [1927] on the Red Baron, and it says that he was born and raised in this town, and also that he would send all his war trophies back to his mothers house there. Does anyone know if this house still exists? Thank you for any info you might have.

Pauline Cowley - November '05
I was interested to read your account of your Grandfather William McAlpine and his stay in the Schweidnitz POW camp in Eastern Germany.
My relative, Private Frank Brown of the 1st/7th Battalion Durham Light Infantry is buried in Gladeon Communal Cemetery, France on 29th July 1918 after spending time as a POW. I don't know where but it must have been nearby. I am just trawling the Net trying to find any information about POW camps in that area. Anyway, felt better when I read of the funeral on your site - perhaps the Germans treated him with the same respect.

Ruve Baker - New Zealand - August 05
My Grandfather (G. Tarn Harker) was also a POW in Schweidnitz. He was British, flying Nieuports in Squadron 29. Upon capture (23.6.1917) at Douai he was taken to Karslude Camp then transferred to Schweidnitz Camp, were he and 23 others successfully escaped via a tunnel.

We have this written by Tarn; 'as officers we were left much to ourselves except to be present at morning and evening roll calls. During this other time 1 and 25 other chaps dug a tunnel and eventually made an escape. The tunnel was made by excavating with metal spoons, putting soil into mugs - tied with string wth was shuttled back and forth. Only one man could work on the tunnel at one time'. Records show the date of escape being 19 March 1918.

They were free for just over 3 weeks and able to get over border into Austria, but were taken prisoners again and told they were prisoners of Austria. Tarn also wrote, 'they did manage their escape, but it wasn't for long, of the 3 of them one was shot dead by the enemy, the other 2 spend days without food until Tarn eventually gave himself up, thinking that camp was easier than this life, and Scott (the 3rd), was never seen of or heard of again'.

Records show they traveled by foot and goods train, in the hope of reaching Switzerland via Austria.Tarn was caught at Konigratz and Lieut Athuis (which may have been Scott as mentioned above) was picked up at Deutschbrod.

Again records state ' Tarn and 18 other British officers were tried by court martial at Holzminden Camp on 27 September 1918 for the escape from Schweidnitz, and sentenced to 6 months imprisonment.

With great relief I'm sure, Tarn Harker sailed for England 13 December 1918. If you have any information about the Schweidnitz tunnel escape I would be very grateful to receive it.

Gaynor Howard - July '05
My father was also at Schweidnitz. He sang in the prison chapel choir, sharing a book with another young man from his home town, who eventually became his brother-in- law. I too have many photographs, and events leading up to my father's arrival at the prison camp can be found on the website of the 17th Welsh, under the title "One Man's War".

Dorothy Moore - July '05
Looking for information on James Moore from Wigan possibly was in a lancashire regiment, escaped from Schweidnitz 1918

Alexandre Desbarats - May '05
My grandfather, Edouard Desbarats, was a prisoner at Schweidnitz from early 1918 until the end of the war. He was a canadian fighter pilot serving with No.1 squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service. He was shot down while doing low-level spotting for artillery during the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendael) in september of 1917. He crashed in no-man's land, was taken prisoner and sent, intially, to the camp at Holzminden. From there, he was transferred to Schweidnitz. I have several of his photographs, including a large group photo of RNAS/RFC officers at the camp, which I would be happy to post if there is an interest.

Paul Jerram, USA - March 05
These are indeed both photographs of officers in Schweidnitz POW camp in 1918. I have the lower ("Orchestra Practice") card in my collection.

My Grandfather, Lt. Frank Audsley Marsden, M.M., 9th King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, is pictured in the lower photograph, seated on the second row from the front, and is the second man from the left.

In the top ("British Orchestra") picture, I believe he is pictured on the back row, and is the man on the extreme left.

He was imprisoned from 27 May, 1918 until January 1919, when he was repatriated.

Thank you for providing some lost information on my Grandfather!

Kind regards,

Paul Jerram
Roswell, GA, USA

Max Potter - April '05

Schweidnitz - Prisoner of War Book Scheme

We were interested to read your pages about the Schweidnitz POW camp in WWI. My wife had an uncle, Lt E M Cope, Staffordshire Regiment, who was imprisoned there in March 1918. We have just been looking at two books which were supplied to him there by the British Prisoners of War Book Scheme. One is marked Schweidnitz II , which suggests there may have been more than one camp there.

Here are scans of the end page and title pages of one of the books, which may be of interest.

click here to view photos

The other book, on astronomy, only has a single stamped mark 'Geprüft I Schweidnitz'. Unfortunateley Lt Cope died in Germany in 1919 while serving in the Army of Occupation. His grave in Cologne has been visited by various members of the family on a number of occasions.

 

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