10 October 1917 – 2 Skipton POWs captured

Just two German prisoners were taken on 10 October 1917 who would later be transferred to Skipton.

2nd Lieutenant Meinhard Reins was captured at Poelcappelle suffering from a slight wound to his left thigh. He was 24 years old and was sent to the prisoner-of-war camp at Colsterdale, near Masham. The Christmas celebrations at Colsterdale are described in detail in Kriegsgefangen in Skipton. Christmas Eve is arguably even more important in Germany than Christmas Day. For Reins that was certainly the case because Christmas Eve was also his birthday. Reins did not enter Skipton Camp until 21 January 1918.

Musketeer Wilhelm Duhm was 22 years old. He was assigned to the 126th Prisoner of War Company, presumably to carry out reconstruction work in France. As an enlisted man he could be made to work, whereas under the terms of the Hague Convention, officer POWs could not be made to perform work of any sort. They were sent to prisoner-of-war camps in Britain. Duhm eventually arrived in Skipton in May 1918.

The account of the previous day’s fighting referred to significant British advances in the area around Houthulst Wood. The photograph shows a captured German pillbox near the wood.

THE BATTLE OF PASSCHENDAELE, JULY-NOVEMBER 1917 A German concrete pillbox or blockhouse captured by the Coldstream Guards on the outskirts of Houlthulst Forest, Battle of Poelcappelle, 10 October 1917. Copyright: © IWM (Q 6045).