Camp Reports – Lazarets at Cologne

Transcript from copy held at US National Archives.

Source Document: US National Archives Washington (NARA) ; RG 84 Records of Foreign Service Posts ; Diplomatic Posts – Great Britain – Volume 0763

Camp Visits – Lazarets at Cologne

May 25,1916

These lazarets were visited by me on February 17, 1916. On my arrival at Lazaret I today I found fourteen British prisoners of war assembled in the court, awaiting their immediate transfer to Switzerland. Most of these men I had already seen in camps or hospitals. Some had been selected from the Cologne hospitals, others had come from Aachen, and one or two had come from the camp at Wahn. In this lazaret there were also twenty-two British prisoners, of whom Corporal Oliver is the senior. Some of the men whom I had seen on my earlier visit had already been repatriated. Private Cole was still in the hospital, too ill – it was said – to be moved. There was also one Indian prisoner, Ziada Khan, of the 74th Punjabs, who was wounded in the leg on October 2,1915, with whom I was able to talk through a Russian interpreter. My visit had been announced only a few minutes before my arrival, and I was permitted to talk freely with the prisoners without witnesses. Without exception the men said that their treatment was good and the food furnished to them was satisfactory. All, except the Indian, were in touch with their friends at home and had received letters and parcels without unusual delay.

In lazaret VI (Augusta Schule) I found about sixty British prisoners (and a few Servians) with practically all of whom I spoke individually. One man whom I had seen in Aachen in February, who was depressed at that time owing to the fact that he had not been repatriated as anticipated,

[Next Page 559]

was now in good spirits and enthusiastic at the success of an Operation which had restored the use of his leg. Generally, the men were satisfied with their treatment and food, and the only complaint made was with regard to the receipt of parcels from the camp at Wahn. It appears that parcels containing broad sent from Switzerland on March 21st, had been received at the same time as those sent early in May, and that part of the bread had moulded, this complaint was brought to the attention of the German military inspector who made a note of it for investigation.

In the Augusta Schule lazaret there are now only three British officers (Captain Moodie, and Lieutenants C.B.Wilson and K.W.Gray), who are attended by two British soldiers, and who occupy, by themselves, the large room in which I saw them in February. These officers spoke well of the existing conditions and their relations with the military inspector appeared to be particularly cordial. Captain W.Birt, East Surreys, had died a few weeks ago, and Captain Hutchinson and Lieutenants Reynolds and Insall had been transferred to officer camps.

As I found that the tobacco recently donated by the Imperial Tobacco Company had not been distributed in equal proportions to the prisoners in Lazarets I and VI, I arranged to have an extra case sent from the latter to the former hospital.

John B. Jackson.

This entry was posted in Camp Reports, US National Archives and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.