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Knockaloe Camp nutcracker

Date made: 1914-1918

Description: A wooden nutcracker made in Camp 1 at Knockaloe Civilian Internment Camp during the First World War. The face is a caricatured portrait of a middle-aged merchant sailor wearing a peaked cap. Several merchant seamen were interned at Knockaloe camp. The nutcracker was hand carved by an internee for Cyril Clague, a civilian staff worker who ran the Knockaloe Camp Post Office.

The wooden nutcracker is hand made and hand carved and was made in two parts with one part carved as the head and face and the second part carved with the lower jaw. The nut is placed in the mouth and the two handles are squeezed together to crack or crush the nut. the nutcracker has a metal pin in the back of the neck to secure the hinges. The inscription 'Knockaloe Camp 1' and '7' is incised on the inside of one of the handles.

During the First World War (1914-1918) the Isle of Man was used as an internment base for civilian ‘enemy aliens’. They were held in two camps, a requisitioned holiday camp in Douglas and a purpose built camp located at Knockaloe near Peel on the west coast of the Island. These held at their peaks over 4,000 and 23,000 men in some cases for nearly five years between opening in 1914 and final closure in 1919. Over 30,000 men passed through Knockaloe between 1914 and 1919.

Measurements: overall: 18 x 6 x 6 cm

Materials: steel, wood

Object name: Nutcracker

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 2002-0075



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