Guarding the 23,000 “enemy aliens” was a priority. There was an overall Commandant and his team and then each sub-camp had a sub-commandant in the rank of Major, with over 2,000 guards under their command.
“In the early days of Knockaloe Camp there were several attempts at escape on the part of prisoners by tunnelling, but such methods being found to be of no avail, they were soon abandoned. It must be observed that, although so many prisoners were convicted of escaping or attempting to escape from Camp, on no occasion did a prisoner of war, either at Knockaloe or Douglas Camps, actually effect his escape from the Island, which reflected well on the Isle of Man Constabulary. The nearest approach at escape from the Island was by a prisoner at Douglas Camp, who, having evaded the guard at the Camp, proceeded to Douglas harbour and attempted to swim to a steamer bound for Silloth.”*
* THE ISLE OF MAN AND THE GREAT WAR (1920) by SARGEAUNT
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