SS Appam [Wikimedia]
Monday 21st February 1916: The parents of Lt. Thomas Lansberry of Bedford have heard more news of their son, who was taken prisoner last month by a German raiding party which captured the ship on which he was being invalided home from West Africa. In a letter from Dr. S. Deane of the West African Medical Service they were told:
“I knew your son very well indeed, and he was under my charge on the Appam. As you doubles know, all the military and naval officers were transferred to the raider, and I myself was also placed for a time in that ship, but subsequently released. I therefore know the conditions under which those detained on board lived. Needless to say there was discomfort and inconvenience, but the attitude of the Germans was quite kindly. The food was not plentiful but sufficient for health, and exercise is allowed every day. The unpleasant time is of course when the ship is in action, the suspense of not knowing what is happening. He had been in quite good health on the Appam, but I was very sorry to hear he had not been too well on the raider when the lat of those allowed to return to the Appam left. I regret that I cannot tell you any more except that the doctor on the German boat was a nice man, and seemed very competent; also the ship was extremely well fitted with medical requirements of all kinds, and I think you can rely on it that should he require any treatment he will receive every possible attention. There are about six or eight of our men on board, all extremely nice men, so he is among good friends."
Source: Bedfordshire Times, 25th February 1916