Excerpts

This week is the centenary of the arrival of the first German officers to Raikeswood Camp. On January 17th, 19th and 21st 1918 50 prisoners each day travelled by train from the camp at Colsterdale, 5 miles west of Masham, where they had been held following their capture on the...

We are delighted to welcome poet and translator Ken Cockburn to our team of translators (https://kencockburn.co.uk/). Ken has begun to translate some of the many poems in the diary including two from Charlotte’s section about Christmas that we posted earlier in the week. Here is the section again, this time...

The German POWs spent Christmas 1918 in Skipton. One of our student interns, Charlotte Smith, has been translating the section of the diary in which an officer called Köstlin describes the celebrations in the camp: “Die Adventzeit eilt dahin. Eines Morgens wachst du auf – und Weihnacht ist da. Lieber...

The camp theatre provided an escape from the reality of everyday life for the POWs. One of our student interns, Emily Bagshaw, has been working on the translation of the section of the diary that describes the creation of the camp theatre in Skipton: “Im September vollbrachte unser neuer Vergnügungsdirektor...

The camp’s interpreters were an essential link between the British guards and the imprisoned German soldiers, but were not universally liked: “Langsam schreiten unsere Kerkermeister die Reihen hinunter. Voran geht der Dolmetscher, der die Namen der Prisonöre mit mehr oder weniger Lautrichtigkeit vorliest. Heute ist dieser Herold ein kräftig ausgewachsenes...

On 27th April 1919, the officers in Raikeswood Camp celebrated the first anniversary of the camp orchestra. “Hatte das Lager auch keinen „Schwanenritter”, keinen Vertreter aus der Gattung der so begehrten „Heldentenöre”, so wußten dennoch einzelne Kameraden ihr sympathisches und geschultes Stimmenmaterial den Konzertaufführungen verfügbar zu machen. Der eine verhalf...

To celebrate this week’s World Book Day, an extract from the diary that describes the library set up and run by the imprisoned officers: “Unsere beiden Stammlager Colsterdale-Nord und Colsterdale-Süd, deren Bewohner, alte Prisonöre, wohl wußten, wie ein gutes Buch über manche trübe Stunde der Gefangenschaft hinweghilft, gaben uns bereitwillig...

The following passage describes the prisoners’ route from the railway station to the site of the camp. They were marched up the High Street, turned left passing over Mill Bridge, and left again into Water Street which in turn led onto Gargrave Road and Park Avenue. The side street on the...