The camp system
in Prisoners of Britain
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The hundreds of thousands of German prisoners in Britain during the First World War needed a bureaucracy to control them. Any attempt to reconstruct the overall administration of the camp system reveals a series of layers of bureaucracy and concern, ranging from international to national and local. While prisoners of war in Britain may have had the common characteristic of spending time behind barbed wire deprived of their liberty, the types of camp in which they found themselves varied greatly. This chapter presents six categories of camps, essentially maintaining the distinction between civilian and military incarceration: the smaller establishments which held non-combatants, special camps, the Isle of Man camps, military camps, military hospitals and finally, working camps. Outside London, several civilian camps emerged in north-west England during the early stages of the war, reflecting the pre-war settlement of Germans in Manchester and Liverpool.

Prisoners of Britain

German civilian and combatant internees during the First World War

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