Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Escaped German Prisoners

Lieutenant Otto Thelen

Thursday 23rd September 1915: The people of Bedfordshire have been asked to keep their eye out for two German officers who escaped from Donington Hall near Leicester last weekend. It is believed that they left Derby on a Midland train heading south. A £100 reward has been offered for information which may lead to their arrest.[1] The two men are described as follows:

Otto Thelen, German Flying Corps: age 25, height 5ft 5in, stiff build, weather-beaten features, somewhat sallow complexion, grey eyes, fair hair (blonde), prominent scar in left part of forehead caused by a burn, clean shaven, believed wearing knickers and stockings, or grayish trousers, speaks English with a foreign accent.

Hans Keilhack, Naval Ober Lieutenant: age 23 years, height 5ft 10in, stiff build, black hair, very large piercing blue eyes, prominent cheek bones, finger missing from one hand, clean shaven, believed wearing knickers and stockings speaks English with a foreign accent.

Source: Bedfordshire Standard, 24th September 1915

[1] The two men were arrested at Chatham on September 23rd. Lt. Otto Thelen proved a persistent escapee; in September 1917 he made a fourth bid for freedom [Source: Daily Mirror 27 Sept 1917]

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