Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Cornwall in the First World War

During this month, each weekday I'm posting a different image showing aspects of Cornwall's First World War.

In August 1914, just as war broke out and with deeply unlucky timing, two German liners sailing for America put in at Falmouth. The Hamburg America vessel Prince Adalbert (Captain Schonfeldt) arrived on 4 August, closely followed by Kronprinzessin Cecilie, seen above anchored off Falmouth. Their crews and several hundred passengers were transferred to Custom House Quay by Falmouth’s tug Victor and detained, some briefly held in stinking quayside fish-houses.

Both vessels were seized by the Admiralty; the aliens, harmless and by no means all Germans (some were Americans), were taken under armed guard to the workhouses at Falmouth, Helston, Penzance, Redruth, St Columb Major and Truro. American citizen Theodore Cuyler Patterson of Philadelphia protested loudly, claiming he was a personal friend of President Wilson; it made no difference. With neutrals weeded out and released though, by the autumn’s end the German nationals had been interned up-country.    

My book, 'Cornwall In The First World War', is published by Truran. With 112 pages and 100 images, you'll find it in bookshops across the Duchy. It's also available through Amazon:

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