Some of the many stories to be told

But this is very much a human story about the internees themselves and their descendants.  As the start of this project back in 2011 we highlighted just a few of the vast number of human interest stories linked to Knockaloe including, for example:

The internees, guards and workers, who they were, their lives before they moved to our Island and what they went on to do subsequently including:

  • Josef Pilates (internee) who is said to have developed his method of fitness from working with patients in the hospital, taking the springs from the beds to assist in the patients’ exercises.
  • Archibald Knox (worked there as the Parcel Censor from November 1914 to October 1919)  
  • Many internees were expert joiners and there is evidence that they made some of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh furniture.
  • Internees were photographed and many of the glass plates of one commercial photographer of that time are located within the Isle of Man Government Archive held at the Manx Museum.

Photo Credit: Mannin Collections Archive

The life in the camp:

  • The bakeries at Knockaloe produced 15,000 two pound loaves every day
  • 90,000 clogs passed through the quartermasters stores along with 204 miles of flannel

Photo Credit: Mannin Collections Archive

The impact on Manx residents:

  • The fact that this rescued the Manx Government from bankruptcy
  • Manx tradesmen who were over the age for military service were recruited to work at the camp
  • The contracts (e.g. re catering) made with Manx residents, resulting in huge profits to them