POW’s in the First World War

It is estimated that within the first 6 months of the First World War, more than 1.3 million prisoners were held in Europe.[1] An estimated 192,000 British and Commonwealth captives were held.[2] There are few sources relating to their experiences and records, and those that do survive are incomplete and complicated.

Frankreich, portugiesische und britische Gefangene

Portuguese, British and French Prisoners of War, 1914 [Bildquelle: BUFA ]

The Surrey Comet in August 1918 reported the death of a British Prisoner of War, Private Charles Arthur Mole. His parents, who lived at York Road, were told of his death via the Geneva Red Cross. A letter, written by a German soldier, told of how Private Mole was found on the battlefield and his wounds dressed before being moved to a field hospital.

Charles Mole attended the Teddington Council School and had been awarded a four year scholarship at Hampton Grammar School. He served with the 17th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers.

Information compiled thanks to Richmond upon Thames Local Studies Library and Archive.

[1] http://www.iwm.org.uk/history/5-handmade-objects-crafted-by-first-world-war-pows

[2] http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/british-prisoners-of-war-1790-1919/