POWs

The Battle of Langemarck – 16th August 1917 Some historians view the Battle of Passchendaele as a series of discrete attacks punctuated by periods of resupply and coupled with continual losses by attrition. On 16 August the British resumed the major attack which had commenced on 31st July. A lull...

On 15 August 1917 Canadian troops attacked Hill 70 which lay to the north of the town of Lens in northern France. The aim was to draw potential reinforcements away from the 3rd Battle of Ypres. The great British offensive there had almost ground to a halt in the mud...

On 12 August 1917 2nd Lieutenant Joachim von Bertrab was shot down over the trenches of northern France. Von Bertrab was a fighter pilot with Jasta 30. Germans are fond of long names, but are also fond of shortening them too. Jagdstaffel or fighter squadron therefore became Jasta. Successful fighter...

19-year-old Private Albert Stasch was captured near Ypres on 11 August 1917. He was severely wounded with a fractured left leg due to the effects of shrapnel. He was immediately admitted to hospital and did not enter Skipton camp until August 1918. Private Stasch came from the small village of...

31st July 1917 The word Passchendaele has become synonymous with the horror and futility of modern industrial warfare. It conjures up images of exhausted and demoralised soldiers trudging across flooded mudlands and denuded forests. It does not truly depict the cacophony of explosions and the constant stench of death. That...

2nd Lieutenant Georg Bach was captured near the village of Hooge which lay a couple of miles or so  from what had once been the beautiful medieval town of Ypres. He came from Nuremberg and was serving with one of the Bavarian regiments. He had slight shrapnel wounds to his...

Lieutenant Hans Carl Schumacher was captured on 30 June 1917 at Péronne in Northern France. Péronne lies close to the site of the Battle of the Somme (1916). Péronne was in German hands for much of the war, and only fell into Allied hands when the Germans withdrew to the...

Grenadier Paul Liebchen was captured at Avion on 28 June 1917. He had a gunshot wound to his left thigh that was described as slight. He was a member of the 5th Garde-Grenadier-Regiment. Avion itself lies in Northern France and was captured between 26th and 29th June 1917 during the...

14 June 1917 Musketeer Adolf Mau was captured at Arras in Northern France on 14 June 1917. He was in the 162nd Infantry Regiment. He had a slight gunshot wound to his right shoulder. He had been born in May 1896 and was just 21 years old. He was born...

Alan Roberts tells the story of Skipton POW Josef Kuppers and his repatriation: At first sight it may seem strange that prisoners of war were allowed to return home amidst the carnage of the First World War. On further consideration this was in fact an excellent idea from both the...