Edinburgh Evening News – Cheerful German Prisoners: Life in Stobs Camp

‘Britain never, never shall rule the waves’

29 June 1915
Whatever the conditions of life in a German concentration camp are, it cannot be gainsaid that in this country life in a prisoners’ camp is pleasant and agreeable. In a letter to a friend in Edinburgh a soldier encamped at Stobs, Hawick, supplies an insight into the atmosphere of the German camp in the vicinity. “The soldiers and sailors of the party (the letter states) are made to work. They are engaged in making roads, cutting down trees in the woods, and other labours. Their cheerfulness is wonderful to behold, and as they go to and from their work they sing and whistle German and British songs. I head them singing ‘Rule Britannia’ the other day, and at the last line they sand, ‘Britain never never shall rule the waves’

“Before they take their meals they can be heard all singing some songs together. A fortnight ago last Sunday they held their sports. They play football in the camp more than anything else. They also fill in their spare time making models of different things. They have battleships and aeroplanes in miniature, and I have also seen a model Zeppelin. The other day I was amongst a crowd who were making walkingsticks, but I could not induce any of them to part with a good one at all. Invariably they will part with anything, except their buttons. They won’t say farewell to them at all, but they try to get yours or your cap badge.

“The Germans are jolly well treated. One chap who tried to cause a disturbance was put into solitary confinement by his own officers. He was fed on bread and water for three days. The officers are in charge in the road-making operations, with our soldiers on guard.”