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Prisoner of War – Alfred PORTER

Service Number
Royal Army Medical Corps
ICRC Record found
Date Taken
Where imprisoned
Sennelager then Hervestdorstene, Germany
Parish Magazine Reports

Vol 17, No 12, December 1914 - Private A Porter, RAMC, son of Mr J Porter of Badsey, is a prisoner of war in Germany.

Vol 18, No 8, August 1915 - Mr & Mrs Porter are to be congratulated on the return of their son, Pte A Porter, from Germany. He has now gone back to duty at Aldershot.

In addition there is a report on Private Porter (available on Findmypast website):  No 16242 Private A Porter, RAMC, imprisoned at Sennelager, and afterwards transferred to Hervestdorstene.  Private Porter stated that he was captured at Landrecies on 26th August 1914 and sent to the camp at Sennelager.  On the journey the only food they had was a little mouldy bread.  On 31st March 1915 he was transferred to the camp at Hervestdorstene where they were employed on farm work and tree felling.  They were accommodated in private houses, the sanitation of which was fairly good.  The sleeping accommodation was also fairly good, and each man was provided with a mattress, two blankets and one line sheet.

The daily routine was as follows.  They were roused at 2.30 am.  At 3 am each man had a basin of barley water and they were then marched off to work in the fields, or forest, as the case might be.  At 9 am breakfast was issued, in the field, and which consisted of about five potatoes and a cup of coffee.  After breakfast work was immediately recommenced, and they were kept at it until 12.30 pm, when they returned to camp for the day.  On arrival at the camp they had dinner.  Dinner consisted of about nine boiled potatoes, and in addition on three days a week, one raw herring between two, but which could not be cooked as there were no utensils or cooking place they could use, also on two days a week they had horse beans, and on Sundays sour cabbage.  They had a small piece of meat (a few ounces) twice a month.  From 2 to 6 pm they were employed on fatigues in the camp.  At about 5 pm, whilst still on fatigue duty, a piece of black bread and sausage was issued to them.  The sausage was never very appetising.  6 to 8 pm they had for leisure, and then had to retire for the night.  He stated that all the prisoners complained very much of the long hours they were kept at work, and on fatigue duties.

Recently a representative of the American Ambassador visited the camp.  All parcels were received, but the contents of several had to be thrown away, having become mouldy through delay in transit.  The French were always treated slightly better than the British.