Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Ruhleben in 1914

Home
Ruhleben Chronology
Ruhleben Songs
A-B
C-D
E-F
G-H
I-J
K-L
M-N
O-P
Q-R
S-T
U-V
W-Z
Ruhleben on the Net
Bibliography
The Ibberson Photographs
THE RUHLEBEN SHOP
Links
Horizontal Divider 12

The Ruhleben Story
 
1914
 
 

Horizontal Divider 12

September
 
9th
About forty British "suspects" are transferred from Berlin to the racecourse at Ruhleben. They are the first inmates at Germany's new internment camp for British civilians. 
 
 

Horizontal Divider 12

October
 
6th
About forty more British "suspects" are brought to the camp, the crews of three small vessels.
 
31st
Ultimatum given by Germany to Britain that unless all German citizens are released from British camps by November 5th, every English male in Germany will be arrested and interned.
 
 

Horizontal Divider 12

November
 
From early November, a South African Roman Catholic priest, Father Schmidt, arrives voluntarily at the camp and decides to remain with the internees for the duration of the war.
 
Thursday 5th
Deadline for the German ultimatum comes and goes.
 
Friday 6th
Mass arrests of British civilians in Germany begins. By late afternoon, hundreds have already arrived at Ruhleben. Eleven stables in the course, each containing 27 horse boxes, are officially designated as "Barracks", and prisoners are housed within them. Those that cannot find room in the boxes are placed into the haylofts, and the Tea House also becomes designated as a Barrack. The race course's grandstand also temporarily houses some prisoners.
 
Monday 9th
First Barracks Captains meeting held.
 
Friday 13th
Creation of civilian police force within Ruhleben.
J. H. Platford opens a library in Barrack 1, with 83 books available to borrow, supplied by the United States ambassador.
Shoemaker opens for business in Barrack 4.
 
Sunday 15th
Two open air Protestant church services are held in the grandstand, packed to capacity.
 
Monday 16th
Final of the first football competition is held in the camp at 1.45pm, between Oldham (Public Schools XI) and Tottenham (Scratch XI). A notice asks supporters to "PLEASE (in your own interest) keep failry quiet."
 
Tuesday 17th
All newspapers are banned from the camp.
 
Wednesday 18th
First Barracks receive heating. It takes a week for the rest to be completed.
 
Thursday 19th
The prisoners are ordered by the Germans to undergo daily marches around the race track for exercise.
 
Friday 20th
Snow in the camp.
 
Saturday 21st
First inmate dies in the camp, a donkeyman from the S. S. Sapper.
 
Sunday 22nd
Hard frost in the camp with a "biting east wind".
Two open air Protestant church services are held in the grandstand.
 
Monday 23rd
Berlin Cocoa men make a delivery to the camp.
 
Tuesday 24th
Funeral of the S. S. Sapper crewman who died on the previous Saturday.
 
Wednesday 25th
The playing of football in the camp is forbidden.
 
Friday 27th
The playing of all ball games in the camp is forbidden.
The "Skilly Riot" happens, when many merchant seamen spontaneously refuse to eat the gruel with which they are being chronically underfed. It is soon broken up, but the net result is that the contractor supplying the food is removed a few months later.
 
Saturday 28th
Arrival of 240 new prisoners.
 
Sunday 29th
The Reverend H. M. Williams, the Anglican chaplain in Berlin, comes to the camp to carry out a service. (He will return once a fortnight for most of the duration of the camp.)
 
Monday 30th
The construction of two new barracks buildings gets underway.
 
 

Horizontal Divider 12

December
 
3rd
Newspapers return in the camp, with the arrival of editions of the Berliner Zeitung am Mittag.
Platford announces that he now has 370 books in his library, and 350 borrowers.
 
4th
A sandwich business opens within the camp, and at the end of the first day's trading a dividend of 20% is given out, such was the popularity of the product.
 
5th
A concert is held within the alley of Barrack 6, the predominatly orthodox Jewsish barrack. It is so successful that Baron Von Taube, a guest at the event, immediatly grants permission for other similar concerts to be allowed to take place within the grandstand hall.
 
10th
Singing is forbidden on route marches around the race track.
 
15th
New regulations are announced by the Germans, decreeing that if anyone is caught spreading rumours in the camp, they will receive 72 hours imprisonment in the cells.
 
 
 
 
 
under construction

Horizontal Divider 12