Ross Tollerton : First World War

Ross Tollerton : First World War

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Ross Tollerton was born in Ayr, Scotland on 6th May, 1890. After being educated at Maxwell Town School, he joined the 1st Cameron Highlanders when he was fifteen. In 1906 he went to South Africa and later served in India.

After leaving the British Army in 1912 Tollerton worked in the Irvine Shipyard. As a reservist, he was recalled to the Cameron Highlanders at the outbreak of war in August 1914. Tollerton arrived in France in time to take part in the battles at the Marne and the Aisne Valley.

On the 14th September the Cameron Highlanders were involved in an attack on German lines. That morning the Highlanders lost 600 men from machine-gun fire. Lieutenant J. S. M. Matheson, Tollerton's commanding officer, was one of those wounded. Although Tollerton had been shot in the head, back and hand, he decided to carry Matheson to safety. As he was surrounded by the enemy, Tollerton could only move under cover of darkness. Matheson was extremely heavy and it took him three days before he got back to the British lines. Although Matheson had been shop in the spinal cord he survived.

Tollerton was awarded the Victoria Cross for his act of bravery. The medal was presented to Tollerton by King George V at a ceremony attended by 50,000 people at Glasgow Green on 18th May 1915. Promoted to Sergeant, Tollerton returned to the Western Front and survived the war.

After Tollerton was demobed he became a janitor at Bank Street School in Irvine. When the town war memorial was unveiled in April 1921, Tollerton was invited to lay the first wreath. Of the 2,000 men from the town of Irvine who served in the First World War, 238 of them had been killed.

Ross Tollerton health was badly damaged by his war experiences and he died aged forty-one on 7th May, 1931. Major J. Matheson, the man whose life Tollerton had saved sixteen years before, sent a wreath.

Ross Tollerton : First World War - History

On 13 September 1914 the Allies began crossing the River Aisne in pursuit of the retreating Germans. However, east of Soissons, the Germans established themselves in positions north of the river along the ridge which carried the road called the Chemin des Dames. On the 14th the British sought to advance further and the Germans sought to push them back across the Aisne. Neither side succeeded and a stalemate ensued, both sides constructing the trenchworks which henceforth were to characterize the war. In the fighting on 14 September, 2nd Battalion The Welsh Regiment was near Chivy, north of Vendresse. Meanwhile, 1st Battalion The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders was among troops who succeeded in storming German trenches near Chivy but were forced to withdraw into the Chivy valley.


For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on the 14th September, 1914, at the battle of the Aisne. He carried a wounded Officer under heavy fire as far as he was able into a place of greater safety then, although himself wounded in the head and hand, he struggled back to the firing line, where he remained till his Battalion retired, when he returned to the wounded Officer, and lay beside him for three days until they were both rescued.

Second Supplement to The London Gazette of 16 April 1915. 19 April 1915, Numb. 29135, p. 3816

Ross Tollerton : First World War - History

Woodrow Wilson -Woodrow Wilson was the President of the United States. He got reelected because he wanted the United States to be neutral. The people liked Wilson. He was the president that led the U.S. into World War 1. Wilson wanted America to be neutral in the war, but that ended when Germany bombed a boat and killed Americans.

After the war, Wilson made the "fourteen points" that will ensure the world not to have another war again. For the "fourteen points", Wilson was given the Noble Peace Prize. The “fourteen points” ensured the world that they will never have another war like this again. Wilson was one of the “Big Three” when it came to the Paris Peace Conference.

Peter I- Serbia: Peter I was the king of Serbia from 1903 to 1918. He was a member of the Royal House of Karađorđević . As the leader of the Serbian army in WWI , he also got the nickname "Liberator" after the war. Peter was born in 1844 in Belgrade and spent his young life in exile with his father in France. He got his education there and got to participate in the war of 1871. He was crowned King of Serbia on September 21, 1904 in St. Michael's Cathedral and was anointed on October 9, 1904.

After the Balkan wars (a great Serbian success), Peter retired due to health reasons, and his son Alexander "took over". Peter was mainly inactive during WWI, but he occasionally went to visit his troops. In 1915, at 71 years old, on one particular visit, Peter picked up a rifle and started shooting enemy soldiers. After the invasion of Serbia by Germany, Austria, and Bulgaria, Peter led his army to the mountains. On December 1, 1918, Peter made his last public appearance by proclaiming himself king of the Serbs. He died in Belgrade in 1921 at the age of 77.

Peter I of Serbia,, June 6, 2012

Ferdinand Foch : Ferdinand Foch was a French hero in World War 1. When the war broke out, he was involved in the battles of Nancy and Marne. He was very successful and was placed in charge of the Northern French Army. He was in charge until he was replaced by Robert Neville.

In 1918, he was promoted to ASC (Allied Supreme Commander). He was so successful that he was able to mastermind the victory over Germany. In the Paris Peace Conference, Ferdinand played a very important role, by attempting to make the recovery of the German Army impossible. Ferdinand Foch died in 1929.

heroes and war leaders . N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Jun 2012.

At the end of WWI the big three were France, USA and Britain. In January 1919, delegates from 32 countries met in Paris to make peace after the First World War, peace they hoped would 'end all wars'. They met and began to organise the treaties for post war. They also disscused how they were going to punish Germany and wrote up a document called the Treaty of Versailles.The conference was dominated by David Lloyd George, Georges Clemençeau and Woodrow Wilson, the leaders of Britain, France, and America, often known as the 'Big Three'.Negotiations were difficult. Each of the Big Three wanted different things.Prime Minister Clemenceau of France wanted to ruin Germany.President Wilson, USA, wanted to lightly punish Germany. He wanted to enforce his 14 point plan. Wilson was worried if punished too much then Germany would later seek revenge.Prime Minister Lloyd George of Britian wanted to maintain trade links with Germany to help the British economy, but was prepared to harm Germany if nessisary.

By March 1919, it looked as though the conference was going to break up, but a leader evolved. Lloyd George saved the conference. He issued the Fontainebleau Memorandum , and persuaded Clemençeau to agree to the League of Nations and a more moderate peace treaty that would not destroy Germany. Then he went to Wilson and persuaded him to agree to the War Guilt Clause. The Germans published a rebuttal, arguing that the treaty was unfair, but they were ignored. On 28 June 1919, the delegates met at the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles, near Paris, and forced the Germans to sign the treaty.

"BBC." The conference and the Big Three., 2012. Web. 7 Jun 2012.

Sir John French contibuted largley to World War One. French joined the navy in 1866, and transferred to the army in 1874. In 1911 he was appointed Chief of Staff of the British Army, French was given command of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) which was deployed to Europe in the opening days of the war. In 1914 he became commander of the British Expeditionary Force. His sister was ironically one of the leading anti-war campaigners in Britain.

After the Battle of Mons he became negative about the war's outcome. He was persuaded to take part in the Marne offensive, but resigned in 1915. Sir Douglas Haig replaced him. He was granted 50,000 pounds from the British government when he retired. Sir John French died in 1925.

Nicholas II was the last Tsar of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland, and King of Poland. Although he was also known as Saint Nicholas the Martyr and Bloody Nicholas for his anti-semitic pogroms, Bloody Sunday, Khodynka Tragedy, along with the death sentences of political opponents. Right before World War I, Nicholas and Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany exchanged letters discussing peace and desires for the other to back down. When Nicholas could see that Wilhelm was not going to, he ordered a general mobilization on July 31 st , 1914. The mobilization was only against the Austrian border but was viewed all around as a threat. The Russian army was not equipped to deal with the might of the German army and never stood a chance. In the Battle of Tannenburg, almost the entire Russian army was obliterated which greatly angered Russian citizens. Angry mobs turned on the government insisting that it sends Nicholas and Grigori Rasputin, an influential healing monk said to have been seducing the Tsarina and directing her under the pay of the Germans.

After The Great Retreat, Nicholas fired his cousin, Nikolay Nikolayevich, and became commander-in-chief of the Russian army in September of 1915. This put the Tsar directly responsible for the continuously dying troops and increased public disapproval of him and the Romanovs. In his absence, Nicolas left Alexandria, his beloved wife, in charge of the capitol. The citizens were enraged and brought Alexandria to court on charges of treason because of her German background and close relationship with Rasputin. On March 12 1917, Russia was slowly collapsing and close to 60,000 soldiers had joined the revolution that Nicholas was powerless to stop. A Provisional Government was rapidly set up and demanded that the Tsar abdicate immediately. With everyone, including his generals, agreeing, Nicholas had to agree. The Romanov family was quickly imprisoned in the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg. Shortly thereafter, the Bolsheviks took over Yekaterinburg and murdered Nicholas II, Alexandria, his son, his four daughters, the family doctor, the footman, the maidservant, and the cook in the same room on the 16 th of July in 1918. Nicholas lived 50 years in that short time he became responsible for the death of 3.3 million young Russian soldiers, the economic and military collapse of Russia and the murder of his family and employees.

Later life

After his career in the army he took up a position as school janitor in Irvine, Ayrshire. He married later in life to Agnus née Muir and due to this they had no children during their marriage, although Agnus had one son, Robert, from a previous relationship. [2]

Ross Tollerton never recovered from his injuries and at the age of only 41 he died from Stomach cancer in 1931. Lieutenant J. S. M. Matheson sent a wreath. His widow died in 1939 at the age of 78 in which his Victoria Cross was passed over to his brother, Alexander Tollerton. It was Alexander's widow who eventually gave it to the Cameron's Own Highland Museum in 1956 on long-term loan and it remains there to this day.

Cameron Highlanders during World War 1

The Regiment raised 13 Battalions and gained 57 Battle Honours and 3 Victoria Crosses, losing 5,930 men during the course of the war.

1st Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Edinburgh.
14.08.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre.
05.09.1914 Joined the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division which engaged in various actions on the Western Front including
The Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, The Battle of the Marne, The Battle of the Aisne, First Battle of Ypres.
Winter Operations 1914-15, The Battle of Aubers, The Battle of Loos.
19.03.1916 Absorbed the 1/4th Battalion.
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin, The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval.
The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
The Battle of Estaires, The Battle of Hazebrouck, The Battle of Bethune, The Battle of Drocourt-Queant, The Battle of Epehy, The Battle of the St Quentin Canal, The Battle of. read more here >>

Amazing bravery of World War One's Victoria Cross heroes revealed

It was the war to end all wars, marked by its overwhelming loss of young men’s lives.

Around 956,000 brave British servicemen made the ultimate ­sacrifice for the freedom of their country.

But of those who fought in The First World War , 628 distinguished ­themselves through extraordinary bravery and were awarded the Victoria Cross – Britain’s highest military honour.

Open to all ranks, the sole ­qualification was conspicuous bravery in the field.

Although first awarded in 1857, the number of VC winners more than doubled between 1914 and 1918.

One in four did not survive to have the medal pinned to their uniform.

Ahead of next month’s Armistice Day the first definitive illustrated history of everyone awarded a Victoria Cross in the Great War has been created.

Victoria Cross Heroes of World War One tells of the men, from soldiers, to pipers, to stretcher bearers to chaplains who were awarded the Victoria Cross.

Here are just some of the ­remarkable men and their stories.

Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart Lieutenant Colonel, May 5, 1880 – June 5, 1963, 4th Royal Irish dragoon Guards, La Boisselle, France, 2-3 July, 1916

Even by the standards of Victoria Cross heroes, Lt Col de Wiart had more than his fair share of injuries.

He joined the British Army in 1899 when the Boer War broke out and lost an eye while fighting in British Somaliland.

In the First War he was sent to Ypres where his left hand was shattered in a shell blast.

He tore off two fingers a doctor refused to amputate and the rest of his hand was later removed. At the Somme he took bullets to the skull and ankle.

He was severely wounded on eight occasions and mentioned in despatches six times. His Victoria Cross was awarded at La Boisselle after he took charge of two battalions as well as his own.

He was back in uniform for the Second World War only to survive a plane crash, become a POW and try a succession of escapes.

He died in County Cork in 1963, aged 83.

William Mariner, Private, May 29, 1882 – July 1, 1916 King’s Royal Rifle Corps Cambrin, France, May 22, 1915

For many of those who had gone off the rails, war incredibly put them back on track.

The illegitimate son of a cotton-weaver from Chorley, William Mariner, spent much of his Army service in India behind bars, returning to civvy street two years before war broke out.

But after re-enlisting the former burglar soon found himself a hero.

One German machine-gun post in France was proving particularly tough for allied soldiers.

Private Mariner left his trench, made his way through no-man’s land, got on top of the German parapet and threw in bombs.

He not only returned in one piece, but brought in two captured Germans. He received a VC for his astounding bravery.

He was killed in 1916 at the Battle of the Somme.

Donald Simpson Bell, Temporary Second Lieutenant december 3, 1890 – July 10, 1916 Green Howards, Horseshoe trench, Somme, France, 5 July 1916

Temporary Second Lt Bell lost his life five days after winning his VC .

An outstanding sportsman, football was his main game and he played for several prominent amateur clubs including Crystal Palace, before turning professional with Bradford Park Avenue.

Swapping team colours for khaki in 1914, he married Rhoda Bonson while on leave in June 1916 but the Somme offensive was to end their honeymoon.

Under heavy fire at Horseshoe Trench he put an enemy machine gun out of action, rushing across the open under heavy fire, shooting the gunman with his revolver and destroying the weapon and its personnel with bombs.

Five days later he was killed while attacking another machine-gun post. The spot where he fell is still known as ‘Bell’s Redoubt’.

Bell’s medal is on display at the National Football Museum in Manchester.

John &aposJack&apos Travers Cornwell, First Class Boy. January 8, 1900 – June 2, 1916
Royal navy, Jutland, north Sea

John Cornwell was barely 16 when he made the ultimate sacrifice during the Battle of Jutland.

A sight-setter on the ship’s forward 5.5-inch gun, he was grievously wounded when his battle station took a direct hit.

With his crewmates dead and dying all around, he stayed at his post under heavy-shelling.

He made it to hospital but his injuries were too severe.

He was buried in a communal grave in East London and, after a public outcry, was exhumed and reburied with full naval honours.

He was posthumously awarded the VC.

Darwan Singh Negi Naik, Corporal, March 4 1883 – June 24, 1950, 39th Garhwal Rifles, Festubert, France, November 23-24, 1914

Native personnel serving in the Indian Army were not eligible to be awarded the VC before 1911.

Three years later Darwan Singh Negi became the first Indian serviceman to receive one.

He was at the forefront of an assault to retake a section of the line near Festubert that had fallen to the enemy.

His commanding officer lauded him saying: “Throughout, from first to last, he was the first to push round each successive traverse we took.

“He was wounded in two places, the head and in the arm, but continued fighting throughout in spite of this.

He did not report his wounds even, and only told me after it was all over.”

He retired with the rank of subedar, the rank equivalent to a British lieutenant.

Negi’s medal is held at the 39th Garwhal Rifles Officer’s Mess in India.

Ferdinand Maurice Felix West, Captain, January 19, 1896 – July 8, 1988, no 8 squadron Royal Air Force, Roye, France, August 10, 1918

First assigned to the Royal Army Medical Corps, Captain Ferdinand West joined the RFC in spring 1917.

He flew reconnaissance missions and became the Royal Air Force’s first Victoria Cross winner when he and his observer-gunner patrolled the skies low over French town of Roye.

Cpt West took evasive action from ground fire to find seven enemy aircraft on his tail.

In the skirmish he took bullets to both legs and used his clothes as a tourniques before landing safely.

He insisted on filing his report first, which included vital information on enemy positions, despite needing serious medical attention.

He lost his left leg but with an artificial limb stayed in the RAF until the end of the Second World War.

Charles Smith Rutherford, Lieutenant, January 9, 1892 – June 11, 1989, 5th Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles Monchy, France, August 26, 1918

Lieutenant Charles Rutherford was responsible for one of the greatest bluffs of the Great War.

Born in Ontario, Canada, he enlisted in 1916 and was twice hospitalised before winning the Military Cross.

His greatest moment came when he was detached from his unit and with the enemy massing outside a pill box, he coolly aimed his revolver at them and announced they were being taken prisoner.

After a stand-off the German soldiers were fooled into thinking they were surrounded and surrendered.

By the time his company arrived he had 45 prisoners and three enemy machine-guns.

He then led his men to attack another pill box and captured another 35 prisoners and their machine guns.

He won his Military Cross for leading a platoon to clear a village of German troops. He died in Ottawa aged 97.

Ross Tollerton, Private, May 6, 1890 - May 7, 1931, Queen&aposs Own Cameron Highlanders, Battle of the Alsne, France, September 1914

With wounds to his head and hands Pte Ross Tollerton lasted three days, taking care of another injured man.

On September 14, 1914 the Highlanders lost 600 men and with the Germans advancing, Tollerton had gone to help severely injured Lieutenant James Matheson and carried him to a cornfield.

Returning to the firing line he was injured but when orders came for his battalion to withdraw he returned to Lt Matheson.

The enemy presence made it impossible to escape for three days and they survived with only a bucket of water, eking out every drop until they were rescued.

Neither ever fully recovered from their injuries.

Pte Tollerton died in 1931, aged 41. A memorial to him was put up in 1932, paid for by the British Legion and the townsfolk of his hometown of Irvine.

Noel Godfrey Chavasse, Captain, November 9, 1884 – August 4, 1917
Royal Army Medical Corps/King’s (liverpool) Regiment Guillemont, France, August 9-10, 1916 and Wieltje, Belgium, July 31 – August 2, 1917

Captain Noel Chavasse is one of three men to have been awarded two Victoria Crosses.

By the time he qualified as a doctor in 1912 he was already in the Territorial Army and had run in the 1908 Olympics.

He arrived in France in November 2014 and addressed trench foot as diligently as he dealt with bullet and shrapnel wounds.

He regularly recovered the wounded and dead from no-man’s land.

At the Somme in August 1916, he dealt with numerous casualties in no-man’s land over a 48 hour period and won his first VC.

He did the same at Passchendaele but on July 31 he was hit in the head by a shell fragment.

He was struck twice more before being hospitalised. He died on August 4 and a month later his second VC was awarded.

  • Victoria Cross Heroes of World War One by Robert Hamilton is published by Atlantic Publishing at £40

View gallery

Want to know more about 1st Battalion, Cameron Highlanders (Queens Own) ?

1st Battalion, Cameron Highlanders (Queens Own)

during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Bishop Harry. Pte (d.24th February 1917)
  • Boag John. L/Cpl (d.29th July 1916)
  • Brown Donald Morton. Lt. (d.17th October 1918)
  • Burns Samuel. Pte. (d.22nd Dec 1914)
  • Donaldson John. Pte. (d.5th March 1915)
  • Harris James. Pte. (d.5th Nov 1914)
  • Home William. Cpl. (d.14th Sep 1914)
  • Kennedy Roderick. Pte. (d.27th January 1915)
  • Law Richard. L/Cpl.
  • Linkston John. L/Cpl (d.23rd Apr 1915)
  • MacDonald Norman. Pte. (d.2nd Jun 1916)
  • Mackintosh MM.. James Samuel. Pte.
  • MacKintosh MM.. James Samuel. Pte.
  • McQuade James. Pte. (d.9th May 1915)
  • Mercer George. Pte. (d.14th December 1916)
  • Millar Robert. Pte. (d.26th Mar 1915)
  • Millar Robert. Pte. (d.26th March 1915)
  • Mitchell Charles. Pte. (d.3rd Sep 1916)
  • Murray Thomas Salton. Pte. (d.14th Sept 1914)
  • Ramsay George. Pte. (d.11th March 1915)
  • Ridge Patrick. Pte. (d.28th Jan 1915)
  • Samuel John Alexander Munro. L/Cpl.
  • Smith Alexander. Pte. (d.10th Jul 1915)
  • Thomson John. Pte. (d.18th Apr 1918)
  • Tollerton Ross. Sgt.
  • Walker . Cpl.
  • Whigham James. Pte. (d.11th Nov 1914)

All names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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History of Tollerton Bowls Club

In the autumn of 1983 a few members of the public in Tollerton heard about a new game being played indoors called carpet bowls. At about the same time a very generous lady offered to buy a carpet in order to start a club at Tollerton. This lady, by the name of Mrs Harrison, also bought a carpet for her own village of Newton on Ouse. Additionally she offered to help the villages of Alne and Huby, although Huby did not take up the offer of a carpet.

Tollerton formed a Committee and a Club and by 1984 were raring to go. The next thing was to form a League. This was set up and consisted of clubs from Alne, Coxwold, Easingwold (although they did not stay in the league once "short mat" bowling came in to being), Huby, Newton, Shipton and Tollerton. The league was called The Vale of Mowbray Carpet Bowls League. Tollerton was in the south division. For most of the bowlers this was a very enjoyable and fun game.

After about ten years a new game of indoor bowls arrived which was called "Short Mat bowls". Heaven knows how it got that name when the short mat is actually longer than the mats used for carpet bowls! Well, we all know how Short Mat bowls took off, what a game! With more people joining and more clubs a new league had to be formed with a new name. The name that emerged was the Kyle Valley League. Why Kyle Valley you may ask? I will try to explain - two members from Tollerton Bowls Club were at a meeting held in Easingwold. At this meeting it was left to Mr Frank Raper to propose the name which was then accepted. This name was proposed because both of the Tollerton members present had worked for many years on either side of this beautiful little valley which runs from Tollerton, through Alne Park and then levels out near Tholthorpe. I myself have worked in this region and can vouch for their sentiments.

Like all clubs we have had good times and bad. During the first few years of the Short Mat bowling the Tollerton club had a very good team, and indeed they won the Kyle valley Challenge Trophy four times. Also during this period certain members of the club kept a carpet bowls team
in the Carpet Bowls League. For many years the Club was quite successful in the various leagues and tournaments, then disaster struck. One of the best bowlers died suddenly at the wheel of his vehicle. Two years later the Club lost another top bowler suddenly. These tragic circumstances rocked the club enormously. However, with a few more players joining and the dedication of the existing members the club has managed to survive. On a more positive note one of the Club's members, Richard Clark, was a regular member of the County Bowls team for 12 years during which he played in a record 81 games.

Tollerton - Lantern Cross

At present no image of this war memorial is available for online display. If you have a photograph of this war memorial, please send it to [email protected] for inclusion on the Register. The image will be credited to yourself and free for reuse for non-commercial purposes by others under the IWM Non Commercial Licence.

Memorial details

Current location

Tollerton La
NG12 4FW

OS Grid Ref: SK 615 348
Denomination: Undefined

  • First World War (1914-1918)
    Total names on memorial: 3
    Served and returned: Undefined
    Died: 3
    Exact count: yes
    Information shown: surname,rank,year died,regiment,forename
    Order of information: year died
  • Second World War (1939-1945)
    Total names on memorial: 4
    Served and returned: Undefined
    Died: 4
    Exact count: yes
    Information shown: surname,rank,regiment,forename
    Order of information: Undefined
  • Cross
    Measurements: height C 6500MM
    Materials: Stone - Portland
  • Grade II
  • This memorial is protected, and listed on the National Heritage List for England maintained by Historic England. View list entry
  • More about listing and the protection of historic places can be found on the Historic England website
  • WMO ID: 96896
  • Condition: Fair [last updated on 15-05-2017]
  • 210M

This record comprises all information held by IWM’s War Memorials Register for this memorial. Where we hold a names list for the memorial, this information will be displayed on the memorial record. Please check back as we are adding more names to the database.

This information is made available under a Creative Commons BY-NC licence.

This means you may reuse it for non-commercial purposes only and must attribute it to us using the following statement:

Every prisoner of war camp in the UK mapped and listed

What would happen if the UK's prison population suddenly increased by 400,000 people? That's what occurred between 1939 and 1948, when thousands of Germans, Ukranians and others became Britain's prisoners of war, according to a new book.

The camps where the PoWs were imprisoned have largely (but not all) disappeared. At one time hundreds of them were spread across the UK.

The best known was Island Farm in Wales - scene of a 'great escape' in 1945, with some German POWs getting as far as Birmingham and Southampton.

UK PoW camps mapped using Google Fusion tables. Click here for the fullscreen version

Author Sophie Jackson has written a book, Churchill's Unexpected Guests, examining this overlooked period of Britain's history, looking at what happened to every camp from the period.

Researching POW camp locations proved a challenge when compiling Churchill's Unexpected Guests. Few official lists of camps or prisoners remain from that time and most camps were temporary and pulled down after the war. Some have subsequently been built on.

Most modern camp lists are based on archaeological work – ironic when the camps existed a mere 60 years ago. English Heritage has worked hard to find the locations of camps, but even so many are still undiscovered.

Records from the time give an insight into camp life and sometimes reveal the name of a camp, but often the documents didn't reveal the actual address, and prisoners were not allowed to write their camp address on any letters they sent home.

Despite the difficulties a great number of camps have been identified, including the few listed here. Some were more famous than others, such as Island Farm Camp, Bridgend from which an audacious escape attempt was made by German prisoners.

Over the coming years no doubt more camps will be added to this list as they are discovered, but many will remain forgotten forever, the last traces of their Nazi occupants long lost.

The English Heritage research referred to by Sophie was conducted by Roger Thomas and published in 2003. You can see the original report here.

Thomas says the full list is still not complete:

Although there is a numeric sequence of 1,026 PoW Camps, there is no indication that this total was ever fully utilised. Substantial gaps exist in the sequence that are common to all sources consulted. Nevertheless, a number of sites have been located that remain unidentified and presumably fitted into the sequence somewhere.

Some sites comprised more than one facility. Thanks to English Heritage, we are allowed to reproduce that list - you can download the data behind the map above.

Watch the video: World War I - The Great War 1914-1918


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