Keys to the Past

Glossary

Prisoner-of-war

POW
A soldier who has been captured and transported to another place. They were imprisoned in prisoner of war camps which were often purposefully built in World War I and World War II. These would be wooden huts based on concrete, ringed by barbed wire fences and guarded by an accommodated garrison. These huts would be living accommodation, kitchens and mess halls - sometimes including their own theatre for entertainment. Examples were common for World War II in the northeast - examples still visible include Featherstone Castle (Northumberland) and the almost intact Harperley Hall (County Durham), which has some World War I survivals. These camps were often situated in the countryside near railway stations for transportation and in remote areas. Prior to World War I French prisoners from the Napoleonic Wars were keep in normal prisons and Medieval castles.
Incidentally, some prisoners of war remained in the area that they were interned. Some such as Fritz Berthele becoming an archaeological artefact collector of importance.

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