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Knockaloe Camp ship in a bottle

Date made: c.1916

Description: A four masted model ship with a wooden handpainted hull with string rigging and no sails, set in blue-green clay sea with a 3 tiered harbour-side, townscape behind with handpainted wooden buildings, e.g. lighthouse, town hall flying flag and church with steeple (1916 on tower) along quayside with green palm trees. Green glass bottle, silver paper used as stopper. Flag has horizontal stripes in blue, white and red. The bottle is on a wooden base.

Made by First World War internee from Knockaloe Civilian Internment Camp. The ship in a bottle is from Regaby Farm where Knockaloe internees worked during the First World War. The ship model was said to have been made by an internee working at Regaby farm and given to Mr Moody when he was working there at a later date.

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 1917, more than the population of Douglas. Other historic names referring to the camp include Knockaloe P.O.W. Camp, Knockaloe Prisoner of War Camp and Knockaloe Alien Detention Camp. The confinement of the prisoners led to specific behavioural issues known as ‘barbed wire disease’. Receiving its name from the aimless promenading of inmates up and down the barbed-wire boundary, other symptoms included moroseness and avoidance of others. It was decided that providing practical stimulation would help. The Friends’ Emergency Committee (a Quaker organisation) based in Great Britain was invited to the Island from 1915 onwards with the aim of providing books, tools, equipment and materials for the inmates to work and establish workshops.

Measurements: Bottle: 30.6 x 7.2 cm

Object name: Model

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 1995-0232



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