Knockaloe Camp - Visitors

J.T.Baily, in his description of various aspects of the Camps, describes the arrangements for visiting PoWs:

The regulations for visiting P.o.W.s were rather rigorous, a permit had to be obtained from IoM Government Office prior to which a number of questions were required to be answered on a printed form and the police of the district on the mainland in which the applicant resided were asked to furnish a confidential report on the applicant. All enemy aliens arriving with permits had to register at Douglas Police Station on arrival and if travelling more than 5 miles had to obtain a permit to do so, they could only remain in the Island seven days and three visits during that time was the limit ; there could be no further permit allowed for three months. In certain approved cases British born and non-enemy born wives were permitted to reside on the Island and to visit fortnightly.

Persons who were not enemy aliens desiring to visit P.o.Ws could under their permits remain on the Island and visit on three occasions per month.

Interviews had to be in the presence of a responsible official.

He continues by recounting one such application for a visit from another Friend [Quaker] - Samuel Davies who was head research chemist at Rowntree's Cocoa works at York who was refused a permit to visit the camp as the report from York Police described him as an "extreme pacifist" - Baily comments he felt ashamed at such treatment.

A section of the letter book of the sub-Commandant of Camp 1 listing the requests for such permits has survived and shows that refusal of such permits was not uncommon - one common reason was lack of time to obtain the report from their local police.

On marriage to a an 'enemy alien' the wife, though British born, became an enemy alien though any British born children were British subjects, other regulations required any enemy aliens to fill in a registration form at any hotel or boarding house at which they stayed. The regulations could and were used to harass some wives and relations who fell foul of them. One such early case is reported in Ramsey Courier 14 May 1915 concerning two visitors to prisoners at Knockaloe - given here in full as illustrates several points.

The wives of two German alien prisoners at present interned at Knockaloe Camp were brought up in custody before High Bailiff Cruickshank, at Peel last week and charged with failing to register as aliens under the Act. Both prisoners were young and quite fashionably dressed, one displaying a number of rings on her hands. Mr R. B. Moore prosecuted on behalf of Inspector Shimmin.

Olive Victoria Nagel was first charged, and in answer to the High-Bailiff, said she understood the charge against her,
Detective John Boyd,sworn,said he was Registration Officer for the Isle of Man under the Aliens Restriction Act, 1914. The Act became applicable on September 30th, 1914.
Asked if she had any questions to ask, prisoner, who wiped the tears from her eyes, said: I got my papers from the Home Office, and it says nothing about registering in the Isle of Man at all.
Mr Moore: You apparently applied to the Home Office and got a permit from April 28th to travel from London to Liverpool, and instructions from the Inspector under the Aliens Act at Liverpool to allow you to travel to the Isle of Man.
Prisoner: Yes
Mr Moore handed various documents to the High-Bailiff, on one of which was prisoner's photograph.
The High-Bailiff carefully perused the permit and English registration papers, which showed she was to return to London on or before May 6th.
The High-Bailiff: There is nothing here to say she must register here. Did you intend to go before the 6th.
Prisoner: I should have left this morning and arrived in London to-day.
P.C. Thomas Comish, sworn, said he first saw prisoner at Douglas on Sunday coming by the afternoon train from Peel, and she returned to Peel by the evening train. When charged by Inspector Shimmin, she said she wasn't told by the police across the water she would have to register.
The High-Bailiff: It appears by these papers you are a German subject.
Prisoner: I am an English born girl but married to a German. I would like to know how I should have to register when I have my permit to travel to Knockaloe.

The case of Marie Nagel, a sister-in-law of the previous prisoner, was then taken.
Detective Boyd stated that Marie Nagel had not registered. He had received notice of her change of address from the Metropolitan Police. She had the same papers, the English certificate of registration, and permit to travel to the Isle of Man.
P.C. Comish said both prisoners were together.
Mr Moore: Even assuming their present address was Knockaloe, they should not travel more than five miles without a pass.
Robert Gell, driver of a motor car said he took the two ladies for a ride on the previous day. They went from Peel to Kirk Michael, and stayed about an hour at the Mitre Hotel, when he got instructions to drive to Ramsey. When he got to Sulby Bridge he was ordered to return to Peel. They were about 2.5 hours away from Peel.
Mr Moore said with regard to the travelling, they knew perfectly well they were not allowed to travel more than five miles in London.
In answer to the High-Bailiff prisoners stated they intended returning the following morning.
The High-Bailiff said they had been misled as to registration, as there was nothing to show in the papers that they should register here; but they should have known they could not travel over five miles without a pass. As they intended leaving the Island the following day they would be bound over to register in the meantime and not to travel any distance. They would have to pay 5s for witnesses fees.

His Worship afterwards instructed them as to the procedure for leaving the Island

Their visit was probably to Karl Nagel K807 (later K4764) who was noted as having obtained a considerable amount of money from gambling and possibly spent some days in prison - hence the two Camp numbers.

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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
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