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Odulf

meet the Minstrels - POWs in Germany

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Interesting group picture of a British POW Concert Party.

The picture was taken by a German photographer from Seesen (a. Harz), but I can find no information about a British POW in that area.

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Clausthal is not that far from Seesen and there was a camp there. Is it possible the photographer visited the camp and took the photos.

Paul

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Thanks Paul for your help. However, I have looked into it and Clausthal was (to my understanding) an Officers Camp (Oflag), these guys dont look like officers. I have also found a list (thanks to your Clausthal suggestion) and there were two other POW camps in the Harz area. I don't know if there has been a serious research into camps for British POWs in Germany during 1914-1918.

I noticed that the men in the picture are all wearing a blue uniform, with an armband. I have more photos of British POWs, also wearing some blue uniform and a blue armband, sonetimes with a number over the breast pocket, and only wearing their regimental cap badge on a blue cap. I remember, that a very learned friend about military matters decades ago told me that the British Government sent out these uniforms to replace the kakhi uniforms.

Enclosed 2 portraits of British POWs in blue (obviously the Germans allowed photographers into the camp to do portraits, which the men could send home).img993.thumb.jpg.8750591d051d8089acaa0f6

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Edited by Odulf

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Yes I am sure these photos where done to show that the Germans were not all "beastly Huns" I still think Clausthal is not out of the question as they may have been taken to the camp as a form of diversion for the British officers.

Paul

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Odulf, this is what I can find out.......(I am taking the reverse of the card is the soldier with the moustache) the 1911 census for 119 Queens Rd Battersea London, has a German family called "Brenner", the head of which is "George" a pork butcher he does not appear to have served in WW1, the collar of the Uniform appears to be "a grenade" as well as what looks like "RF" on the shoulder and on the right a single British"wound stripe" and 3 British service stripes. I must admit it looks more like the Belgian grenade!! 

There is also a "Ernst Hammel" but no one of that name served (possibly changed his name to serve???)

I have checked with the records and found four soldiers with the name  "Brenner" who served in the RF all  served in either the 38th (Judeans) Battalion or 40th (Judeans) Battalion and came from Palestine, ........Jewish pork butchers!!!! so not him unless he served under another name........ 

a mystery indeed

PS if its the other picture the buttons may be a clue to the regiment

 

 

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Thanks Paul for your investigation and reply :beer:

Yes it is the reverse of the 2nd photo.

Enclosed, another photo from the same guy and his pals

The matter of British POW uniforms is (to my knowledge) a rather unchartered territory. As is the provenance of these blue uniforms, which were obviously also worn by the early draughts of volunteers while under training (instead of a regimental badge, they wore a regimental button on the head dress, due to the lack of insignia).

Also enclosed a portrait of a volunteer to the Royal Welsh Yeomary, dressed in blue, in 1914 (probably in December).

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We have a name  so with this we have an Edward Fisher at the address of 119 Queens Rd with his wife Laura in 1923 but not an "A" Fisher.......frustrating!!!

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As to the uniforms, I know that British servicemen in hospitals in the UK for long periods - convalescents or rehabilitation - were issued a blue uniform to wear.  This marked them as patients but I wonder wether these were also a war time economy measure - good enough for training, hospital and POWs but not necessarily for the rigours of active service.  Just a thought. 

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On ‎4‎-‎11‎-‎2015‎ ‎23‎:‎56‎:‎07, peter monahan said:

As to the uniforms, I know that British servicemen in hospitals in the UK for long periods - convalescents or rehabilitation - were issued a blue uniform to wear.  This marked them as patients but I wonder wether these were also a war time economy measure - good enough for training, hospital and POWs but not necessarily for the rigours of active service.  Just a thought. 

Hi Peter, the so called Hospital Blues were of a different cut and colour (sky blue instead of dark blue). I guess that the blue uniforms worn on these photos were from old stocks.

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