WWI Prisoners of War in Germany & Turkey

Both Germany and Turkey captured many British and Commonwealth troops and imprisoned them in WWI. Here is some guidance to further research and useful information regarding the camps they were held in.

Prisoners of war




We now have a fully searchable database of officers held as PoWs!

This is sourced from the Cox & Co bankers records compiled during the war.


The treatment of prisoners of war was governed only by the Hague peace convention of 1899, this was woefully inadequate and superceded (after lessons learnt in WWI) by the Geneva convention of 1929.

6778 officers & 168,846 men of the British and Commonwealth forces were captured on the 'western front' alone in WWI, nearly 10% of these were held for all 4 years by the Germans having been captured at the battles of the Marne & Ypres.

The Geneva convention did not come into being properly until 1929, hence the ‘rules’ in place for POW treatment were made under the Hague convention of 1907.

Chapter II of the convention signed in October 1907 is entirely devoted to prisoners of war and begins thus: “Prisoners of war are in the power of the hostile Government, but not of the individuals or corps who capture them. They must be humanely treated. All their personal belongings, except arms, horses, and military papers, remain their property”.

The twenty articles comprising this chapter regulate various aspects of life in captivity such as lodging, work, religion, nourishment, dress and mail. This international accord, however, is imbued with 19th-century conceptions of war. Thus, prisoners “may be set at liberty on parole if the laws of their country allow”, for example.

 The principal nations of the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance signed the convention, with the exception of the Ottoman Empire, not among the 44 signatories in 1907. The Hague Convention's dispositions entered into force in the German Empire and France on 26 January 1910, but these agreements turned out to be unsuitable in the tumult of World War I. In October 1918, the number of prisoners held in Germany reached 2,415,043, and such a mass of men made it impossible for a country at war to fully respect the conventions in their smallest details. During the conflict, the belligerent parties concluded special accords in order to mitigate these difficulties and in 1929, a new text was produced, amending the applicable regulatory dispositions (The Geneva convention).

Triple Entente: France, Great Britain and Russia

Triple Alliance: Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy.

The make up of the Triple Alliance (or central powers) is often confusing as Italy actually fought on the side of the allied nations, its reasoning being that its pact with Germany/Austro-Hungary was a defensive role only: since the other two parties of the Triple Alliance had taken the offensive, this pact was null and void.

2.4 million allied soldiers became PoWs in Germany.

The Camps

Starting in 1915, the German authorities put in place a system of camps, nearly three hundred in all, and did not hesitate to resort to near- starvation, various punishments and psychological mobbing; incarceration was also combined with methodical exploitation of the prisoners. This prefigured the systematic use of prison camps on a grand scale during the 20th century.

However, the captivity organised by the German military authorities also contributed to creating exchanges among peoples and led a number of prisoners to reflect on their involvement in the war and relation with their homeland.

From the beginning of the war, the German authorities found themselves confronted with an unexpected influx of prisoners. In September 1914, 125,050 French soldiers and 94,000 Russian ones were held captive. Before 1915, conditions of detention in Germany were very harsh and marked by temporary lodging and the absence of infrastructure. The prisoners slept in hangars or tents, where they dug holes to keep warm. The humid forts requisitioned to serve as places of detention led to numerous cases of pulmonary illness. The German authorities also commandeered schools, barns and various other types of shelters. Camps were established in the countryside as well as near the towns, which had consequences when epidemics of cholera or typhus threatened to spread to the civilian population.

Not all the camps were situated on German territory; a certain number were built on occupied territories, notably in northern and eastern France. They began to be developed starting in 1915 when the number of prisoners being held captive in Germany reached 652,000. According to official directives, each prisoner had to have use of 2.5 m². The camps mixed a large number of nationalities sharing the same quarters: French, Russian, British, American, Canadian, Belgian, Italian, Romanian, Serbian, Montenegrin, Portuguese and Japanese prisoners were found there, as well as Greeks and Brazilians. Equally, soldiers of various social origins rubbed elbows: workers, peasants, bureaucrats and intellectuals were among those held. The number of prisoners rose very quickly. From February to August 1915, it went from 652,000 to 1,045,232. In August 1916, it reached 1,625,000, jumping to 2,415,000 by October 1918.

Camp designations

Camps were designated thus:

Mannschaftslager –ordinary soldier's camps Stalag –Stammslager or Mannschaftsstamm- und Straflager

These were the basic camps, made up of wooden barracks 10 m wide and 50 m long, covered with tar on the outside. Each of these barracks kept around 250 prisoners. On the inside, a central corridor provided access on each side to straw or sawdust beds stacked two high. Furniture was kept to a minimum: a table, chairs or benches and a stove. Camps also featured barracks for guards, a Kantine (cafeteria) where prisoners could sometimes buy little objects and additional food, a barrack for packages, a guardhouse and kitchens. Each camp had its own particular structures, notably sanitary facilities or cultural places like a library, a theatre hall or a worship space.

All around the camp, there was barbed wire three metres high; the wires were spaced fifteen centimetres apart, a wooden post every three metres, and across other barbed wires every fifty centimetres, forming a mesh.

Officers’ camps.

From 1915, imprisoned officers were held in camps reserved for them. By October 1918, the number of officers’ camps had reached 73.

Living conditions for officers were usually less harsh than those endured by troops. Officers had beds instead of straw sacks, specific rooms were fitted out for their meals, and they were exempted from labour. In addition, there were no officers’ camps in East Prussia, where weather conditions were often far worse than in the rest of Germany. One of the main burdens of camp life for officers was tedium. Their daily lives tended to revolve around sport, amateur concerts and plays, lectures, debates, and reading.

Officers' camps also accommodated a smaller number of other ranks prisoners, known as orderlies, whose role was to act as servants to the officers and to perform menial tasks around the camp. Orderlies appreciated that their situation was safer and more comfortable than that of their counterparts in soldiers' camps, and so, even when offered the opportunity, they generally did not try to escape, knowing that if recaptured they would be sent to far worse conditions.

The Durchgangslager

The rapid progression of the German offensive in the early part of the war led to a massive influx of prisoners. From 1915, transit camps, the "Durchgangslager", were built to manage and redirect this wave toward detention camps. There was a special transit camp for Allied prisoners of war at the former Europäischer Hof at 39, Ettlinger Strasse, in Karlsruhe. This was known as "the Listening Hotel" by the inmates, who recognized that it was a camp devoted to intelligence collection. This "Listening Hotel" was similar in organization and purpose to the Dulag Luft camp at Frankfurt in the Second World War.

Reprisal camps

These camps were very often located in regions where the climate or the terrain made life difficult but also near the front, where the prisoners might as likely be taken to rebuild trenches as to cart away bodies. The goal of the reprisals was to put pressure on enemy governments to ameliorate conditions of detention for German prisoners, but also to punish certain ones (for instance following an escape). Life for prisoners sent to reprisal camps was so harsh that many of them died. Robert d'Harcourt describes the arrival of a prisoners’ convoy coming from such a camp: “These men – these soldiers – marched, but they were dead; beneath each blue greatcoat was the head of a dead man: their eyes hollow, their cheekbones jutting out, their emaciated grimaces those of graveyard skulls”. Most often kept in tents resting on mud, these prisoners were forced into exhaustive work with their entire diet consisting of soup or perhaps stewed acorns. At certain camps, for instance at Sedan, some prisoners were executed. Reprisal camps for officers existed, too: the fortress at Ingolstadt held Charles de Gaulle, Georges Catroux, Roland Garros, the journalist and World War II Resistance member Rémy Roure, the editor Berger-Levrault and the future Soviet Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky.


Altdamm • Alten-Grabow • Arys • Aschaffenburg • Bautzen • Bayreuth • Brandenburg • Büren • Cassel • Chemnitz • Cottbus • Crossen • Czersk Danizig-Troyl • Darmstadt • Diedenhofen • Doberitz • Diest • Dülmen • Dyrotz • Eglosheim • Eichstatt • Erlangen • Frankfurt an der Oder • Friedrichsfeld • Gardelegen (ou Gardenlagen) • Germersheim • Giessen • Göttingen • Guben • Güstrow • Hameln-sur-Weser • Hammelburg • Hammerstein • Heilsberg (near Olsztyn) • Heuberg • Hohenasperg bei Ludwigsburg • Holzminden • Königsbruck • Lamsdorf • Landau • Langensalza • Lechfeld • Leese • Limburg • Mannheim • Merseburg • Meschede • Metz • Minden • Müncheberg • Münsingen • Neuhammer • Oberhofen • Parchim • Preussisch Holland • Puchheim • Quedlinburg • Rastatt • Regensburg • Rennbahn • Ruhleben • Saarbrücken • Sagan • Salzwedel • Schneidemühl • Senne • Skalmierschütz • Soltau • Sprottau • Stargard • Stendal • Strahlkowo • Stuttgart • Tauberbischofsheim • Traunstein • Tuchel • Ulm • Wetzlar • Wittenberg • Worms • Würzburg • Zerbst • Zossen • Zwickau

Officers' camps

Altenau • Beeskow • Berxen • Blankenburg • Blenhorst • Burg • Celle-Schloss • Clausthal • Colberg • Crefeld • Cüstren • Eschwege • Eutin • Freiburg • Fuchsberg-bei-Uchte • Fürstenberg • Gnadenfrei • Breesen • Gütersloh • Halle • Hannoversch-Münden • Heidelberg • Helmstedt • Holzminden • Karlsruhe • Köln • Lichtenhorst • Magdeburg • Neisse • Neubrandenburg • Neustadt • Osnabrück • Reisen • Scheuen bei Celle • Stralsund • Ströhen • Stuer Bad • Torgau • Trier • Wahmbeck • Werl • Wildemann

Other camps

Sedan (France) • Ingolstadt


As with the service records held in The National Archives and formerly in the PRO/WO, many documents were destroyed either by storage restriction requirements in the 1930’s or latterly in the Blitz of 1940 by fire (and the water used to extinguish such).

Hence there isn’t a full list anywhere which shows all ‘other ranks’ of POWS.

The National Archives (TNA) holds relatively few documents concerning individual First World War Prisoners of War (PoWs).

A number of lists and nominal rolls have been found and stored for certain units, and there is a remote possibility more may surface over the years to come.

The number of personnel who were held as POW’s is generally regarded as:

British (Officers/Ranks)                           6482/163907

Commonwealth (Officers/Ranks         925/20338

A total of 191,652.


There is a list available in TNA's Library entitled ‘List of British Officers taken prisoner in the various Theatres of War between August 1914 and November 1918, compiled in 1919 by the military agents Cox and Co’, this will cover Army, RFC-RAF, RNAS and RND and has name, rank, date of capture and repatriation, it also lists the place of internment but this doesn’t necessarily list the camp he was then held in.

If you are able to find the officer's service record then there should also be a report attached to this detailing how this person came to be a POW.

WO339 or WO374 are the sources of this data.


Only in the service record were POW details kept as a general rule and then only date of capture and release.

For around 5% of captives there are more detailed reports in TNA WO161 which were originally made and kept by the Committee on the Treatment of British Prisoners of War (1915-19).

These normally contain: details of unit, home address, when and where captured, wounds suffered, transfer between camps, comments on treatment and conditions in camps and escape attempts.

Deaths in camps

These were notified to various foreign legations and embassies and TNA does have some of these certificates, although they are written in the international diplomatic language! (i.e. French).

Sources RG 35/45

It’s worth checking the Family Records office as there are registers recorded there also.


Records relating to POW camps, administration and policy are held in TNA CO 693 with smaller records in  CO 754 and CO 755, HO 45, WO 32, WO 106/451 and WO 162/341.

List of camps


This is incomplete in that all descriptions are mainly from the 'Pope-Hennessy Gazetteer' of the time, if you can fill in any gaps: please contact us.

I have added the description from the original gazetteer written by Pope-Hennessy, at the time where it is recorded (1917/8).

I have also added in the present day geographic location to aid readers, some camps will have recognisable city/town names within them: those that do not will have a note on the title as to their location.

Please bear in mind that Germany's borders and internal state areas have changed immensely since the source materials were written, you may find that a location you expect to find in Pomerania for example is now listed under Poland etc!

The army corps mentioned at the end of most entries refers to the German army corps in charge of the camp, there are some camps which whilst listed have no description at all however.


ALTMARK - west of the Elbe river between the cities of Hamburg and Magdeburg

GARDELEGEN. — An old town with dilapidated walls (population 8,500) near Stendal on the line Hanover-Berlin. A large camp, to which prisoners have been sent since September, 1914. The centre of many working commandos. 4th Army Corps. STENDAL. — Cathedral town (pop. 27,200) on the Uchte, founded in the twelfth century. The prison camp is one mile N.E. of the city and is situated on sandy soil. Capacity, 15,000. The centre of a number of working camps. 7th Army Corps. AUSTRIA Karlstein an der Thaya KARLSTEIN. — In Lower Austria. A village with a mediaeval castle, erected in 1348 by the Emperor Charles, standing on a height. An internment station for civilians. KATZENAU. — A concentration camp near Vienna for civilians of all nationalities. RAABS. — An internment camp for civilians in Austria.

BADEN/Baden-Wurttemburg - Baden-Württemberg is in the southwest, east of the Upper Rhine

FREIBURG.— A beautifully situated town (pop. 80,000) with views over the surrounding country. The officers' camp is in the old university building in the town, built round a quadrangle with trees in it. 14th Army Corps. HEIDELBERG. — A university town (pop. 56,000) at the confluence of the Neckar and Rhine. The officers are quartered in large new barracks never before occupied, four miles from town. Three tennis courts and small exercise ground. Recreation room and electric light. Billiard table. Practically a transit camp for officers going (or hoping to go) to Switzerland. 14th Army Corps. HEILBRONN. — An important commercial and manufacturing place (pop. 40,000) charmingly situated on both banks of the Neckar. The camp is attached to Stuttgart. HEUBERG. — This camp is situated on high ground above the Danube, and was formerly a large exercise ground. It is twenty five miles from Sigmaringen and 3,000 ft. above sea level. Ten blocks each containing ten barracks. 14th Army Corps. CARLSRUHE. — The capital (pop. 100,000) of the Grand Duchy of Baden. The streets spread out fan-wise from the Schloss. This town has become industrialised since 1870 and makes engines, railway carriages, furniture, plated goods, etc. There is an officers' camp to which the great number of newly captured British officers are sent. It consists of wooden hutments erected in the grounds of the Schloss. 14th Army Corps.

LAHR. — An industrial town (pop. 14,000) three miles from Offenburg. British prisoners were first sent here in 1917. Officers'camp.

LUDWIGSBURG. — A dull modern town (pop. 20,000) and a Wurtemburg military depot. The large prison camp is two miles from the station on high ground. A good view is obtainable; the air dry and bracing. There are gravel paths, vegetable gardens and flower-beds in the camps. 13th Army Corps. LUDWIGSHAFEN. — A town (pop. 70,000) on the opposite bank of the Rhine to Mannheim. Famous for its chemical works. Officers have been quartered here since 1917. Recently abandoned. MANNHEIM. — A town (pop. 200,000) on the right bank of the Rhine, connected by a bridge with Ludwigshafen (which see). The prison camp is situated on sandy soil near a big manoeuvring field two miles from Mannheim. Barracks laid out for 10,000 prisoners. Wooden huts and other buildings. In February, 1917, it was used as a clearing or exchange camp for British prisoners of war going to Switzerland and England. There is a clock- tower in the centre of the camp, also a library and reading hall. Gardening in the open spaces. Run by the German 14th Army Corps.

Ost und west


PFORZHEIM. — Pop. 27,200. Centre of large manufactures of gold and silver articles. Officers sent here early in 1918. RASTATT. — A town in Baden (pop. 14,000). The large palace there is conspicuous for its high tower crowned by a gilt figure of Jupiter. There is a civilian prisoners' camp here, where French women and children are interned. During 1918 it has been used as a military transit camp for numbers of British prisoners, both officers and men. Some of the prisoners are housed in the casemates of the old fortress. American prisoners here. 14th Army Corps.


STUTTGART. — Capital of Wurtemburg (pop. 286,000). One camp in the city in an abandoned factory building. Another camp is in a disused factory on a slope overlooking the town, three miles from Stuttgart. 13th Army Corps.


ULM. — An old city on the Danube (pop. 56,000). The prison camp is on the outskirts of the town and is of the usual barrack type. There is a garrison hospital on a hill overlooking the town, with a spacious garden. WEINGARTEN. — Forty-two kilometres from Heidelberg on the way to Karlsruhe. Officers' camp. 14th Army Corps.

BAVARIA- South East of Germany

AMBERG. — An old town (pop. 15,700) on the Vils, surrounded by a well preserved wall and moat. The camp is built on rising ground near the new Bavarian Barracks on the outskirts of the city. Capacity 5,000. Many prisoners go out to work in surrounding country. 3rd Bavarian Army Corps.


BAYREUTH. — Famous as the shrine of Wagner's operas. Camp situated on the outskirts of the town. A military manoeuvring ground. Barracks of wood to accommodate 5,000. There is a hospital in the town in a large stone drill hall in the garrison compound. American prisoners here. 3rd Bavarian army Corps.  


ERFURT. — A very ancient town on the Gera (pop. 111,500). The prisoners' barracks here are built in the exercise ground in the town. Capacity 15,000. 7th Army Corps. ERLANGEN. — A university town (pop. 15,814). Hospital for officers. 3rd Bavarian Army Corps.


GERMERSHEIM. — Pop. 6,000. Situated at the confluence of the Gneich and Rhine. The camp is a mile from the town, which contains eleven hospitals, 2nd Bavarian Army Corps. GRAFENWOHR. — In Bavaria. Lazaret on the outskirts of the town near the new military drill ground ; also camp for prisoners. Buildings modern with stucco walls and tiled roofs. Bavarian Corps. HAMMELBURG. — An ancient town in Bavaria, picturesquely placed on a height of 2,500 ft. on the right bank of the Saale. Most of the old streets were destroyed by fire in 1854. There is an assembly camp for British prisoners of war two miles from the town. The camp enclosure is situated on sloping ground on the highest extremity of a large treeless military reservation extending for several miles. American prisoners here. 2nd Bavarian Army Corps.

Ingolstadt—Fort Nine.

(The WWI counterpart to Colditz, the place where escapers were sent. Well documented in the book "The Escaping Club" by Alfred John Evans.)

INGOLSTADT. — A fortified town on the Danube and the scene of previous fighting. The town (pop. 19,000) was besieged by Gustavus Adolphus in 1632, and by Moreau in 1800. The camp is situated in a flying field on the edge of the town. It is of the barrack type, with a capacity for 4,000 prisoners of war. There are two hospitals in the town. In the surrounding fortifications, i.e., in Fortresses 8, 9 and 10, officers are imprisoned. Prince Kpd is the name of the best of these forts, which is situated on a dry part of the hill. 14th Array Corps. KEMPTEN. — A free town (pop. 14,800) of the Empire till 1803. It is picturesquely placed on the Iller, and consists of two portions — the Altstadt on the river, and the Neustadt on the hill. British prisoners are quartered in the hospital here. 13th Army Corps. LANDSBERG. — An old town (pop. 6,500) in the valley of the Lech. The church contains wonderful stained glass. There is a lazaret here in which prisoners are treated, 1st Bavarian Army Corps. LAND SHUT. — An old-fashioned town (pop. 19,000) with wide streets and gabled houses on the Isar. An old castle rises above the town. American prisoners here. Officers' camp. LECHFELD. — The camp is situated in the valley of the Lech one mile from the village. It is a compound of wooden and brick barracks placed on the exercise ground of the Artillery and Flying Corps. Three hours by rail from Munich. Capacity, 10,500. 1st Bavarian Army Corps. MUNICH. — The capital of Bavaria (pop. 596,000). A large war school in the Mars Platz is used as a hospital, and there is a hospital known as 'a Lazaret'. 1st Bavarian Army Corps. NUREMBERG. — An ancient town (pop. 130,000) in Bavaria. The large camp is three miles from town on the side of a hill, and was the old training ground of the Nuremberg Garrison. The barracks form the sides of a quadrangle. There is a reserve lazaret, in which prisoners are treated in Nuremberg in the grounds of the Artillery Barracks. 3rd Bavarian Army Corps.


PUCHHEIM. — Thirteen miles from Munich. The prisoners' compound was a flying field. A stucco wall now surrounds the camp. Capacity, 12,000. 1st Bavarian Army Corps,


RATISBON (Regensburg). — An old town on the Danube in which there are hospitals in which prisoners are treated. Bavarian Corps.

ROSENBERG. — The fortress of Rosenberg is situated on a hill above the town of Kronach. Officers are concentrated in two wings of this high citadel. 18th Army Corps. VILLINGEN. — An officers' camp in the Black Forest 2,500 ft. above sea level, consisting of disused barracks built round a quadrangle. American prisoners here. 14th Army Corps.

WURZBURG. — A cathedral town (pop. 85,000) on the Main. The prison camp is of the usual barrack type, outside the town on the summit of a high hill. In the town the Schiller Schule is requisitioned for a hospital. Thecitadel here is used as an officers' camp. 2nd Bavarian Army Corps.



BRANDENBURG (BERLIN) –North East of Germany 

AUGUST ABAD. — A hotel near the little town of Neu Brandenburg (pop. 12,300), which is enclosed by a wall 25 ft. high and ramparts. The hotel is situated on the slope just above the Tollensee; fishing and bathing are allowed in this lake. All British officers have been moved from here, 9th Army corps

BEESKOW. — An officers' camp. Prisoners housed in the old castle of the local Bishop, built in the sixteenth century. The buildings form a good-sized court. 3rd Army Corps. BERLIN. — The capital of Prussia (pop. 3,500,000), the third largest city in Europe. Several prison camps are established in the neighbourhood of Berlin, but none in the city itself. There is one large hospital. The Alexandrinenstrasse Lazaret, a special lazaret for prisoners of war established in the barracks of the 1st Guard Dragoons; these barracks are built round a yard, and four wooden huts have been added to the accommodation in the barrack-yard. There is also the Stadtvogtei, a prison to which British civilians from Ruhleben are sometimes sent. Guard Corps. BLANKENBURG. — An officers' camp six miles from Berlin, consisting of three storied houses, well built, lighted and heated. Formerly a home for gentlewomen. Surrounded by well-kept grounds. 3rd Army Corps.

Brandenburg  - Merchant Seaman

BRANDENBURG. — A town (pop. 53,500) on the Havel, thirty-eight miles w.s.w. of Berlin. The camp consists of an abandoned terra-cotta factory. Prisoners here are naval and mercantile marine. 3rd Army Corps. BURG. — A town (pop. 24,100) with cloth factories founded by Hugenots. The officers' camp was an artillery mobilisation centre, and consists of wagonsheds, stores and stables. Wooden huts have been added to these buildings and some nine hundred prisoners can be accommodated here. The exercise ground is limited. 4th Army Corps. COTTBUS. — A busy town on the Spree (pop. 48,600) containing wool, linen and yarn factories. Seventy miles S.E. of Berlin. The camp is situated on rising ground on the outskirts of the town. The buildings radiate from a central guard tower. There is a Y.M.C.A. hut. This is a coal-mining district, and the camp is under the same command as Merzdorf. 3rd Army Corps. KROSSEN. — A town on the Oder above Frankfurt. Near the town is a large camp radiating from a circular space in the centre of which is a large mound surmounted by a tower. Round this mound are placed three field-pieces which would control the camp in case of mutiny. The compounds radiate off from this centre like the spokes of a wheel. There is a Y.M.C.A. hut here and workshops for bootmaking, etc. The camp is well spoken of. 3rd Army Corps. CUSTRIN. — A strongly fortified town (pop. 17,600) at the confluence of the Warthe and the Oder. Two of the forts forming part of the fortress surrounding the town are arranged to accommodate officers — Fort Gorgast and Fort Zorndorf. 3rd Army Corps.

Döberitz- near Berlin, camp for Russian, Polish, French, and British prisoners

DOEBERITZ. — A large camp eight miles from Berlin in which prisoners of the Naval Division captured at Antwerp in 1914 were imprisoned. It is described as the Aldershot of Berlin and is close to an important military training centre. There is a Y.M.C.A. hut here. Guard Corps. DYROTZ. — Seven miles from Doberitz, near Berlin. Prisoners are housed in newly erected, well-ventilated barracks. There is a recreation hut built by the men themselves out of British funds. Guard Corps. FRANKFURT Am 0der.— Pop. 68,200. Formerly the seat of a university (1506-1811. The camp lies on a high sloping plain four miles from the town, with lovely views. There is a Y.M.C.A. hut. Formerly the site of the Grube Vaterland coal-mining works. Capacity, 18,000. 3rd Army Corps. GUBEN. — Pop. 387,300). Pleasantly situated on the Neisse, with extensive cloth and hat factories. As at Krossen, the prison camp is arranged round a central guard tower with barracks radiating from it. It is five miles from the city. 3rd Army Corps. HAVELBERG. — Small town (pop. 6,200) with Romanesque cathedral. Near it is placed the camp for civilian prisoners, which consists of hutments surrounded by high wire netting. There are 4,500 of all nationalities there. Prisoners from Ruhleben are occasionally sent to this camp. Nearly 400 British Indians are on the register. 3rd Army Corps.


MERZDORF. — See COTTBUS, from which it is three miles distant. Prisoners attempting to escape have been frequently sent to this camp. 3rd Army Corps. MUNCHEBERG.— Between Berlin and Custrin, the prison camp four acres in extent, is in the town and is surrounded on 3 sides by by houses. American prisoners here. 3rd Army Corps. NEU BRANDENBURG.— A Kur Hotel on the Tollensee. Already described under the heading AUGUSTABAD.



- near Berlin, camp for British prisoners and civilians

RUHLEBEN. — Six miles from Berlin. A civilian camp situated on the racecourse, formerly used as a trotting track. Four thousand five hundred civilians were concentrated here in stables and lofts on the racecourse. The number has now been reduced by exchange to 2,500. There is a Y.M.C.A. hut. 4th Army Corps

There is an account of this camp in '16 months in four German Prisons' in our online historic documents collection!

SPANDAU. — -A town (pop. 85,000) at the confluence of the Spree and the Havel, close to Berlin. Prisoners are treated in Reserve Lazaret II. Men work in the chemical factory here. 3rd Army Corps.


ZOSSEN. — Twenty miles south of Berlin, with which it is connected by a military railway running parallel to the ordinary line. It is generally used as a camp for non-European prisoners. 3rd Army Corps.  


Reichenberg (present-day Liberec in Czech Republic).

Camp for Russian officers.

Uelzen (supposed P.O.W. camp) –


—site of two camps. An interrogation camp was located at the former Europäischer Hof, while the main camp contained naval and, later, aviation officers.


—Russian POW's and then an officers' camp


FRANCE Alsace-Lorraine

METZ. — A cathedral city, the capital of German Lorraine (pop. 68,000) and a first-class fortress. Headquarters of the 16th Army Corps. British STRASSBURG. — The capital of Alsace (pop. 170,000). Headquarters of the 15th Army Corps and the seat of a university, and a strongly fortified town. It contains tobacco factories, breweries, engine works, foundries and tanneries. Officer prisoners have been sent here.







HAMELN. — Pop. 22,100. On the Weser- near the influx of the Hamel. An old town. The Salmon fishing here is important. The prison camp is placed on low ground with wooded hills behind it. It is a mile from Hameln Town, and the parent camp of many working camps. It consists of 100 barracks, all of the same type, radiating from a central point. Theatre and Y.M.C.A. hall. 10th Army Corps. HESEPE. {see HAMELN). — A small village with few inhabitants. Surrounding country flat, wooded and fertile. On the open sandy plain near the village there is a compound of three wooden barracks for officers. American prisoners here. 10th Army Corps.


HANOVER. — Capital of the Prussian province of Hanover (pop. 302,000). Headquarters of the 10th Army Corps. Industrial centre for machinery, iron, indiarubber goods, textiles and ledgers. Prisoners are treated in Lazaret 5 in the Royal War Schools, a two-storied building, also at the Garrison Lazaret. There are several working camps here attached to Hameln.



OSNABRUCK. — A cathedral town (pop. 65,000) on the Hase, and the centre of extensive ironworks. The prisoners are quartered in Artillery barracks. The riding school is used as a concert room and there are tennis-courts in the yard. 10th Army Corps.



SOLTAU. — A little town (pop. 5,200) on the Stendal-Bremen line. It is a centre for working commandos and is said to accommodate 30,000 men, but sometimes it carries 50,000 on its register. 10th Army Corps.









CLAUSTHAL. — The most important place in the Oberharz, and a mining centre. Country bleak and sterile. The mining output includes gold, silver, lead and copper. There is an officers' camp about two miles from the town,established in the Kurhaus Pfauenteich, 2,000 ft. above sea-level, in the Hartz Mountains. It is built of wood with brick foundations. 10th Army Corps.


HESSE –Central Germany-Frankfurt

CASSEL (Niederzwehren). — This town (pop. 153,000) is the headquarters of the 9th Army Corps. The camp is placed on a hill overlooking the Fulda Valley, one mile from Niederzwehren, a suburb of Cassel. Barracks of wood accommodating some 20,000. Prisoners employed in factories and workshops. American prisoners here. DARMSTADT.— Capital of the Grand Duchy of Hesse (pop. 87,000). The camp is four miles from the town and consists of brick buildings on the cavalry exercise ground. There are a large number of working commandos attached to this camp; there is also a camp hospital in which six Catholic Sisters, work. There is a lazaret in the town. American prisoners here. 18th Army Corps. FRANKFURT A/M. — Important commercial city (pop. 410,000) on the Main with large Jewish colony. There are several hospitals here in which British prisoners have been treated. Reserve Lazaret II and H 65 are the principal ones. FRIEDBERG. — Pop. 9,500. Once a free imperial city. It is twenty-five miles north of Frankfurt a. Main, within sight of Nauheim. Officer prisoners are quartered in stone barracks completed on outbreak of war. Situated on extreme outskirts of town. There is a row of little gardens for the use of the interned, but no trees. 18th Army Corps. GIESSEN.— Chief town in Upper Hesse, on the Lahn (pop. 31,000), the seat of a university. The prisoners' camp stands on a hill a mile and a-half above the town flanked on one side by main highway and on the other by pine- woods, surrounded by a high board fence. Barracks are raised two to three feet from the ground. Library, good prisoner of war band and Y.M.C.A. hut. A great many Canadians concentrated here at one time. American prisoners here. 18th Army Corps. GRIESHEIM. — A village ten minutes by rail from Frankfurt a/M. Officers are quartered in school buildings. 18th Army Corps. LIMBURG. — An old cathedral town on the Lahn (pop. 10,500) of some importance in the Middle Ages. The prison camp near the town is celebrated as the place in which Irish prisoners were concentrated at Christmas, 1914, for the purpose of recruiting for the Irish Brigade. Now the centre of a number of invalid working camps and hospitals in occupied territory also the head camp for a certain number of men working in occupied territory. Capacity, 12,000. Limestone barracks. American prisoners here. 8th Army Corps. - British prisoners including members of Irish regiments.

MAINZ. — A fortified cathedral town (pop. 110,000) on the Rhine. The barracks are partly new and partly of historic age. They are placed round a large recreation ground situated on a hill in the middle of the town overlooking the valley of the Rhine, and command extensive views. There are sometimes as many as 700 officers here. 18th Army Corps.


WEILBURG. — A little town (pop. 3,700) with a castle situated on a rocky eminence. The officers' camp consists of a three-storied school-house in pretty surroundings. Garden plots are allotted to prisoners. Lawn  tennis courts. 18th Army Corps.


MECKLENBURG- Baltic coast central north Germany.

FURSTENBERG.— A small town fifty miles north of Berlin. The officer prisoners are quartered in a well-known summer hotel or Erholungsheim, with a good view over the surrounding country and lake, a mile from the town. It has a glass verandah and the grounds are considerable. Walks are permitted. Close to the main road. 9th Army Corps.


PARCHIM. — population 10,000 on the Elde. The birthplace of the great Moltke. The prison camp resembles another Mecklenburg camp — Gustrow. Capacity, 25,000. Both Gustrow and Parchim are used as distributing camps. Parchim Camp is built on a former cavalry drill ground, and is situated on sandy soil amidst pine-woods in an enclosure three miles in circumference. It is three miles from the station. At times there are 45,000 men on the register, some of them working in occupied territory. Large library here. 9th Army Corps.


Arys (Orszs)

ARYS. — Three-quarters of a mile from the town of Arys. Camp situated on undulating ground. Consists of fifty barracks. Prisoners are employed in building, agriculture, etc. N.C.O.'s who do not volunteer for work are quartered there. The accommodation is of the earth barrack type. Winter climate very severe. 20th Army Corps.

Altdamm /Stettin (Szczecin in Poland)

ALTDAMM, Pommerania Small town (pop. 7,300) at the mouth of the Oder opposite Stettin. Three camps; capacity 15.000- Built on a sandy drill- ground amidst pine woods. A few naval and civilian prisoners of war here. The centre of a large number of working gangs employed in the neighbourhood on estates, in forestry, factories, hotels, etc. 2nd Army Corps.


Küstrin (Cüstrin, & Kostrzyn).

CUSTRIN. — A strongly fortified town (pop. 17,600) at the confluence of the Warthe and the Oder. Two of the forts forming part of the fortress surrounding the town are arranged to accommodate officers — Fort Gorgast and Fort Zorndorf. 3rd Army Corps.


CZERSK. — Small town on the Danzig-Schneidemuhl Railway in West Prussia.

A camp for Russians, to which British prisoners have recently been sent.

17th Army Corps.


DANZIG (Trovl). — Capital of West Prussia (pop. 170,000). Headquarters of 17th Army Corps. One of the most important commercial towns in North Germany. The prisoners here are housed in barges four deep and four in length, moored to a flat stretch of land on the bank of the Vistula River opposite the city of Danzig. Some of these barges contain one hundred to five hundred men. The holds are lit by electricity. The administration, kitchen, store-houses, etc., of the camp are on land. There is a Y.M.C.A. hut.

Gleiwitz (Gliwice)

GLEIWITZ. — Pop. 66,900. Situated in a mining and manufacturing district of Silesia. British prisoners sent there after March, 1918. Accommodation in cavalry barracks.

Gnadenfrei (Pilawa Górna)

GNADENFREI. — A Moravian Colony in Silesia, near Neisse. Officers' camp situated in a school for boys belonging to a religious brotherhood. 6th Army Corps. Gustrow GOSTROW. — A cathedral town in Mecklenburg (pop. 17,800) with an old ducal castle. The prison camp is situated in pine-woods three miles from the town. It consists of wooden barracks holding some 25,000 men. The camp carries on its register over 50,000 names, which proves that it is a centre for a great number of working commandos. 9th Army Corps.

Graudenz (Grudziadz)

GRAUDENZ. — A strong fortress town (pop. 40,300) on the Polish frontier,

picturesquely situated on the right bank of the Vistula. British officers have been sent there since March, 1918. It was used as a prison in the war of 1870. American prisoners here

Kalisch (Kalisch) Szczypiorno

KALISCH. — In West Prussia. A camp for Russian and Roumanian prisoners, to which British prisoners were sent in April, 1918.  Allied officers, located near Kalisz

Kattowitz (Kattowice)

KATTOWITZ. — A thriving industrial town (pop. 43,200). Chief seat of the coal trade of Upper Silesia. A camp for Russian and Roumanian prisoners, to which British prisoners were sent in April, 1918.

Skammerschutz –Posen Skalmiershutz Nowe Skalmierzyce

SKALMIERSCHUTZ.— This place is five miles from Ostrovo on the Polish Frontier. It is a very large camp for Russians and Roumanians, to which British prisoners were sent in March, 1918. American prisoners here. 5th Army Corps.

Scneidemuhl –Posen (Pila)

SCHNEIDEMUEHL. — Pop. 26,100. An important railway junction. The camp Is placed three miles from the city on higher ground. It is situated on sandy soil surrounded by woods. Capacity, 40,000 to 50,000 prisoners. The centre of many working camps. Barracks are of the earth variety. 2nd Army Corps. Stargard (Starogard Gdanski) STARGARD. — Old town (pop. 27,500) surrounded by a well-preserved wall with handsome towers and gateway. British prisoners are treated in the hospitals here. There is also a camp with basket-weaving workshops, etc. 2nd Army Corps. STRALKOWO. — Town on the Polish Frontier. The prison camp is three miles from station. Russians and Roumanians have been here for some time, but British prisoners were only sent here in March, 1918. 5th Army Corps. THORN. — An old fortified town (pop. 47,000) on the Vistula. Prisoners are treated in the hospitals here. 2nd Army Corps. TUCHEL. — A camp in West Prussia for Russians and Roumanians, to which British prisoners were sent in 1918. American prisoners here. 7th Army Corps. HAMBURG— The second city of Germany (pop. 932,000), one of the most important commercial centres in the world. There are two hospitals in which prisoners are treated. Reserve Lazaret 7, a ward of the central prison at Fuhlsbiittel, near the city. Reserve Lazaret 3 at the Eppendorfer Krankenhaus. Veedel, a marine lazaret. 9th Army Corps.




STRALSUND. —This town (pop. 34,000) is opposite the island of Rugen, where a number of prisoners are employed. Prisoners treated in the hospital here. 2nd Army Corps.


Prussia per se is a very large area spread across the whole of northern Germany from Cologne in the west to Danzig (Now Poland) in the east: so this will be a crossover of several other areas.


COBLENZ.— The capital of Rhenish Prussia (pop. 55.000) in a beautiful position at the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine. The centre of the wine trade. There is a hospital lazaret here run by Brothers of Mercy, in which prisoners are treated. 8th Army Corps. HEILSBURG. — A big camp on the outskirts of the town divided by a chaussee, the camp proper being on one side and the lazaret on the other. Consists of fifty earth huts. Centre of commandos engaged in agriculture and in rebuilding the devastated town of Goldap and other places. 7th Army Corps. HEUSTADT. — A centre of working commandos in East Prussia.


HOLZMINDEN. — A town (pop. 10,200) containing a modern school of engineering. Up till 1917 this camp was for French civilian prisoners of war, male and female. Since 191 7 a British officers' camp has been established here. 10th Army Corps.

British officers. Site of a noted tunnel escape.

MARIENBURG. — A centre for working commandos in East Prussia.

Preussich Holland/Osterade

OSTERADE. — The barracks here is inside the enclosure of a locomotive works. It is under the administration of Preussich Holland. Prisoners are allowed to attend religious service in town on Sundays. 20th Army Corps. PREUSSISCH HOLLAND. — In East Prussia. The camp is situated on a sloping hill. A rail-track divides the main camp from the guards' barrack. It is well planned and well constructed. Capacity, 15,000, though at times carrying over 35,000 names on its register. A very severe winter climate.



RHEINLAND –Far West of Germany, bordering France/Belgium/Netherlands

Aachen or Aix-Le-Chapelle

AIX or AACHEN. — A very ancient town (pop. 150,000) surrounded by gently sloping, wooded hills. Once the favourite abode of Charlemagne, now a manufacturing city with over a hundred cloth factories and forty-five foundries, machine-shops, etc. There are nine hospitals in which British prisoners of war have been quartered, i.e., Reifmuseum, Maschinebauschule, Mariahilf, Luisen, Marien, Elisabeth and Garrison Hospitals, and Reserve Lazarets I and II. All British prisoners of war going to England or Holland are assembled here before leaving Germany. 8th Army Corps. KREUZNACH. — A small town on the Saarbrucken-Metz line. The prisoners are in a civilian hospital five or six stories high, holding some 600 wounded. British first heard of here in 1918. 18th Army Corps. JULICH {see AIX).— A town (pop. 6,000) near the Dutch frontier. Seventeen miles from Aix. Many British prisoners have been treated in hospital here. 18th Army Corps. MINDEN.— Old cathedral town (pop. 26,500) lying on both banks of the Weser forty miles from Hanover. The camp is three miles from the town and is surrounded by farms. It consists of a big square with six blocks of huts. Capacity, 18,000. Many N.C.O.'s were concentrated here at one time. 7th Army Corps.

- camp for British prisoners


- camp for Russian prisoners.


- Allied officers, located on Baltic coast


BINGEN. — On the Rhine (pop. 12,000, |the centre of a large wine trade, with good quays and embankments, and also a renowned technical college. British officers have recently been sent to this town. 18th Army Corps.


BURGSTEINFURT.— There are no longer any British prisoners in this camp. 7th Army Corps. COLOGNE. — The largest town (pop. 500,000) in Rheinish Prussia and one of the most important commercial places in Germany, with extensive harbour works and wharves on the Rhine. A first-class fortress. There is no general camp for prisoners here, but there are several hospitals. The majority of the British prisoners are treated either in the Garrison Lazaret I or the Kaiserin Augusta Schule Lazaret VI. There is also a prison for officers undergoing special punishment in the Schnurgasse, a massive old military prison. 8th Army Corps. CREFELD. — An important railway centre (pop. 130,000) containing the chief velvet and silk factories in Germany. Has now been abandoned as a British officers' camp. There is a lazaret for men here. 8th Army Corps. DUISBURG. — An ancient town which has become a large manufacturing city (pop. 229,000). One of the chief depots of the Ruhr coal traffic, and one of the finest river ports in Germany. There is an assembly camp for prisoners here, and it is the centre of many working commandos. 7th Army Corps.

DOSSELDORF. — A centre on the Lower Rhine (pop. 380,000) of great industrial importance. A great land port. There is a garrison lazaret newly built on the outskirts of the town in which prisoners are treated.

They also work in the town. 7th Army Corps.





Koln (see Wahn)

LANDAU. — A small town (pop. 3,200) with large breweries on the right bank of the Isar. The camp is on the outskirts of the town amid view of the Hartz and Vosges Mountains. A wine-growing country. 3rd Bavarian Army Corps.







SAARBRUCKEN. — An officers' camp at a railway junction near Metz. The prisoners are housed in a well-built school building. 21st Army Corps. SAARLOUIS. — Another officers' camp on the railway-line near Saarbrucken 21st Army Corps.


TREVES {or TRIER). — Said to be the oldest town (pop. 45,000) in Germany. It has a famous cathedral, and the walls of the town are of red sandstone, and it is placed amongst vine-clad hills. Officer prisoners are treated in the Reserve Lazaret IV (Horn Kaserne). 8th Army Corps. WAHN. — Situated on rising ground twenty miles S.E. of Cologne. The camp, which formerly was the Wahner Heide Artillery practice camp, lies in open country and forms a sort of loosely jointed village. It carries 35,000 men on its register and was formerly a parent camp for working camps in the district. Barracks are set aside for prisoners who have tried to cross the frontier. 8th Army Corps. WESEL. — A fortress town (pop. 22,500) situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Lippe. There is a prison used for officers here and two hospitals. 7th Army Corps.

There is an account of this camp in '16 months in four German Prisons' in our online historic documents collection!

ZWEIBRUCKEN. — A small town (pop. 13,700) twenty-two miles from Saarbrucken, to which British officers were first sent in 1916. 21st Army Corps

SAXONY –Far east of Germany

GRABOW. — A great working camp centre. Prisoners employed on estates, in forestry, on railway line between Berlin and Lubeck, in factories, etc. Camp consists of eight compounds of six barracks each. Formerly a military camp. 4th Army Corps. COLBERG (BAD). — The sanatorium for thermal springs is now an officers' camp. Temporary buildings have been added. Surroundings attractive and healthy, 11th Army Corps. BAD BLENHORST. — Eight miles from the station of Nieuburg on the Weser, not far from Soltau. The camp is situated in a Kurhaus in a good-sized park, partially wooded; tennis-lawns and fishing-ponds; surrounded by the Luneberger Heide. 10th Army Corps. BAUTZEN. — A town (pop. 32,800) situated on a height above the Spree. The prisoners are lodged in new artillery barracks completed just before the war. 12th Army Corps. BISCHOFSWERDA.— A little town (pop. 8,000). The officers' camp consists of new cavalry barracks situated some distance from the town on a hill near pine woods. Barracks not used before the war. For the moment abandoned. 12th Army Corps. BREMEN. — An important city (pop. 247,000) on both banks of the Weser; one of the chief commercial centres in north Germany and the headquarters of the North German Lloyd. There is a newly built garrison hospital in which prisoners are treated, also a working camp attached to Soltau. 9th Army Corps. CELLE (Scheuen). — Camp a few miles from the town of Celle on the Aller, twenty eight miles N.E. of Hanover. A training centre for German reserves. On sandy soil near pine woods. Camp broken up in the autumn of 1916, but Reserve Lazaret I (St. Joseph) reserved for eye cases. 10th Army Corps. CELLE SCHLOSS. — A camp for civilians and ex-officers at Celle town established in the old castle, which is picturesquely situated on a hill amongst fine grounds. It is a large building, formerly belonging to the King of Hanover. 10th Army Corps. CHEMNITZ.— A large and important manufacturing town (pop. 287,000) at the base of the Erzgebirge. The camp is on a hill above the town in newly built artillery barracks — the Friedrich August Kaserne. Central steam heating throughout, as in some other Saxon camps. British prisoners brought back from Russian Poland were, for the most part, brought to this camp. Many are employed in neighbouring salt mines. 19th Army Corps.

Delmenhorst –Oldenburg

DEUTSCH GABEL. — A camp on the confines of Bohemia and Saxony for merchant seamen. Under Austrian administration. DOBELN. — A small town (pop. 9,600). There is an officers camp here established in barracks built of brick about a mile from the station. 19th Army Corps. GORLITZ. — A busy town (pop. 85,800) with extensive cloth and machinery factories on the Neisse. The camp, with a capacity of 14,000, is situated near the town. It is liable to become muddy, and plank walks and roads have been made throughout the enclosure. 18th Army Corps. GOTTINGEN. — Old university town (pop. 37,500). The prison camp is situated on the side of a hill on the outskirts of Gottingen. British prisoners sent away from here November, 1916. Library. Classes and lectures held in the camp under Professor Stange of the University. 10th Army Corps. HALLE. — On the Saale (pop. 180,500), with a university of great repute. It is an industrial place of some importance with manufactures of machinery, sugar and starch. The prison camp for officers is a disused factory in the manufacturing district of Halle. Built round three sides of a square. Exercise ground, 100 by 50 yards. Disused in 1917, now once more in use. 4th Army Corps.

Königstein Castle - camp for officers

KONIGSTEIN. — A fortress high above the Elbe near the Saxo-Bohemia Frontier. Beautiful position. Officers. 12th Army Corps. KONIGSBRUCK. — In Saxony. A camp of wooden hutments situated on sandy soil amidst pine-woods a short distance from the town. Capacity, 15,000. LEIPZIG. — One of the most important commercial towns in Germany (pop. 586,700) The centre of the publishing and book trade and the seat of an ancient university. Prisoners are treated in hospitals here.

MAGDEBURG. — Capital of the Prussian province of Saxony (pop. 280,000) Headquarters of the 4th Army Corps. The camp is situated on low ground near the Elbe. Officers are imprisoned in the Citadel, an island in the

river consisting of the Wagen Haus, railway storehouse and Scharnhorst, the semi-circular part of an old fortress. There is also a lazaret here for men which was formerly a theatre and dance hall.

MERSEBURG.— An ancient cathedral town on the Saale (pop. 21,000). The prison camp consists of eight compounds of three barracks each, divided by wire. Capacity, 25,000. It is placed on the Infantry drill ground a short distance from the town, and is an assembly camp from which men are drafted out to working camps. 4th Army Corps.

There is a particualrly good recollection of this camp by a French POW published in 1916 by Andre Warnod, it is available on the free website archive.org


QUEDLINBURG. — An old town (pop. 28,000) with walls, towers, moats and interesting timber houses. Noted now for its nurseries and cloth factories. The prison camp is near the railroad two and a-half miles from the town. It consists of eight compounds of six barracks each. Capable of accommodating 1,500 men apiece. 4th Army Corps. SALZWEDEL.— One of the oldest places in the Mark (pop. 14,400). This large camp of wooden huts is thirty-five miles from Stendal. 10th Army Corps. SCHWARMSTEDT.— Officers' camp near Hanover. Now abandoned. 10th Army Corps.

STROHEN. — Officers' camp now abandoned. 10th Army Corps.

TORGAU. — A town (pop. 15,000) on the Elbe. Officers are interned in theBruckenkopf Barracks and in Fort Zinna. The barracks are old and built close to the river. 4th Army Corps.


WITTENBERG. — The cradle of the Reformation. A town (pop. 22,700) with a Luther Museum, fifty-nine miles S.W. of Berlin, on the Elbe. The prison camp is situated on a sandy plain ten and a-half acres in extent, at a place called Klein Wittenberg, 2 miles from the city. It consists of eight sections or compounds. Capacity, 13,000. 4th Army Corps.  


ZERBST. — An old town (pop. 20,000) surrounded by walls, with a large Schloss and handsome gabled houses. The prison camp hes two miles north of the city at a moderate elevation. It carries 100,000 on its register, the majority of whom are engaged in industry and agriculture in the neighbourhood. The capacity of the prisoners' barracks on the Infantry drillground is estimated at 15,000. 4th Army Corps. ZITTAU. — A manufacturing town (pop. 37,100). One of the principal cotton- spinning places in Saxony. ZWICKAU. — Wood barracks. Capacity, 10,000. Several acres of vegetable gardens inside the confines of the camp. 19th Army Corps.


SILESIA –Far East of Germany with Poland to the West and Czech Rep to the south –see Poland/Pomerania also.

BEUTHEN. — Pop. 67,700. The centre of the important Upper Silesian mining industry. There are two large lazarets here. British prisoners first sent here in the spring of 1918. 6th Army Corps.

Lamsdorf - for other ranks

LAMSDORF. — In Silesia. A centre for working commandos. 6th Army Corps, LAUBAN. — Town (pop. 15,500) with sixteenth century Rathhaus, on Silesian Mountain Railway. The centre of many working camps and of locomotive works. 5th Army Corps. NEISSE. — A pleasant town (pop. 30,000^, with a military academy. The camp is in the centre of the town and consists of barracks and parade ground. The riding ring is used as a chapel. There are also two-storied log hutsbuilt on the parade ground. Officers' camp. 6th Army Corps. NEUHAMMER. — The clearing camp for Upper Silesia. One hundred thousand men are carried on the register here. Many prisoners of war on these lists have never been to the parent camp, but go straight to working camps under its administration 6th Army Corps.

SAGAN. — A busy little town on the Bober (pop. 15,100). The prison camp is of the usual barrack type, built of wood on stone foundations. Capacity, 6,000. It is five miles from the town on a flat sandy plain surrounded byforests. 5th Army Corps.

SCHWEIDNITZ. — A prettily situated town Population 31,300 on the Weistritz It was used as a place of internment-in 1870 (Franco-Prussian war). The building in which the officers are interned was once a lazaret and consists of usual brick barracks. A church is in the garden of about an acre. Half a mile from station and two hours by train from Breslau. 6th Army Corps. SPROTTAU. — The prison camp is three miles from the station, on a sandy plain. It is a working-camp centre. Close by is a lazaret of forty barracks for tubercular prisoners. 5th Army Corps.


EUTIN. — The birthplace of Weber. An old town (pop. 6,200) on a lake in Holstein. Officers' camp.



LUBECK, — A busy commercial and industrial city (pop. 101,000). A land port fourteen miles from the sea. Exports wine, timber and tar. Working gangs of prisoners employed here at the docks, etc. There is also a reserve lazaret here for prisoners, next to a large German hospital. 9th Army Corps.




WAHMBECK. — A summer resort and an old-fashioned hotel for people of moderate means. The officers, who are mostly of the merchant service, are allowed to swim in the river. 10th Army Corps. Constanz (Switzerland) CONSTANCE. — Pop. 15,000. Situated on the lake of the same name. It is the place in which all officers and men for internment in Switzerland are concentrated.



LANGENSALZA — A busy town (pop. 12,600) containing cloth and cotton factories. The camp was opened in 1914, and consists of hutments, each holding 250 men. Capacity, 10,000. Centre of numerous working commandos. American prisoners here, 11th Army Corps. OHRDRUF. — Camp built on a hill near the permanent practice ground of German troops. Clay soil. Capacity, 15,000. A lazaret is on the hill  near the barracks. American prisoners here, 11th Army Corps.



BURGSTEINFURT.— There are no longer any British prisoners in this camp. 7th Army Corps. DORTMUND. — The largest city in Westphalia (pop. 300,000) and the centre of an important mining district. There is a modern hospital for prisoners on the outskirts of the town administered by Catholic Brothers of Mercy. There is also a working camp. Men are housed in large brick buildings and are engaged in mining and in iron foundries. 7th Army Corps.

DULMEN— A small town (pop. 7,500) with a castle surrounded by estates of the Duke of Croy-Dulmen, the centre of numerous working commandos. There is a large assembly camp placed on high heather ground five miles from the town. The barracks are good. 7th Army Corps.

FRIEDRICHSFELD. — Sixty miles morth of Cologne near Wcsel. Capacity 35,000. There is an open space in the centre of the camp for football and tennis; also gardens with flower-beds between the barracks; large vegetable gardens and potato field run by the prisoners. It is the centre of many working commandos, mining and otherwise. It is also a postal station for a large number of prisoners who have never been in the camp itself. 7th Army Corps. GUTERSLOH. — A silk and cotton centre (pop. 18,300). The camp consists of brick buildings originally erected for a sanatorium. Situated in pine-wood district on sandy soil. Never before occupied. Large exercise ground,hockey, football and tennis. 7th Army Corps. MESCHEDE. — An ancient town (pop. 3,400) with an early Gothic church. Camp of wooden hutments situated on a hill near railway station just outside the town. Beautifully situated and healthy. Capacity. 10,000. American prisoners here. 8th Army Corps. MUNDEN. — A pleasant, old-fashioned little town (pop. 11,500) on the banks of the Weser. The prison is a factory building, formerly the Union Oil Works. It is built of brick, and is a mile from the town. It has contained as many as 600 officers at a time. New barracks were constructed in 1917: there is also a lazaret here. MUNSTER (Westfalen). — Capital (pop. 91,000) of Westphalia, a cathedral city and the seat of a university and headquarters of the 7th Army Corps. It is on the banks of the Dortmund-Ems Canal. There are four prison camps in the neighbourhood, known as Munster I, II, III and IV. Munster I is some distance from the city, in open country. The camp is placed on clay soil and is liable to become very muddy. There is a Y.M.C.A. hut and a large lazaret. Munster II (Rennbahn) is on the racecourse, the grandstand of which is used for administrative purposes, Catholic chapel and theatre. Munster II is a block of brick barracks, built for German troops. Many prisoners are engaged in coal-mining in Camps II and III. Munster IV is said to be reserved for Russian prisoners. NEUNKIRCHEN. — A small town on the railway near Saarbrucken. The officers are quartered in the house of Catholic monks. 21st Army Corps. PADERBORN. — An ancient cathedral town (pop. 29,400) where Charlemagne once held a Diet.(assembly) There are a number of lazarets here but no camp. Among the names of those in which British prisoners have been treated are Bruderhaus, Kaiserhof, St. Vincents. 7th Army Corps. SENNELAGER (Senne I, II, III). — A large camp near Paderborn, Westphalia, fifty miles S.W. of Hanover. It is situated on open sandy country of heather, pine and bogland. Used as a summer training camp for soldiers. The camp is divided into three separate portions. There is a Y.M.C.A. hut at Senne III. At one time there was a fourth camp reserved for civilians where English fishermen were interned. Near Lippspringe a health resort six miles from Senne, a shooting gallery and assembly hall have been turned into sanatorium for prisoners. 7th Army Corps.

There is an account of this camp in '16 months in four German Prisons' in our online historic documents collection!


In many ways Turkey was the precursor to the Far east experience of WWII with a brutality and indifference of suffering that should have certainly resulted in a war crimes trial.

Over 3000 British POWs alone died on the marches from Kut el Amara in 1916 with stravation, dehydration and heat related illness being the main reasons.

By the end of the war up to 70% of all POWs had died at the hands of the Turks, food and shelter provision being especially poor, although ironically (or understandably, perhaps) this was similar to the rank & file allotments given to Turkish troops.

The Turks forced hard labour on officers & men alike regardless of their physical condition, making railways and roads in the stifling heat, although there are a few examples of less harsh treatment.

There are very few records regarding camp locations, mostly because the Turks tended to incarcerate the men in private houses (often left vacant due to the Armenian pogroms & massacres of the preceding years).

Adana/Andana -Hospital

Ada Pazar/Ada Bazar/Ade Bazar

Afion-Kara-Hissar in Anatolia

Aleppo -Hospital









Bor by Nigde


































Tel Halif







Further research

On the web


This is the brand new ICRC search page launched in 2014.

It can be used to search for all officers & other ranks of all nations and includes also civlians, including those interned in Switzerland.

An excellent free resource.


A well written one page website with some interesting facts, figures and pointers for researchers.


An excellent resource site for WWI information, it never fails to inform and amaze with the level of detail.

The National archives

The National Archives does not hold a comprehensive list of all British and Commonwealth PoWs. Consequently, it can be difficult to establish whether an individual was actually taken prisoner and, more particularly, in which camps they were held.


Establishing whether an Officer was a PoW is relatively straightforward and researchers should use the database we have of 'the List of British Officers taken prisoner in the various Theatres of War between August 1914 and November 1918', compiled in 1919 by the military agents Cox and Co.

This is arranged by theatre of war, and then by regiment. It includes an index of regiments at the start of the book, and a name index at the back. The list covers the British Army, Royal Air Force, the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Naval Division, and gives the name and rank of the officer, the date when he went missing, where and when he was interned (but not the specific camp/s), and the date of his repatriation. If the officer died while a prisoner, the list gives the date and place of death.

In addition, officers were required to provide a report concerning the circumstances behind their capture. These, if they survive, will be found in the individual service records.

 Other ranks

There are no known official or published sources to help determine whether an ordinary serviceman or Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) was a PoW. Theoretically, it should be recorded on their service record, although this information is usually minimal, merely giving dates of capture and/or release, or is sometimes indicated on the WW I Medal Entitlement fiches held in the Open Reading Room.

The primary source for personal information are the reports made by repatriated, escaped or interned Officers, Medical Officers, Other Ranks, and occasionally Merchant Seamen and Civilians, held in WO 161/95-100 and indexed by WO 161/101. As well as a narrative of variable length, these reports usually include details of unit, home address, when and where captured, wounds suffered, transfer between camps, comments on treatment and conditions in camps and escape attempts. A copy of the entire WO 161/101 index is available in the TNA reading room at Kew and can also be downloaded online.

The following key in the WO 161 series is used to distinguish who made a report: O = Officers; MO = Medical Officers; no prefix = Other Ranks. Researchers should note it is the page number/s next to the name in the index that is important. The table below shows which file should be consulted.

WO 161/95 - Officers: Pages 1-538

WO 161/96 - Officers: Pages 539-1169

WO 161/97 - Medical Officers: Pages 1-398

WO 161/98 - Other ranks: Pages 1-821

WO 161/99 - Other ranks: Pages 1576-2402

 WO 161/100 – Other ranks: Pages 2403-4177

There is a gap between pages 822-1575 in the 'other ranks' records. However, some of these and duplicates of other WO 161 reports can be found in FO 383 (see below). You can download images of the files WO 161/95-100 (and the index WO 161/101).

Second, PoWs can be searched for by name within Discovery, our catalogue - restricting the search to record series reference FO 383. This series of records contains the files of the Prisoners of War and Aliens Department, which was established in 1915 to deal with all matters relating to conditions for prisoners, repatriation and general policy. There is also a card index to Foreign Office correspondence located in the reading room at The National Archives. Between 1915-1918 each year includes a dedicated PoW section arranged by country and subject. While in most instances the card index entries will point to a FO 383 reference, they can lead to other FO series that hold documents concerning PoWs.

Other relevant Merchant Navy records are contained in MT 9 (code 106), which includes some files indexed by individual name and/or ship. For the Royal Navy, Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS), Royal Navy Reserve (RNR) and the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve (RNVR), try searching the ADM 12 registers, while for the Royal Air Force (RAF), Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and RNAS, try the Air History Branch indexes to AIR 1 located in the reading room.

Deaths of prisoners of war 1914-1918

Deaths of PoWs and internees occurring in military and non-military hospitals and in enemy and occupied territory were notified to British authorities by foreign embassies, legations, registration authorities and American authorities in charge of British internees. The record series RG 35/45 to RG 35/69 contains an incomplete collection of these certificates. It should be noted, however, that the majority of this information is in French.

If you fail to find a name, it is unlikely, although still possible to find details from the ICRC archives (see below), if you have confirmed a name and camp but wish to know a little more,  the ICRC may, again, be able to assist.

As always when directed to ‘the national archives’ on researching we recommend that you initially do an online search on the archives website, this should allow you to ascertain whether there is a likelihood of the data you require being stored.

Most data files are not currently available online however and would need either a personal visit by yourself or a professional researcher to seek these files out.

We offer the services of a professional accredited researcher who visits the archives daily, should you wish to seek this assistance.

Please click on the ‘hire a researcher’ button on the left hand side navigation bar for more information.

Camps & Locations

In the national archives under reference AIR1/2154/209/3/312 there's a small file (undigitised as yet) which contains many aerial photographs and some information about many camps including location maps.

Interned in Switzerland

The address for those interned after escaping from Germany into Switzerland is:

Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports,
Bundeshaus Ost


Highly recommended for further background and some specific camp research:

Prisoners of the Kaiser –Richard Van Emden.

A fascinating glimpse into the lives of ordinary PoWs recounted by the last survivors of the PoW camps during the great war.

Escape from Germany -Neil Hanson

A detailed account of escapes from WWI German POW camps.

Sixteenth months in four German Prisons

Written immediately after his repatriation a first hand account of a POWs time in 4 of the largest German POW camps

Original copy in our online library!

Tracing your POW ancestrors -The first world war by Sarah Paterson   (Pen & Sword 2012)

An excellent comprehensive book from the 'tracing your.....' series, very highly recommended.


The International Committee of the Red Cross

The Red Cross together with the order of St John joined forces during WWII just as they had in WWI to carry out extensive humane services for the sick and wounded, for POWs and civilians alike, they were instrumental in visits and inspections of camps both in WWI and WWII and ensuring releif in the form of food parcels and mail got to the POWs.

The International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva keeps incomplete lists of all known POWs and internees of all nationalities for the Second World War. Searches are only made in response to written enquiries, and an hourly fee is usually charged. The contact address is: International Council of the Red Cross (ICRC), Archives Division, 19, Avenue de la Paix, CH-1202 Geneva, website: ICRC Archives.

Please note that the ICRC research section will not be undertaking research requests until early in 2014 as they are digitising WWI records.

Research is carried out free of charge when it has been requested by the individual concerned himself/herself or by his/her next of kin (brother, sister, wife, husband, father, mother, children, grand-children). Other than the aforementioned, a sizeable donation is expected per research, this only applies to records over 60 years old.

It can take a year or more to receive information back, however the ICRC archive records are usually also cross referenced against the original German records and a copy of the original record is supplied which confirms all details held, these can range from a single A4 sheet to a few pages depending on whether a complaint was placed with the ICRC during the war.

The report also confirms which permanent camps the POW was held in, making this record fairly definitive.

'Red Cross' parcels

All POWs could be sent a personal parcel from friends or relations these were not however from the Red cross and were instead organised by the Central Prisoners of War Committee in London.

The maximum weight of the parcel was 11lbs (5kg) and could contain:

Pipes (smoking) sponges, pecils, tooth powder, rank badges, badges (of rank etc), handkerchiefs, polish, razors & shaving implements, soap, insecticide, braces/belts, combs, brushes, buttons, various board games, dubbin, sweets/chocolate, mittens, socks, scarves.

The CPWC also provided white bread from either Denmark or Switzerland.

Our databases

These contain every name officially recorded within the ‘List of British Officers taken prisoner in the various Theatres of War between August 1914 and November 1918, compiled in 1919 by the military agents Cox and Co.

These are officers only who were clients of the Cox & Co commercial bank and were PoWs at the time, although there is some evidence these records were updated throughout most of the war, so it's a very good source.

Can you help?

Forces war records gratefully acknowledge individual contributions towards our databases and information sources: we would like to work with anyone who feels they have camp or individuals POW data which would be of interest.


Data and factual references were sourced from:

The national archives, Wikipedia, The International committee of the Red Cross,

Some of the material on this page was partially derived from <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I_prisoners_of_war_in_Germany> which is released under the terms of the creativecommons.org/licenses/by-s/3.0/.

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