'The Enemy Within' - German Pow's and Civilians in North Wales During WW1
Disgrifiad | Description
In this, his third First World War related book, with the emphasis on the northern part of Wales, Robert H. Griffiths provides fresh insights into a plethora of themes and topics which make for absorbing reading.
Robert H. Griffiths is a former police officer turned military historian and lives in Denbigh. He has also written The Story of Kinmel Park Military Training Camp 1914 to 1918 in 2014 and Welsh Soldiers, Civilians and Eisteddfodau in WW1 in 2016.
The decision to intern long-term, thousands of ‘alien men’, mainly Germans, residing in Britain at the outbreak of war, produced serious humanitarian and logistical problems.
The Welsh and English born wives and children of such interned ‘alien enemies’ found themselves branded as ‘The Enemy Within', and treated as such by the British authorities, and by their fellow citizens. Many having to endure great hardships, for some it was the dreaded workhouse.
Germanophobia and spy fever abounded in Britain. Now anyone and everyone, especially those having a ‘foreign’ sounding name or accent were suspected of being a German spy.
Britain was also forced to deal with enemy prisoners of war on a large scale, including ‘dangerous’ commanders and officers from German U-Boats. Such intelligent, focused, highly motivated and resourceful officers were interned at Dyffryn Aled, in north-eastern Wales. From here escapes were made, including probably the most audacious one of the entire war, on either side.