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Interview with Mona Quillin of Port St Mary, boarding house owner, about internment in the Second World War

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Date(s): 30 June 2004

Creator(s): Richardson, Matthew (Manx National Heritage)

Scope & Content: Mona Quillin talks to Matthew Richardson about her memories of Second World War internees in the Isle of Man. She talks about the boarding house in Port St Mary she ran with her sister before, during and the Second World War; 1930s holiday trade and its suspension on the outbreak of war; preparing for internees; arrival of internees and fear of fifth columnists; internees allocated to their hotel who included German archaeologist Gerhard Bersu (1889-1964); distribution of internees in Port St Mary; rationing and feeding the internees; Christmas 1941 with her sister and internees.

Mona describes some of the internees, including Nazi sympathisers. She talks about the lack of news; reduction of Isle of Man Steam Packet service; internees at the Port St Mary married couples’ camp; Port St Mary after the internees moved to Port Erin; army and air force use of buildings; her family reopening Cronk Wyllin as a boarding house, catering for the families of military personnel; preparing the boarding house after the internees left; life of internees in Port St Mary; government compensation scheme.

She ends by talking about the boarding house trade immediately after the Second World War until she retired in 1976 and returns to recalling her memories of internees who were Nazi sympathisers including internment of Rudolf Hess’s cousin; and connections between some internees and well-known British people.

Administration / Biographical History: Miss Mona Quillin (b.1915).
German archaeologist Gerhard Bersu (1889-1964)

Language: English

Extent: 33 min. 31 sec.

Item name: compact disc

Collection: Sound Archive

Level: ITEM

ID number: SA 0426

Access conditions: All reasonable attempt has been made by Manx National Heritage to trace and request permission (where needed) from the copyright holder(s) in this sound recording. If however you think you are a rights holder then please contact Manx National Heritage.

Subject tags : #UOSH, #UOSHSecondWorldWar


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Lovely surprise to hear Aunt Mona again. On the topic of internment, in the 90's I paid for some records at HMV Oxford Street with an IOM Cheque. The cashier asked if I was from the Island, I said my family was. He told me his Italian parents were interned on the Island and worked on a farm there. They were so well treated they returned every year after for summer holidays. - Thomas Quillin Report this