PRISONERS OF WAR AT SENNELAGER
"Boldly to the 'Fray' I went,
on honour, fame, and victory bent.
But with a sad heart, though one of many,
I found myself confined in Senne."
Bandsman Greeley, Royal Irish Regiment. January 2nd, 1916.
At the 2010 Branch Regional Seminar part of a large collection of some 200 First World War postcard photographs was on display. The photographs date from 1915 to 1917 and show prisoners of war from various regiments and countries during their captivity at Sennelager camp, Westphalia, Germany. Some of the postcards have been signed by the soldiers themselves but most are not identified. These images had never before been seen in the public domain and were accompanied by extracts from a fascinating sketch book and autograph album.
Permission to display the images was kindly granted by the Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum to whom the collection had been donated. As a significant proportion of the collection feature photographs of soldiers from other regiments it was considered appropriate that this part of the collection be made available to a wider audience.
The collection was donated to the museum by Major H. J. Jeffery ("Jeff"), former Commander of the Royal Hampshire Regiment Depot who, on his retirement, had accumulated 42 years' continuous service in the regiment. Major Jeffery joined the regiment in June, 1905 and was very much a roving 'Tiger'. He saw active service with the original Expeditionary Force in the First World War, on the North-West Frontier in 1932, in the Palestine Rebellion (1936-37), and in the Second World War. He also had service in Bermuda, South Africa, Mauritius, Turkey, Asia Minor, Egypt, India and Waziristan.
As a Sergeant 'Jeff' was wounded and taken prisoner at Le Cateau on 26th August 1914 while serving with the 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment. After more than three years as a prisoner of war, the majority of which was spent at Sennelager, Jeff was repatriated in January 1918 via the Netherlands. He was subsequently awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his service in helping other prisoners whilst in captivity.
The photograph collection has now been uploaded onto a WFA Branch Flickr Group.
All the images are numbered so if you are able to provide any additional information on the individuals, their units, uniform, insignia, badges etc please do let us know by e-mail at email@example.com.
You are free to copy, distribute and transmit these images provided that a) they are not used for commercial purposes and b) full credit is given to the Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum.
If you have enjoyed these photographs then please consider making a small donation to help support the WFA Dorset & South Wiltshire Branch and the Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum. Details on how you can donate may be found on the Branch Home page. All donations will be split equally between both charities.