First Prisoners Arrive at the Camp

Sat, 21 Nov 1914

Note : Detailed below is an articles regarding the opening of the camp, extracted for us by MNH from relevant copies of the Isle of Man Examiner. Since the Isle of Man Examiner for 21st November 1914 was published on a Saturday, then the preceding Tuesday (when the first internees for Knockaloe camp arrive) will have been Tuesday 17th November 2014.  So if the opening of the camp is taken as being the arrival of the first internees, then the anniversary is the 17th November 2014.

First Prisoners Arrive at the Camp

The Snaefell landed at Peel on Tuesday morning the first consignment of enemy alien prisoners for the Knocakaloe Camp. The morning, though bright, was bitterly cold, and as the disembarking or prisoners was not completed until well after half-past eight o’clock, the spectators stamped their feet in a heroic effort to keep warm. The Snaefell left Liverpool at 6-30 on Monday night, and arrived at Peel about one o’clock, and lay in the bay until daylight, mooring off the breakwater. At 7-30 she landed 432 prisoners, all hailing from the Aldershot Concentration Camp. They were in charge of an escort of 50 strong, with Major Coles in command. The prisoners were a rough-looking lot, very unkempt, and anything but clean. Most of them were young, some being mere boys. A guard from the Knockaloe Camp met the boat. The Peel company of the Local Manx Association under Commandant Brownfield, turned out and guarded the openings into side streets.


The second consignment of aliens for the Concentration Camp at Knockaloe was landed in Peel on Thursday morning, the Snaefell again acting as transport. She left Liverpool at five o’clock the previous evening, reaching Peel at half-past eleven o’clock. At 7-45 on Thursday morning she moored at the Breakwater, and the work of disembarkation began, 450 aliens, who had come from the same camp as those on Tuesday – near Aldershot – being landed. Crowds of residents lined the route, principally about the Railway Station and Station-road. The prisoners were a decided improvement on their predecessors. Quite a number could easily be distinguished as sailors, and some marched with quite a military step. As they came along one crowd was whistling “It’s a long, long way to Tipperary.” And another lot sang a German or an Austrian song. A guard of 120 Army Reservists from the Knockaloe Camp met the boat. The guard of 50 soldiers who had charge of the aliens came ashore and were breakfasted at the Marine Hotel. A detachment of the Loyal Manx Association, under Commandant Brownfield, again guarded the entrances and side streets.

Further consignments are expected within the next day or two.