Knockaloe Camp - Camp 4 final report

FINAL REPORT
on the
INTERNAL ADMINISTRATION of the PRISONERS of WAR CAMP IV
KNOCKALOE

March 15th 1919

[under construction - note text is as original though some relatively minor reformatting required for web layout ]

Figures

Camp 4 layout
Compound 1 layout

[1]

Introduction

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Administration

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[3]

Camp Central Committee

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[7]

German Government Allowance Committe

The German Government alloteted in 1915/16 benefits in money or kind to poor P's/W through the medium of the late German Division of the American Embassy. The Committe in charge of the distribution was known in Camp as the "Lowry Committee". It automatically ceased when the Swiss Legation was entrusted with the representation of German Interests.

In April 1917 the German Government commissioned the Swiss Legation to organise a scheme whereunder the destitute and deserving prisoners of German Nationality were entitled to a monthly Government Grant of 10/- shillings per head.

Payments made from April 1917 to March 1919

Compound 1 848 P's/W
£3569 17 -
Compound 2 835
£4250 - -
Compound 3 915
£5550 3 -
Compound 4 900
£3000 - -
Compound 6 954
£5564 1 -
Compound 6 794
£3828 - -
Compound 7 300
£1500 - -

The figures given for Compounds 4 & 7 are based on assumption, the books having been returned when the inmates were transferred.

The administration of this Grant was placed into the hands of the Compound Head-Captains in office, who formed a Committee of three, whilst the Joint-Committes dealing with the Allowance appointed P/W Lehman their Camp Representative in this matter.

Austro-Hungarian Committee

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[8]

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Prisoners' Aid Society

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[9]

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Kitchen Administration

At the opening of Camp IV, in 1915 the Compound Kitchens were in the hands of a Contractor appointed by the Government, but shortly afterwards the prisoners formed independent Kitchen Committees. These took charge of the entire management and were constituted as follws: Each Hut elected a Kitchen Representative. Each "Compound " Kitchen Committee, therefore had 12 members. These elected amongst themselves 5 to act as "executive" members.

In this sphere, more than in any other, the co-operation brought about by the centralised "Committee Administration", has proved to be of great advantage. Kitchen Managers, not always experienced - though willing, could thus meet in the C.C.C., supplement their practical knowledge and incidentally find out by comparision the most adequate system for the demands of the daily routine. Book-keeping was further rendered uniform and any weak points were soon disclosed by the independent financial statements submitted weekly. Moreover, a noteworthy feature came then to be introduced by way of imperative "bi-monthly" Elections, as suggested by the Commandant. The subsequent change of Managers, or the mere possibility thereof, effectively prevented favouritism and undue lattitude in control.

It is satisfactory to be able to maintain that, in spite of the considerable financial turnover, exhibited in the statistics no defalcations whatever have occurred in this camp. this stands testimony to the business-like attitude taken by C.C.C. kitchen representatives P's/W Kroell (Director, Ritz Hotel) and his successor Kraft.

[10]

The task of a Compound Kitchen was very difficult and equally important. When 800 to 1000 men have to be catered for by each Kitchen, and when due allowance is made for the somewhat primitive equipment of "Camp Kitchens", it will be realised that the scope of variation in the daily fare was limited. Yet, the resourcefulness, displayed by the managing Committees, overcame many obstacles. But most praiseworthy were the united efforts to bridge the economic difficulties, created by the very considerable reductions in the Government Rations and accentuated by the simultaneous restrictions placed on the purchase of food.

An extract of the Dietary is here given, but only the principal items are quoted to make for clearness. The result of these comparative statistics, however is not influenced thereby.

Scale of I.o.M. Government Rations per diem.

  Originally: March 1917 1919
Bread 18 oz 8 oz 5 oz
Biscuits -- -- 3 oz
Flour 5-6 0.75 0.75
Meat 8 oz (5 days) 6 oz (on 3 days) 4 oz (on 3 days)
Tinned Meat 4 oz (on 2 days) 3 oz (on 2 days) 3 oz (on 2 days)
Herrings --- 10 oz (on 2 days) 3 lb (per week)
Potatoes 8 oz -- 30 oz

Sundry Items:
1oz reduced to 0.5oz Margarine p. day
1.75 oz reduced to 1 oz Sugar
...

The purchases of food, to supplement the Rations supplied by the I.o.M. Government (as above) or to render the fare more palatable, varied between £150 & £250 per Kitchen per month. As the general scarcity of food increased these were more or less limited to potatoes, onions, coffee &c.

...6295d

[11]

Mental Activities

Central School Board

...

[15]

Freemason's Circle

Adequate facilities were granted to Members of German and English Lodges to hold occasional meetings, and the Anniversary of St. John was celebrated in 1917/18 by the 30 to 40 Freemasons belonging to Camp IV.

Church Institutions

Sunday Services held by Average attendance
Protestant Rev Reinke, Missionary 80 to 100 Ps/W
Rom Catholic Rev Dr Trainer [? Traynor] 100 to 130 "
Old Catholic Rev Pocock 30 to 40 "
Low Church Pastor Schmidt 40 to 50 "

Religious Festivals

Members of the Jewish Faith were given opportunities to join the Jewish Camp at Douglas, either permanently or for special occasions, whilst the Mohannedans were allowed to celebrate their Ramasan [sic Ramadan] Festival

Bible Classes

Towards the end of 1916 a movement sprang up known as the Bible Reader's Circle, which met every Wednesday and Friday evening. Its development was remarkable and towards the end of 1918 these classes had 80 to 100 hearers amongst whom were to be found young men of good standing and different creeds. This development might well form a chapter of Camp Psychology if it came to be written.

Sick Visiting & Burial Board

the committee of Compound Representatives divided their task into a) the Hospital aid Section and b0 Burial Board Functions. The former distributed comforts to the inmates of the Camp IV Hospital and the Isolation Hospital which were purchased out of funds collected within the Camp or alloted by the Camp Gazwtte, the Dr. Markel Committee etc. The functions of the Burial Board concerned the funeral arrangements, including the notification of relatives. Since the opening of Camp IV in 1915 the number of Ps/W. deceased reached 67, of whom 61 were Christians, 4 Mohammedans and 2 Jews. They were buried with due rites at the Churchyard of St. Patrick, where the Ps/W's graves are appropriately arranged and tended, and the expenditures incurred were defrayed out of the Funds raised amongst the Ps/w.

Industrial Activities

Industrial Department.

The question of finding congenial occupation for all sections of Civilian Ps/W. within a Camp, both suitable and remunerative, or instructive, formed an obstinate problem which was accentuated by the increasing financial and material difficulties, as well as by the lack of equipment.

The Industrial Department was established in October 1915 and constitutes a Committee, consisting of 3 Ps/W. in each Compound of whom one acts as thge Manager of the local Workshop. The Managers of the 7 Compound Workshops form in turn the Industrial "Camp" Committee, generally known as the "Industrial Department".

It controls :-

  1. the 7 Compound Workshops;
  2. the Ship-model Workshop;
  3. the Cabinet-makers's Workshop;
  4. the watch-maker's Workshop;
  5. the handicraft carried out in the huts;
  6. the toothbrush-making department;
  7. the Camp IV nurseries & vegetable Gardens.

Not included under this head are the 2 "Government Workshops" established in Camp IV and employing about 100 men in the production and repair of Camp Clothing and Boots.

[16]

The work carried out in Camp IV may be classified as follows:

General Handicraft: The articles coming under this head range from inlaid and other fancy boxes, frames, book & pipe racks, trays, carved bone ornaments, knitted handbags, metal work, fret work etc., etc.. and were made in 6 of the Compound Workshops (which accomodated 40 to 50 men and which were fully equipped by the Friends' Emergency Committee) as well as in the living huts if large tools were not requaired, as in the case of bone carving.

Ship-model making: In a a workshop set apart a number of men were engaged in making minature ship models for a London firm.

Watch Repairs: The Industrial Department suceeded in finding sufficient work to keep the watchmakers here interned occupied and to enable them to earn small amounts.

Cabinet-making: Under a benevolent scheme of the Friends' Emergency Committee various pieces of furniture were required, so that a workshop was set apart in which a score of skilled jopiners found employment.

Toothbrush making: When the demand for Camp-made fancy-goods started to decrease in 1917 the Industrial Department started an experimental toothbrush making workshop which might have given a larger number of men definite though only small financial results. The main difficulty was to compete with the machine-made articles since the toothbrushes here were produced entirely by hand. At the time this Department would have been able to take orders it was, however, rendered problematical whether the German Government would have allowed work of this kind and the only order accepted and carried out was one from the Camp Canteens.

Private Work: Through the medium of the head-quarters of the Industrial Department there has always been a certain amount of private tailoring & bootm,aking permitted and its stores catered generally for the theatrical Societies, requiring materials, and for the different Sports Committees etc.

It should here be made clear that the Industrial Organisation was entirely in the hands of the Ps/W. and neither constitutionally nor other than benevolently connected with any person, firm or society outside the Camp. In principle as in fact, the Industrial Department was not a commercial undertaking but rendered self-supporting thanks to the gratuitous eqipment and the ready help given by the Society of Friends. The articles produced in Camp were practically without exeption "fancy-goods" and one cannot speak of their production in the sense of "manufacture". The industrial activity prevailing in this Camp was on the whole more or less a pastime proproportionate in extent to the opportunities available in so far as the handicraft exercised by the individual worker seldom left the boundaries of a personal hobby. Everybody anxious to occupy his time in the workshops was able to do so and it simply became a problem of exchanging the articles made against new material and of securing a fair balance to the credit of the worker in order to maintain this beneficial and instructive activity. This proved to be the main purpose of the Industrial Department which, with this end in view arranged two Exhibitions at which the majority of the goods were sold.

Camp IV Nurseries & Vegetable Gardens:

When dealing with the Kitchen administration of Camp IV reference was made to the Vegetable Cultivation carried out in conjunction with the Industrial Department and the results of the efforts made read as follows:

Year Cabbages Carrots Turnips Leeks Onions
1916(June/Dec)
29,240
760
1917(July/Dec)
44,815
8,460
1918(Jan/Dec)
81,275
8,300
7,128
1919(Jan/Febr)
37,180
16,400
 
192,510
33,920

[17]

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General Employment of Prisoners of War

[18]

Amateur Gardeners' Section

The quest of finding suitable activity for the aged and invalid Ps/W was rendered particularly difficult, so that the Camp Central Committee gladly availed itself of the opportunity given by the Commandant of Camp IV to utilise the waste but arable land, known as Compound 8, under a garden plot scheme.

During the season of 1918, 246 plots, measuring 7 yards by 3 yards, were cultivated by 419 Ps/W. (some sharing) which compares favourably with the returns of the previous year, when 221 Ps/W. claimed only 172 plots. The men selected averaged 45 years of age and were of the type that takes little interest in most things but delights in cultivating a small garden of their own. All possible facilities were granted by way of free seeds for the destitute, the loan of tools and as regards special passes enabling these elderly men to go out to the Garden Compound at all times of the day. The produce grown for everybody's own use mainly consisted of salat, radishes, onions, beet, beans, carrots, cabbages etc. etc. and formed a welcome addition to the table. To further stimulate interest, the Amateur Gardeners' Section of the C.C. promoted a special Exhibition which proved a considerable success and which drew almost the whole of the Camp. The prize money distributed amounted to £15 and was given by Dr. Markel.

The foregoing will show how beneficial the scheme, originated by the Commandant of this Camp, has proved. The elderly and often physically helpless men appreciated it greatly, as they did also the endeavours made in the interest of the scheme by P.o.W. Lesser.

Physical Activities

Gymnastic & Sports Clubs

When men of military age are confined to the limited space of Compounds, the tendency to create physical activities other than walking is only natural ; - thus various exercises were followed and are dealt with under the headings of the different Clubs which developed.

Gymnastics: Each Compound had its own Club, which due to Dr. Markel, had a full equipment by way of gymnastic apparatus. The exercises were held twice weekly, either inside the Recreation Hall, or, in fine weather on the parade ground. The membership of a Compound Club exceeded originally 200 but since the rations were reduced not more than 50 participated when the 7 Compound Instructors under the leadership of P/W Rehbehn organised in conjunction with the Sports Section of the C.C. (P.o. W. French) an open air festival which was highly successful.

Athletics: Boxing and Wrestling Clubs were only established in Compounds 1,5,6 & 7 with a total membership of 144. The Clubs are well equipped and training was daily in progress. Towards 1918, when a few professional boxers had been transferred into Camp IV the interest was stimulated and from that period onwards regular matches were arranged and maintained to the last.

Cricket: This Sport is represented in all Compounds with a total membership of 180. Proper Cricket pitches are to be found on both Recreation Fields and patronised on every fine day. The sets are complete and the players are mostly young men who received their training in English Schools, Inter-Camp Matches could unfortunately not be arranged, as proper Cricket teams were not to be found in the other Camps.

[19]

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Recreation Grounds

[20]

Recreative Activities

Theatres

At one end of the Recreation Hall in each Compound a stage had been erected to which later on the Authorities added an orchestra pit. Thus there existed 7 independent theatres in Camp IV. A Committee was formed in each Compound with the dual purpose of producing plays of their own and of engaging the other theatrical companies. In this manner the theatres, variety shows, bands etc. were touring the Camp. This free exchange of plays etc. was, however only rendered possible by the Camp Central Committee, whose "Entertainment Section" carried out all the negotiations between the different theatres, bands, choirs etc., collected all the necessary data, and then submitted the elaborate working plan for the weeks programme in concrete form to the Commandant, thus enabling him to deal with the many questions arising without having to labour through the mass of detail. The following statistics are evidence of the great activity that prevailed and should render it clear that recreation could never have been developed to this beneficial extent without the system adopted in Camp IV.


Theatrical Statistics

  Total Cpd 1 Cpd 2 Cpd 3 Cpd 4 Cpd 5 Cpd 6 Cpd 7
No of Actors 170 32 32 20 26 20 25 15
Stagehands etc. 74 12 10 12 13 9 11 7
No of plays                
Drama 15 2 - 6 4 - 3 -
Plays 52 20 6 7 5 1 11 2
Comedies 118 15 17 21 16 11 28 7
Operettas 11 1 3 2 - 2 3 -
Costume plays 8 1 2 3 - - - 2
  204              

Thus 204 productions were created in Camp and repeated by the producing company in some or all of the other compounds and the following figures

  Total Cpd 1 Cpd 2 Cpd 3 Cpd 4 Cpd 5 Cpd 6 Cpd 7
    230 145 201 125 93 258 74
Other Entertainments                
Variety Shows 84 15 18 11 16 9 14 1
Concerts 220 44 30 35 44 22 28 11
Festivals 102 15 12 18 25 13 16 3

Summary of Entertainments in Camp IV
Theatrical plays produced ...... 1126;
Variety Shows .......................... 84;
Concerts ................................. 220
Festivals social evenings ...........102.
Total number of entertainments 1532.

The above returns cover the period from October 20th,1915 to March 14th 1919. The financial turnover reached £10,401. of which the Theatre in Compound 6 alone claimed £2109. The fee for admission was fixed at the periodical meetings of the theatre managers at the C. C. Board-room and, with few exceptions, did not exceed the rates of 3d.,6d. & 9d.
Amongst the most noteworthy plays produced in Camp IV number: Renaissance, Die Gold'ne Eva, An ideal husband, Trilby, Dollar Pirncess, Charley's Aunt, Cinema Queen, Cyprienne etc.,.etc. In this manner moral, educational and humorous elements were introduced into the daily life of the Camp inmates mad the theatrical endeavours made not only spelt relief to them but also provided occupation to a considerable number of actors, musicians, scenery painters, dressmakers, hairdressers, electricians etc. all the year round. Most appreciable efforts were made by the amateur "female impersonators" who in several cases attained well merited success. Mention should yet be made of the good services rendered by Ps/W. Leon, as secretary of the Entertainment section of the C.C

[21]

Cinematograph Theatre:-

During the last 3½ years Cinema proposition were put forward by different groups at various times, but both, officially and on the part of the C.C.Board, these were discouraged. It was held that a cinematograph would gradually supersede the entire theatrical actvity on so beneficially pomoted in Camp IV and, thereby, deprive a not inconsiderable number of Ps/W. of their regular oneupation. A further, not less important aspect, presented itself on consideration that a Cinematograph Theatre would have drained the Camp at the rate of at least £50 per week, whereas the Pv/W's own theatres acted financially purely as a distributing agency within the Camp.

Only when other influences came into play did the establishment of a Cinema materialise, and the plant was not set into operation until October the 22nd,1918. The circumstances which prompted the deviation from the previous course were, firstly, the apathy which made itself gradually felt in all spheres after 3 years internment with the end in sight and, secondly, the psychological necessity of bringing the Ps/W. again into nontact with the contrasting aspect of life outside.

The realisation of the Cinema scheme presented, however, many difficulties of a tecahnical and financial nature. A cable had to be laid, a fire-proof operator's cabin be built and made transportable from Compound to Compound. The establishment charges, therefore, amounted to over £300. and at this stage entailed a not inconsiderable risk to the organisers, inasmuch as the running expenses were disprortinatoly high. Thus credit is due to the Chairman of the Industrial Department (P. o. W. Gross) for taking the initiative by providing the funds. In the execution of they scheme he collaborated with the Camp Secretary and the Theatre Managers. Neither loss nor profits were registtvred when on March the 9th the Cinema had to close (1919) but the Camp generally felt the benefit whilst 23 men (including the Band) found regular employment. Throughout the period mentioned a continuous Cinema Service was maintained and the nightly programmes (including Sundays) covered 2½ hours. The films shown were all up-to-dates but excluded, of course, War pictures. The audience numbered 350 to 400 men per show and the total takings amounted to £1043.

From the psychological point of view it was of interest to judge the effect of the films on the masses of men, who for 3 years and more had been in more or less close confinement. The keen disappointment of the first nights gradually changing for warm enthusiasm and interest in outside life.

Bands and Choirs:-

Compound 1 Schubert's String Orchestra (Chamber Music)
11 men
  Banholzer's Choir
80 men
Compound 2 Heber's (Haase's) Theatre Band
32 men
  "Handforth Choir"
25 men
Compound 4 Church Choir
46 men
Compound 5 Concert Choir (Conductor Wolff)
100 men
Compound 6 Kruse-Knaul Theatre Band
12 men

Symphony Camp Orchestra

Under the directorship of P/W. Hans Winter (now Conductor of the Opera at Munich) all the capable musicians in Camp combined in August 1917 and rehearsed for a Philharmonic Concert which took place in all Compounds on December 6th 1917 and the subsequent days. It proved most successful and is perhaps unique in the annals of a Camp.

Military Brass Band :-

During the Summer Seasons 40 men grouped themselves and held open-air concerts on the Recreation Fields and in the Compound grounds.

[22]

Chess Club :

When the centralisation scheme took effect, the various Chess Players in the different Compounds were enabled to meet periodically and then constituted the Chess Club. The membership reached up to 45 and regular Inter-Compound Tournaments took place during the Winter Seasons of 1915/16, 1916/7, 1917/18 and 1918/19. Prizes were distributed and the best plkayers then volunteered to hold in each compound simultaneous Exhibition games.

Billiards :

Billiard Tables were erected in Compounds 1,3,4,(5) & 6 and matches held frequently

Skittle Alleys:

In a corner of the Compound Parade Ground of each Compound Skittle Alleys were built and much patronised. The financial control was in the hands of the Kitchen Committee which arranged week-end competitions.

 

Trade Unions and Clubs

Popular Debating Society

Due to the large assembly of Ps/W., who are workmen of various trades on land and sea and members of trade unions and organisations, a general movement made itself felt early in 1916 to establish "Readers' Circles" (or "Sunday Clubs"). As these developed in the different Compounds, the Commandant of Camp IV was approached to saction their formation into a "Camp" Society under the above totle and under the centraliised Committee Administration, so that the sphere of the lecturers could be extended over to the Camp and the members enabled to meet, as in the case of the "Literary & Scientific Society" already described. The decision was rendered difficult as opposing currents had taxed these Readers Circles with democratic and political tendencies but in December 1916, when a responsible leader was found in P/W. Floerke, permission was given and the centralisation soon afterwards began to show equalising and beneficial results and furthermore proved that the nature of these popular lectures interested a very wide circle of prisoners that with other subjects was difficult to reach.

As part of their routine the executive Committee of this Society regularly submitted for censoring purposes a programme of their lectures together with the MSS. The subjects dealt with mainly concerned aims of education, public health (causes of alcoholism, venereal diseases &c races and languages, land problems, political economy etc etc. The tendencies of all lectures were strictly moderate and the radical element was firmly excluded. The broad aims of the Society were simply to provide the workers with food for reflection within their particular sphere, inasmuch as most of its members remained otherwise disinterested.

Statistical Record: The total membership reached 3100; the number of lectures given was 224, not including the fortnightly Committee discussions. The Popular Debating Society's own library contained over 6000 volumes.

Transport Workers' Union (Seamen's Branch)

Sea-faring men represent a large proportion or this Camp and were granted permission to form a branch of their Union in this Camp. It was affiliated with the Popular Debating Society and had as its sole purpose the discussion of insurance questions connected with the mine dangar, the settlement of altered conditions of work after the War and the settlement of private claims for effects lost at sea, wages, allowances to wives etc.

[23]

The Knockaloe Branch of the Transport Workers' Union (Camp IV) founded April 11th 1917, has 2116 registered members and embraces the following sea-faring trades : Mates, Machinists, Firemen, Deckhands and Fishermen. 57 Compound & 19 Camp Meetings were held, as well as 24 Inner Committee Sittings.

 

Fishing Trawler Captains & Mates' Association :

...

Master Mariners' Association:

 

Ship-Engineer Officers' Association

...

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JUVENILE PRISONERS Of WAR COMPOUND (VII).

In November 1917 all the "Juvenile" Prisoners of War In the Knockaloe Camps were drafted into a separate Compound (7) of Camp IV, but again dispersed and sent back to their old Camps and compounds in November 1918 - twelve months afterwards. The idea underlying -evidently based on humanistic principles - was one of separating the Boys ( averaging 17 to 18 years of age and numbering about 300) from the adult Ps/W. with whom they had necessarily been in close association up to this period. The origin of this step is not quite clear to the signatories of this Report so that it can be placed on record without prejudice that the belated concentration and the consequent isolation of the juvenile elements did not prove successful - however well intentioned.

[24]

One cannot but regret that the Representatives of the German interests failed to establish contact with the responsible leaders of the Camp on questions like, these as and when they arose, inasmuch as the Delegates were apparently only able to devote a few days to the study of Camp conditions on visiting Knockaloe every six months. Under these circumstances it was an impossible task to arrive at a clear understanding of matters appertaining to so extensive a Camp,and the case in point is further evidence to this effect. The separation of the Boys - justifiable in theory - was not applicable under the prevailing conditions.

The Camp Authorities in general and the Commandant of Camp IV in particular, however used their best endeavours to bridge the difficulties. Much time and effort was spent by the Committee Administration to create for the Boys a self-supporting Organisation, known as the "Polytechnique" and embracing :
(a) Continuation School :- This Class provided an opportunity to the Juvenile Ps/W to consolidate and enlarge their knowledge. The curriculum was based on that of Elementary Schools and consisted of 5 obligatory and 4 optional subjects. The plan of study was arranged so as not to collide with the Boys' physical and recreative activities. When the pupils decreased from 50 to 25 the teachers nevertheless persevered in their task.

(b) Industrial School :- Thanks to the benevolent help given by the Friends' Emergency Committee a Model Workshop was established and fully equipped, yet it must be stated with regret that this useful institution was made only comparatively little use of. The important question of practical and theoretical education of the Boys, attempted by the above-mentioned Schools, however was no longer a purely pedagogical undertaking but a difficult psychological problem never solved.

(c) Gymnastics & Sport :- This practically proved the only attraction to the Boys, their football & cricket teams ranking foremost and a great proportion excelling in gymnastics, boxing and otherwise.

(d) Entertainment Section:- In view of the fact that the former inmates of Compound 7 took all the stage fittings with them, the theatre had to be equipped anew and thanks to liberal help of the Friends' Emergency Committee quantities of wood and canvas were supplied, whilst the Swiss Legation readily responded to an appeal for further assistance in the shape of dress material, stage requisites etc. The goods sent amounted to £30 and proved a great help.

Compound 7 being small and poor was financially not able to engage the theatre companies of the adult compounds, which on the other hand did not perform free of charge, having by then developed the regrettable tendency for substituting the original enthusiasm of the actors by financial considerations. It was at this stage that the Camp Secretary took the initiative in placing the Boys' Organisations on a self-supporting basis by establishing the Boys' own theatre which subsequently produced amongst others the classical plays "Renaissance" and "Eva" both of which met in Camp with unequalled success. Both productions were engaged by the other theatres 12 and 18 times respectively (which forms a record) and achieved financial results which enabled now the other theatres to play in the Boys' Compound against payment. Moreover, out of these funds other institutions could be encouraged amongst which was the "Boys' own Band" that performed most successfully.
From the above it will be seen that the Boys could only be attracted by recreative activities which must be accounted for by the fact that prior to their isolation - which they looked upon as a punishment - they were individually allowed to drift whilst associating with the Adult Ps/W. A timely separation alone could have prevented the apathy and irreconcilable spirit shown.

[25]

PRIVILEGED SECTION: COMPOUND IV.

On October the 8th & 10th, 1918 the Civilian Prisoners of War at Lofthouse Park Wakefield, were transferred to Camp IV, Knockaloe. The inmates of Compound 4 in this Camp had been drafted into the other Compounds to make room for the new arrivals. The Compound then became the "Privilege Camp", the inmates agreeing to pay 11/- shillings per head per week for an improvement of the rations, service, china and linen, and for the concession to consume spirits (wine only) and the separation from the general Camp.

The Privileged Compound had its own P.o.W. Administration for purely internal affairs but was also subject to the Military (disciplinary) Regulations in force in Camp IV, and where connexions with the general Camp were sought (much as the engagement of theatrical companies, the use of libraries, schools and the participation in the C.C. pass system) the Compound 4 Organisations had to co-operate with the centralised Camp Committee Administration.

As compared with Wakefield, where the Ps/W had to rely entirely on their own talent for physical, mental and recreative activities, the inmates had here the appreciable advantage of being able to draw on the resources of the entire Camp, so that subsequently theatrical performances, concerts, lectures, etc. took place in Compound 4 almost every night, whereby, incidentally, the various Theatres, Bands etc. obtained the needed financial support. The former theatrical group of Wakefield produced two plays which toured the camp. As mentioned elsewhere some of the teachers, living in the Privileged Compound, came to the rescue of the Camp IV schools and enabled the students to bring their efforts to a satisfactory conclusion. Otherwise the Ps/W. in Compound 4 (which soon became an integral part of the general Camp) took advantage of the Institutions existing in the various Compounds.

By way of comparison much could be said about the instituted "Privilege Compounds" and the physical and mental standards of the men could be cited as proof. May it suffice to say that huts and cubicles for individual Ps/W. are not with the element of danger accentuated by the conditions and length of confinement. Although much personal comfort had been sacrificed the mere service elements of the personal comfort had been sacrificed the more serious elements of the Privileged Compound agreed that the mode of living in a well regulated general Camp like Camp IV proved more wholesome and healthy, apart from climatic advantages.

CAMP IV HOSPITAL

Sick and invalid Ps/W. were at all times adequately treated under the care of the R.M.O. Dr R.T. McGeagh, who was aided by a P.o.W. Staff of 10 Hospital Attendants.


In submitting this Report its signatories desire to place on record the united errforts that were made in Camp IV to bridge the difficulties and adversities of Internment. The results achieved should justify the departure made in the Administration of this Camp, which was based on broad humanistic principles as directly opposed to the biased patriotic rule of disconcerted groups. On the score many battles had to be fought, much prejudice to be overcome and that, in spite of it, complete harmony ultimately prevailed is strikingly shown by the united front presented by every one of the Committee Leaders and all the Head-Captains, "est modus in rebus".

 


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