Harrogate Herald - 29th January 1919
Corporal Hall, son of Mr George Hall,
painter, of Harrogate, was captured at Bullecourt [ 6
British-Australian divisions with 12 tanks of Fifth Army break into
strongly fortified village 14 miles west of Cambrai and break
through Hindenburg Line switch at Quéant ] on the 3rd May it
appears that the object of the Hun was to march the prisoners
backward and forward, starve and ill-use them, and then parade them
before their people as samples of Englishmen, Hall being one
of the 1,800 treated to this exhibition. They were kept working
behind the lines from 6am to 6.15pm with only one meagre meal a day.
Whilst the English in this case, however, had an eight hours day,
the Russians had 6 and the French 10. after a spell of processions
to and fro from Fort MacDonald, they were sent to Germany.
Disinfection, inoculation and examinations were the order of the
day, Hall being inoculated no fewer than five times. After
five weeks he was sent to a NCO's camp – Eaton Moor, a much better
camp than the average, where he remained 14 weeks. His next
habitation was Bokeleh Camp, 25 kilometres from Bremerhaven. It was
a bit rough here at first, but improved towards the finish. The
prisoners had no scheduled work and passed the time in knitting,
unravelling mufflers or any woollen things, and making socks.
Washing was difficult, as no soap was to be had. Whilst here the
English were fortunate, and able to get passes through the agency of
the Danish Ambassador, but the French and Russians had to take
"French leave". He had the good luck to get parcels from
England within a fortnight of their being despatched, and Hall
gave every credit to the postal authorities for this excellent
despatch. The only things that were missing were tobacco and
cigarettes. The NCO's camp was under the large Solteau Camp.
On the armistice being signed they entrained for Holland, staying
at Ensched on the frontier one and a half days. They were well
treated by the Dutch until they sailed on the Paissy from Rotterdam.
Here a fine system of cleansing is in vogue, 300 prisoners being
fed, bathed and equipped within two hours. They arrived at Hull on
Sunday week, and passing through Harrogate, Hall threw out a
postcard, which someone kindly took to his wife, and he reached home
last Wednesday at noon little the worse for his captivity.