Were British prisoners of war returned before the end of the First World War?This letter was written by C W Kent to thank George Cave for his assistance in securing the release of his nephew Sub Lieutenant H F A Kent in 1915. If a soldier did fall into enemy hands it was not unusual for their family or friends to write to politicians or their local MP to help obtain their release. In this instance it is possible that as C W Kent was living in East Molesey that he was writing to his local MP for Kingston upon Thames, George Cave for this reason.
Sub Lieutenant Harold Francis Addenbrooke Kent worked as a First Mate on a foreign-going steamship prior to the war. He then joined the Royal Navy Reserves until his capture by enemy forces. After his release he fought at Gallipoli and served on HMS Blossom. In 1917 he received the Distinguished Service Cross for entering a burning ammunition dump to help extinguish a fire in Palestine. In the same year he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. He served in the Second World War as a lieutenant at HMS Stag, a land base at Port Said, Egypt.
- Full title:
- Letter from C.W. Kent thanking George Cave for the return of his nephew from CAVE PAPERS. Vol. XIII. Personal and official documents relating to prisoners of war. 1915-June 1918
- 17 September 1915
- C W Kent
- Held by:
- British Library
- © Crown Copyright and provided under an Open Government Licence.
- Add MS 62467 f.12
- Article by:
- Stephen Badsey
Professor Stephen Badsey reflects on how letters, parcels, and newspapers – although subject to censorship – kept family and friends in touch with soldiers serving in World War One.
- Article by:
- Heather Jones
- Life as a soldier
What was the reality for prisoners of war in World War One? Dr Heather Jones looks beyond the propaganda to consider the facts around prisoner mistreatment, labour and death rates across Europe.