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The employment of combatant prisoners took off during the second half of the Great War with the increasing need for labour and the growing numbers of captives within the country. The Members of British Parliament began asking questions about the employment of both civilian and military internees at the end of 1915. Gerald Davis divided the employment carried out by prisoners into two categories, 'service work for the armed force detaining the prisoners' and 'contract employment in agriculture and industry'. First World War Britain utilized prisoners in both of these senses, although those working for the British forces laboured in the conflict zone in France rather than in mainland Britain. In December 1916, the Prisoners of War Employment Committee came into existence with the task of considering 'all applications for the employment of prisoners of war, and to decide whether they should be adopted'.

Prisoners of Britain

German civilian and combatant internees during the First World War


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