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Perpetual calendar made in Knockaloe Internment Camp during the First World War

Date made: 1915

Description: This object was made by William Krangeman, a German internee in Knockaloe Camp, for George Knowllson Yeo, who was a guard at the camp in 1915.

It is a perpetual calendar made with wood from a cigar box, with the handwritten days and months made from cardboard boxes, and the numbers made from cut-up cigarette packets. The front of the wooden stand is handpainted with a rural scene of trees and a farm with a windmill. Handwritten in ink on the reverse is the inscription, 'Made by Wm. Krangeman/ Prisoner of War/ Knockaloe Camp: Peel./ Isle of Man./ England 1915.'

During the First World War (1914-1918) the Isle of Man was used as an internment base for civilian ‘enemy aliens’. Its biggest camp was known as Knockaloe Camp, Patrick, situated in the west of the Island (other historic names referring to the camp include Knockaloe P.O.W. Camp, Knockaloe Prisoner of War Camp and Knockaloe Alien Detention Camp.) Originally designed for 5,000 people, at its peak it housed up to 23,000 men and as many as 30,000 men may have been interned in total. 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: overall: 7.8 cm x 11.5 cm x 5.5 cm

Materials: cardboard, wood

Object name: calendar

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 2009-0151



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