Germans in Britain

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Interment camp souvenir, 1915

This medal was made by Germans interned on the Isle of Man during the First World War. It was presented to Baron Bruno Schröder who contributed to charitable funds for their relief. The image shows the tents at Cunningham Camp, a former holiday camp. The legend says ‘A Memento from the War Prison’. Read more

The First World War was a dark episode for Britain’s German-speakers. Overnight all Germans living in Britain became ‘enemy aliens’ whose lives were no longer their own. Rich or poor, naturalised or not, all were touched by harsh laws and public hostility.
In 1914 German nationals were required to register with the police and submit to travel and trading restrictions. Thousands were arrested and interned in camps. The Isle of Man had two internment camps; there were also camps in London at Crystal Palace and Stratford.