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Archiver > LONDON > 1998-09 > 0904711522


From: <>
Subject: Internment in WWI - Camp Ruhleben
Date: Tue, 01 Sep 1998 21:45:22 -0700


This is quite long, so please bear with me. I think you will find it
quite interesting and possibly helpful in your genealogy research.

My father, Percy Hodgson, was on a tour of theaters in Europe, when he
and the men in the cast were interned in a camp called Ruhleben (I
believe it was near Cologne, Germany) from 1916 till the end of the war.
His stage name was Percy Maurice.

When they returned to England after the war, they performed at theatres
in London, i.e. the Queen's Hall, under the name of the RUHLEBEN
FOLLIES. The cast was made up of Alec Underwood, Walter Maurice, F.
Winter (the Kaiser's ex-jockey), Percy Maurice, F. Nichols, and Billy
Collinson.

While they were interned at the camp of Ruhleben, with some imagination
and ingenuity, they created (by hand) a program this was accomplished as
a for of entertainment. The program title was:

A Night With
Mendelsohn
(Hyman)

The front cover of the program includes a handdrawn picture of eight
people sitting (four to a side) at a table with the guest of honor
standing at the head of the table. On the botton of the front page there
is the inscriptio
n "Casino - Ruhleben, Jan 26th, 1916." On the bottom of the front
page, in very small print reads: "Lilliput Printing Works -
King William Sr."

On one side of the inside page is a menu, and down the inside of the
page is a handrawing of a flowering vine. The menu reads:
* * * *
S O U P
a La Mendy (with no heir)
* *
F I S H
(Next Friday in the Kitchen)
* *
E N T R E E
Real Cold Ham
* *
J O I N T
Chicken
a la Pero, stuffed with cigars and corke
* *
V E G E T A B L E S
(Sorry, this is so smudged,
I cannot read all of it, but I
can make out the following)
Cabbage
Asparagus {ordinary length}
Potatoes a la Bar. 6
* *
Coffe a la Kuit
* *
Cheese a la luit
* * *
W I N E. Red, White and Imaginary blue
CIGARS & CIGARETTES (Home-spun)
* * *
W E N D Y B A C C A R E T

The other half of the inside of the program contains signatures of some
of those who were interred. I cannot make out all the names, not only
because of the fading of the paper, but because of the penmanship! But,
the signatures that I can make out are:

H Griffiths Newton
Fred B Pentland
Percy Maurice
W G(?) Branson
H Blakes
L Shatwell
W Dormer
H Zaris (Jaris?)
J Meadows
Edward Louie Si(xxxx?)
George Phillips
Walter Maurice
K Macthire (?)
Steve Bloomer
Harry Stafford
John Patrick Donoghue
Elias Schneider

Almost finished! You may notice that some names of the cast embers of
the RUHLEBEN FOLLIES (in paragraph 3 above) do not corresponde with
names signed inside the program. Several interns/cast members had
several stage names they used, and obviously a few here used them!

The back page has a handdrawn logo/trademark(?) of a profile of a female
head and the words "Lilliput Print."

That's it! If any of this rings a bell to any of you, I would love to
hear from you. If any of the names sound familiar, please let me know
as I could (very careully) make a copy of the program for you. It is
not only 82 years old, but is very fragile - aren't most of us at that
age?! Have any of you heard of the camp Ruhleben in Germany during WW
I? Let me hear from you, as I would love to add some additional data to
my research into the Hodgson/Price family genealogy. Thank you for
taking the time to read this.

Pamela Sprossel in New York State

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