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  1. #1
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    Default World War 1 Internment Camps.

    Does anyone know where I can find out more on these camps? My wife's grandfather was Austrian and was interned there. At the time, he and his wife were living in Belfast, Ireland with their 4 children.

    My wife's mother was conceived during a conjugal visit in 1918 and was born 20 March 1919 in Belfast.

    Thanks
    Colin

  2. #2
    Loves to help with queries. JillianR's Avatar
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    Hi Colin

    You'll find it at all the wwws then isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/famhist/genealgy/intern.htm Great website for all things Manx.

    Jillian

  3. #3
    Jan1954
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    Hello Colin,

    Have a read of this TNA Research Guide about Internees. It covers both the First and Second World Wars.

  4. #4
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    Thanks Jillian and Jan. Both sites proved helpful and I've found out that although there were several sites set up, by far and away, the largest was at Knockaloe, which was a 'purpose-built' camp on 22 acres. It was originally planned to hold 5,000 internees, but by the end of the war, as many as 24,500 at any one time were interned there.

    If my wife's grandfather was interned at that camp, it must have very oppresive and overcrowded. Very little, if anything, is known of his life in the camp and details/records of internees no longer exist. The camp appears to have been very 'class-oriented' i.e education and money and since grandfather became a reasonably successful business man after W.W.1 presumably he had a better standard of life than the more poorer internees.

    Very little information on his life there seems to have passed on through the generations. Possibly it wasn't discussed within the family after his release and as all of the children of him and his wife are now deceased, I am hopeful that through the forum, others who may be from that area, but not necessarily interned, may be willing to share their knowledge.

    This can be by private message or email, if desired.

    Thanks
    Colin

  5. #5
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    Colin,

    The Manx Museum did a months-long display regarding Internees a few years ago, and a book (or 2?) was published.
    I'll see if I can dig up a reference for you.

    The display was very informative! The internees even formed their own orchestra!

    Found it!
    Living with the Wire: Civilian Internment in the Isle of Man during the the two world wars Douglas: Manx National Heritage, 1994 (ISBN 0-901106-35-6) - a short but informative booklet, originally written to accompany an exhibition at the Manx Museum, however the revised edition 2010 (ISBN 0-901106-63-6) has been considerably expanded(especially re WW2) with much more information including discussion of the art of some of the Jewish internees of WW2 (based on a 2009 exhibition) - well recommended.

    Also, IoM Post Office has released a set of stamps documenting the postal history of the Knockaloe Camp.
    www <dot> iompostoffice <dot> com/stamps/Issue.aspx?productid=960&categoryid=224
    Last edited by Kevin Garrad; 30-10-2011 at 3:04 PM. Reason: Found booklet - added reference

  6. #6
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    My grandfather was interned at Alexandra Palace (Ally Pally) in London - I don't think he went to the Isle of Man as I believe he was sent back to Germany. There is a useful book with some photos of internees:
    Alexandra Palace - a Hidden History by Janet Harris
    ( Tempus Publishing 2005)
    ISBN 0752436368

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