Internees



Photo Credit: Mannin Collections Archive

The internees were ordinary men who, by accident of birth, found their lives turned upside down. For some depression, or “barbed wire disease”, would drag them down as they remained prisoner within a barbed wire compound of about 100 yards square whilst the world went to war, missing their families and their homes in their own “no-mans-land”. For others, this period away from their normal life did provide new opportunities, led to new skills being learned which would change their lives or indeed the lives of others. We are delighted to share just a few of the stories we have been researching and collating below such as a certain Mr Joseph Pilates.

These stories come from the work within our Database Archive, which incorporates a list of WW1 Internees interned within the Camps of the British Isles, including Knockaloe Camp Internees and Douglas Camp Internees on the Isle of Man, as well as the camps based in Britain such as Alexandra Palace Internees. Our work collates and researching the stories behind every internee and seeks to provide a central point of reference for descendants of any enemy alien interned in WW1. Contact us by email at info@knockaloe.im

Our research traces each internee through their experience of WW1 internment from their initial arrest and as they moved from Camp to Camp. The vast majority of the internees (over 31,000) spent some or all of that internment at Knockaloe Camp or Douglas Camp on the Isle of Man. We also look at their experiences within the Camps and seek to help the descendants understand their own family’s experiences of that time.

Over the coming months, and indeed years, we will be continuously collating those stories and fragmentary information received about aliens interned in the British Isles, held both on and off the Isle of Man, into our Database Archive. The Archive and our fabulous collections remain offline as it is under constant development and is ever growing, however we are always here to search our Database Archive and carry out further research on your family on a one to one basis FREE OF CHARGE. We should also love to hear from you if you have a story of an internee to add to our archive so these can be retold to future generations. Contact us by email at info@knockaloe.im

At the moment we are constantly researching internee stories and are constantly adding to our archives. We have a large amount of research currently in progress. We do not charge at all for the work that we do, however please note that this process can take some time.

To mark the centenary on the day the first internees arrived at Knockaloe Camp, 17 November 2014, we moved the first of our internees, Karl Fahlbusch onto our website.

Below is his story, together with some of the other occasional stories about internees which we feature on our Facebook page. These are just a very small sample of the stories we are continuously researching.  To learn their stories, click on the photographs below. Do contact us if you have anything to add to their stories, or if you have a new story to add or which you would like us to help in researching.

Contact us by email at info@knockaloe.im