Sunday, 22 November 2015

Prisoners of War from Biggleswade Area

British prisoners at Doeberitz, J.Cuffley seated right

Monday 22nd November 1915: The Biggleswade Chronicle continues to send regular food parcels to nineteen local men known to be prisoners of war in Germany. The contents and cost of this week’s packages are: bread (4d), butter (10d), cocoa (6d), loaf sugar (7½d), tinned herrings (5½d), cheese (6d), biscuits (9d), soup squares (6d), giving a total cost for each parcel of 4s 6d. The newspaper has also announced its intention to send a special Christmas parcel to all the boys on their list as prisoners of war and has managed to obtain some Christmas plum puddings from Messrs. Crosse and Blackwell which are specially made in tins for sending to prisoners of war. Woodwork instructor Mr. Arthur Moore has promised that his pupils will make boxes, which in addition to the puddings will be filled with other items to brighten the lot of the recipients. One of the parcels will also be sent to Private Jesse Brown of Langford, together with a pair of boots. Private Brown was repatriated in August as one of the disabled prisoners exchanged from German prisoners from England. He is crippled for life and readers will no doubt be anxious to know he has not been forgotten.

In news of individual prisoners, Private J. Cuffley of Shefford is incarcerated in the camp at Doeberitz. This is supposed to be the “swank” camp, with conditions better than others, but the men held there are still making appeals for food and some of the prisoners can be seen in a photograph wearing wooden shoes. Mrs. Rosa Cooper of Stondon has written a letter of thanks for the help given by the prisoner of war fund to her husband, Rifleman Arthur Cooper of the King’s Royal Rifles. Rifleman Cooper is a veteran of service in Bermuda, Crete and Malta and was a reservist when war was declared. He was sent to France within a week of being mobilised and was capture by the Germans on 3rd November 1914. His brother, Private Albert Cooper of the 1st/5th Bedfords, was involved in the fighting with the Turks. He was shot in the right eye and left hand and is now recovering in Alexandria Hospital.

Source: Biggleswade Chronicle, 19th November 1915

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