21 September 1917: Peter Kraus captured near Ypres

Peter Kraus was a non-commissioned officer (NCO) who had been promoted to become a second lieutenant. These promoted NCOs tended to be much older than the other second lieutenants. Kraus was 44 years old at the time of his capture.

He had severe gunshot wounds to his abdomen, and was later admitted to Belmont Hospital in Surrey. He had been captured near Ieper/Ypres during the Battle of Passchendaele.

THE BATTLE OF PASSCHENDAELE, JULY-NOVEMBER 1917  German prisoners captured in the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge being vaccinated at Locre, 21 September 1917. Copyright: © IWM (Q 5992). 

He was serving with the 11th Bavarian Infantry Regiment and had been born in Dinkelscherben near Augsburg.

As a member of a Bavarian regiment we have access to Kraus’s military service record. This is handwritten and can be quite difficult to read. The records tell us that Kraus was married and had three children. We are also told that Kraus joined the army on 22 October 1896. He had therefore completed almost 21 years of service at the time of his capture. Many of his fellow officers were not even 21 years old when they experienced the same fate.

Kraus entered Skipton Camp from hospital in July 1918. He was readmitted to the camp in February 1919. Given the nature of his injuries, he may well have been taken to receive medical treatment elsewhere.