Burnley in the Great War
Soldiers taken prisoner of war
(initial research by Alan Mackay and Denis Otter)
As part of the ongoing development of Burnley in the Great War, research has been carried out into those men from Burnley who became Prisoners of War between 1914 and 1918. This can never be an exact exercise because the information is patchy and gleaned from many sources but mostly from information provided by relatives, and the soldiers themselves, to local newspapers.
We would be very pleased to receive any information and photographs about these men or any other Burnley PoWs not listed. We have at the present time 1,890 files/photographs of 1914-1918 PoWs and it must be appreciated that it will take some considerable time to put all these on the site, especially when some of them have yet to be listed on "Those who served and survived."
Examination of the information reveals that 70% of the men were captured in 1918 and about 50 spent most of the war in captivity having been captured in 1914. Unfortunately the PoWs were very poorly treated by the Germans and at least 57 died during or just after the war and many others in the following years - at least one man Charles Smith 6742 1st East Lancs was murdered by the camp guards after 4 years of captivity. One PoW escaped from captivity Alfred Birley MM became an officer.
Prisoners of War Index