Knockaloe Camp

Initially anticipated to hold 5,000, following the sinking of the Lusitania it was agreed that Knockaloe, safely situated on an Island in the middle of the Irish Sea, should be expanded to house the vast majority of civilian internees held in the British Isles.

Knockaloe Camp ultimately held “nearly 24,000 prisoners in 23 compounds inside barbed wire, with 4,000 old soldiers acting as armed National Guard, and 250 civilians attending to their wants and comforts…..The camp at Knockaloe was three miles in circumference; 695 miles of barbed wire surrounded the compounds” Samuel Norris “Manx Memories and Movements”.

Knockaloe Camp became the he largest internment camp of WWI by far, and central to the British Government’s alien policy. Internees could be moved a number of times throughout the duration of the war but the vast majority of them spent some, or all, of their internment at Knockaloe. Most were not to leave until 1919.

Original Knockaloe Postcard from the Charity’s own collection