Camp Visitors

The focus of the third section is on the many different groups of visitors who passed through the Handforth camp during its short life. These visitors fall into three distinct categories. First were the religious visitors – Catholic, Protestant and Jewish – who were often derived from Britain’s German population itself. These people entered the camp, normally at regular intervals, to care for the prisoners religious needs and to offer spiritual guidance where appropriate. Second, there was a constant stream of delegations from neutral countries – Switzerland and the United States – whose task was to inspect the camps in order to ensure that the prisoners were receiving fair and humane treatment. Third, foreign journalists as well as high-ranking British officials also made sporadic journeys to Handforth, principally to investigate conditions in the camp and to report their findings to a wider national and international audience.

 

When placed together, all of these visits highlight how during the First World War Handforth became a hive of activity, where people from across Europe and beyond came to observe life behind barbed wires.

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