“The delegates are of the opinion that the British are to-day treating their prisoners as if they were to be their friends in the more or less near future. The care lavished upon their welfare… conforms with the principles of humanity and civilisation and does honour to the British race.”
Reports on British Prison-Camps in India and Burma, visited by the International Red Cross Committee in February, March, and April 1917 (London: T. Fisher Unwin Ltd, 1917), p. 17 [SPEC S/D525 (P.C. 205)].
I really don’t know what is to happen if things don’t improve. We shall have a famine I’m afraid. Already there are no coal, no meat, no sugar, no soap, no butter, no potatoes, no eggs, except at absolutely prohibitive prices, often not even at these. I live on bread and jam and tobacco, which last article curiously enough has not risen in price.
From Brussels, 21st January, 1916. Letter intercepted from Belgium, reported in Daily Extracts from the Foreign Press. Tuesday, 29th February, 1916 [POV X 44.11.8(25)]. This week’s war: 83.
Britain’s domination at sea is still not absolute enough to be able to prevent poaching raids by German torpedo-boats in the North Sea under the smoke of the British Fleet. Is the supposition too venturesome that the British Navy has been much too busy lately with the holding up of neutral mails to be able to occupy itself with the war fleet of the enemy?
10th February 1916. Remarks from Dutch newspaper Vaderland, reported in Daily Extracts from the Foreign Press. Thursday, 10th February, 1916 [POV X 44.11.8(9)]. This week’s war: 80.
Our assertion that we are fighting for the freedom of a little State will appear tragic-comic in the light of history. […] History will acknowledge that might was on the side of the Allies, and that the consciousness of fighting against heavy odds belonged to Germany.
4th January 1916. Labour MP R D Denman, writing in pamphlet ‘Manchester and London’, published by the National Labour Press. In Daily Extracts from the Foreign Press. Tuesday, 4th January, 1916 [POV X 44.11.7(3)]. This week’s war: 75.
Not one of our enemies has laid down his arms. Not one is discouraged, no one doubts the final victory, and they are all determined to make every effort to obtain it. It will, therefore, be a war of exhaustion of which no human eye can see the end. All Germans must be made to understand this.
1st December 1915. Extract from Le Petit Parisien, 28th November 1915,quoting Maximilian Harden’s war commentary printed in the German publication Zukunft. In Daily Extracts from the Foreign Press [POV X 44.11.6(1)]. This week’s war: 70.
British propaganda contrasted the treatment of German prisoners of war in Britain with German camps. The photographs in the pamphlet German Prisoners in Great Britain (1916?) [SPEC S/D627.G7.G37] show well-fed, smiling men at six of the largest camps: Donington Hall (Leicestershire, Officer), Alexandra Palace (London, Civilian), Dorchester (Dorset, Military), Handforth (Cheshire, Civilian later Military), Lofthouse Park (Yorkshire, Civilian) and Eastcote (Northamptonshire, Civilian later Military). The facilities include gardens, sports, libraries and reading rooms, farms and workshops, and even pets.
Over by Christmas. December 10. See the 2014 Advent calendar on the SC&A website.
The Woman’s Part. A Record of Munitions Work written by L. K. Yates and published in 1918 includes details of the work done by women in engineering in Britain during the First World War (such as inspecting and gauging fuses, as shown here). Yates claims in this pamphlet that:
‘Events have proved that the women of Great Britain are as ready as their menfolk to sacrifice comfort and personal convenience to the demands of a great cause, and as soon as it was made known that their services were required, they came forward in their hundreds of thousands.’
SPEC S/D525 (PC45)
Over by Christmas. December 5. See the 2014 Advent calendar on the SC&A website.
The Vista of Victory by Basil Mathews was written, “as we face together the fourth winter of the war”. Identifying the cause of the war as “Prussianism” and “the power of Militarism”, this propaganda pamphlet concludes,
Beyond Europe lies Asia… China stands to-day at the cross-roads. She is the greatest Republic on earth, with the raw material of tremendous armies outnumbering united Europe. The issue of the future peace of the world lies more and more with those nations – China, Japan and America – which fringe the Pacific Ocean, whither the struggle for dominance now veers.
Over by Christmas. December 1. See the 2014 Advent calendar on the SC&A website.