Category: pow

The Daily Ardmoreite. December 4 1916

The unfortunate German soldier seen in the picture was wounded in some of the recent fights at Beaumont-Hamel. Just north of the Ancre, and brought in a prisoner into the British lines. He was badly hurt and needed support by the British soldier, who is seen steadying his captive’s steps


Boche prisoner, wounded and muddy, coming in on the 13th

A British soldier is helping a wounded German prisoner walk along a railway track away from a bridge. A man, possibly in French military uniform, is shown behind them, holding a camera and tripod.

The derogatory term for a German, ‘Boche or ‘Bosch, originates from the French slang ‘alboche, which was two words ‘Allemand (German) and ‘caboche (pate, head) put together. This photograph is a reminder that the French also had official war photographers.

[Original reads: ‘OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE FRONT IN FRANCE. A Boche prisoner, wounded and muddy, coming in on the 13th.’]

Nov 13 1916 IWM (Q 4502) “During the Battle of the Ancre, a French official cameraman of the Section Photographique et Cinematographique d’Armee moves out of the way as a British military policeman brings in a wounded German prisoner near St Pierre Divon" November 13 1916 by Brooke, John Warwick (Lieutenant) (Photographer) 


Picture: Tom Marshall (PhotograFix)/ 

The Wheeling Intelligencer. December 2 1916

Wounded Serbian and Bulgarian enemies on their way to a second dressing station, after having had their injuries attended at a first field station. Their mutual misfortune seems to have caused them to overlook the hatreds of war.

1 vol. in-folio reliure demi-basane verte, La France Illustrée. Journal Littéraire, Scientifique et Religieux, 1916-1917

IWM (Q 4507) “Battle of the Ancre. Prisoners taken in Beaumont Hamel by the 51st (Highland) Division" November 13 1916 by Brooke, John Warwick (Lieutenant) (Photographer)

Production date: 1916-11-13

IWM (Q 4508) “Prisoners taken in St Pierre Divion by the 39th Division

Aug 24 1918 “New Zealand soldiers examine the papers of German prisoners of war during World War I. A bare-headed prisoner stands in the foreground. Photograph taken at Grevillers, France 24 August 1918 by Henry Armytage Sanders”

Ref: ½-013520-G


Aug 24 1918 “DescriptionA kneeling New Zealand soldier bandaging the arm of a slightly wounded German soldier who is also kneeling. Rolls of bandages and dressings can be seen in the foreground. Photograph taken at Grevillers in France 24 August 1918 by Henry Armytage Sanders.”

Ref: ½-013509-G


Battle of the Somme – Searching German prisoners at Acheux, July 4 1916

Above – Jul 4 1916 – 

IWM (Q 806) “Searching German prisoners at Acheux" by Brooks, Ernest (Lieutenant) (Photographer)

Below – Jul 4 1915 – 

IWM (Q 904) “German prisoners examining their clothing at Acheux" by Brooks, Ernest (Lieutenant) (Photographer)

“November 17 1918 –
Lots of refugees and prisoners
coming back. Roads are getting better so we go toward
Germany. Stay in Stenay. Good billet in house.”

American ambulance driver in the Meuse sector
See Google map – Diary of Hugo Gruenberg Ambulance Company 167
attached to the Rainbow Division – Photo: November 16 1918, French and
British prisoners released from Germany and marching toward their army headquarters,
in Meuse, France. US Signal Corps

Note: on November 17, 1918, the Allied troops began the
march into Germany on the heels of the retreating Germans. The American Army
moved through French Lorraine, Luxemburg and a corner of Belgium toward
Koblenz on the Rhine. Everywhere, until German soil was reached, the Allied
soldiers were received as liberators and Allied flags sprang all over
the place.

‘We are billeted in a
tiny villa here, just outside the city and right on the beach. We draw rations
from the French Army and a red-haired Flemish lady cooks them for us.
Occasionally a train full of wounded comes in and we take them out to the
hospitals in the vicinity. Some German blessés arrived yesterday. Poor
devils! How melancholic they looked. An officer among them, though shot through
the shoulder, was still full of nerve and kept his head up; but the others were
too miserable.’

WW1 American ambulance
driver in Malo-les-Bains, Northern France, seaside resort on the east side of Dunkerque  – Photo: American ambulance driver at the beach. Text &
Photo: The Archive –  American Field

                       ‘There is nothing sweeter than his peace, nothing brisker than his life’

Ode to a cat by 18th century poet Christopher Smart 

“For I Will Consider My Cat Jeoffry” – WW1 prisoner of
war and his kitten



The remains of the tunnel, fully dug up by the Germans after the escape attempt.

July 24 1918, Holzminden–In September 1917, a new PoW camp opened in Holzminden for British officers; other camps had become overcrowded as the war progressed and more officers were captured from the counterattacks around Passchendaele.  Among their number was James Whale, who would later go on to direct Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein.  The camp commandant quickly acquired a reputation for cruelty; some prisoners were killed, and others (such as the famous Capt. Leefe Robinson) were kept in continuous solitary confinement.  Within weeks, many of the officers were planning an escape attempt, digging a long tunnel out of the camp with spoons and whatever tools they could steal.  They were aided in the task by three Germans–two men who were bribed (the commandant did not treat his own men well, either), and one woman who was infatuated with one of the prisoners.  Those who weren’t digging worked on the ventilation system, or prepared papers and clothes for after the escape.

By July, the tunnel was finally finished, and around 100 of the 700 men in the camp were set to go through the tunnel to freedom in the wee hours of July 24th.  Those who had done the majority of the digging went through first.  Unfortunately, the tunnel collapsed on the 30th man, who had to be pulled out; the escape attempt ended there.  The alarm was raised by a nearby farmer, who noticed his fields being trampled by the escapees.  Nineteen of the officers were rounded up and returned to Holzminden, but ten were able to make it safely to the Netherlands.  One of them, Col. Rathbone, was proficient enough in German to travel by rail and made out of the country in only five days; the others had to travel by foot and took multiple weeks.

Today in 1917: Romanians Launch Major Offensive

Today in 1916: United States To Buy Virgin Islands from Denmark
Today in 1915: Secret Service Finds German Spy Files in Briefcase Lost on Train
Today in 1914: Sazonov’s Busy Day

“This afternoon,
soccer game; France wins 1-0 over England – and this evening, boxing match!”

WW1 French
soldier, cook, & PoW’s diary in a camp in Germany. Histoire du football

Illustration by WW1 French soldier
Claudius Denis – “Souvenir of my captivity by the barbarians  –  The allies play soccer”  This drawing shows the allies PoWs watching a soccer
game – note the different types of uniforms of this international crowd of
allies PoWs – Here, the 10 first photos, PoW Claudius Denis’s drawings while in captivity.