Isle of Man

 

General

    In May, 1940, orders were given to evacuate boarding houses in the towns of Ramsey, Onchan, and Port Erin on the Isle of Man.  It is estimated that, at any one time, a maximum of 10,000 internees were held in the various camps established on the Isle of Man.  Two letters were allowed each week and were censored in the Liverpool Censor Office.

Camps

    Central Camp-- The Central Camp was located around a promenade in Douglas.  Below are thumbnails of the front and back of a registered cover from New York postmarked July 19, 1940, to Albert Adler, an inmate at the Central Promenade Camp.

 

    Hutchinsons Camp--  The Hutchinsons Camp was formed from a group of houses around a square that overlooked the town of Douglas. 

        Cover--  Below are thumbnails of the front and back of a cover from F. Steiner, an inmate at the Hutchinsons Camp, addressed to London.  The cover bears a Hutchinsons Camp cachet dated August 7, 1941.

        Folded Letter--  Below are thumbnails of a folded letter dated May 3, 1941, from an inmate at Hutchinsons Camp to London.  Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Folded Letter" in the left frame to return.

 

    Mooragh--  Mooragh, a promenade consisting of thirty small hotels and boarding houses in Ramsey, was the first internment camp established on the island.  This action was welcomed by the locals, since there were no vacationers as a result of the war.  The camp was ready by May 21, 1940, and the first internees arrived on June 4.  At its peak, there 2,900 male internees at Mooragh, of which 200 were Jewish doctors.  The Moorogh camp was sectioned off in order to separate German Jews (pro-British) from British Fascists (pro-German). 

        Publication--  Below are thumbnails of the October, 1940, issue of the camp publication, Stimmen hinter Stracheldraht (Voices Behind Barbed Wire).  Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Publication" in the left frame to return.

 

        Covers--  Below are thumbnails of the front and back of two covers.  The first is from Palestine to Herman Neumam, an inmate at Moorgh.  The second is from an inmate at Moorgh, Oskar Pohoryles, and is addressed to Cernauti, Romania.   Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Covers" in the left frame to return.

 

    Onchan--  Onchan, a village north of Douglas, was the site of an internment camp for men.  The camp was created by enclosing with barbed wire various houses on Royal Avenue.  According to Peter and Leni Gilman in their book, Collar The Lot:

"The inhabitants of Onchan learned that they included 121 artists and literary workers, 113 scientists and teachers, 68 lawyers, 67 graduate engineers, 38 physicians, 22 graduate chemical engineers, 19 clergymen, and 12 dentists.  At the other end of the social scale were 103 agricultural workers.  The survey also found that 1,230 (82%) of the internees were Jewish... No fewer that 1,080 applied to join the British Army Pioneer Corps, or other government service."

        Folded Letter--   Below are thumbnails of a folded letter dated January 1, 1941, from an inmate at Onchan to England.  The cover bears an Onchan cachet dated August 8, 1941.  Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Folded Letter" in the left frame to return.

        Currency--  The Onchan camp issued three denominations of metal tokens.  These tokens were undated and made of brass.  One side has the name of the camp and denomination.  The other side shows the triquetra at the center.  Below are thumbnails of both sides of a 1 penny Onchan camp token.  Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Currency" in the left frame to return.

 

    Rushen--  Rushen was a camp for interned women located at Port Erin.  By the end of 1940, there were over 3,000 women at the camp.  Below are thumbnails of the front and back of a cover postmarked September 21, 1940, from A. Lowenthal, an inmate at the Rushen Camp, to England.  Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Cover" in the left frame to return.

 

    "Y" Camp--  Below are thumbnails of the front and back of a cover from an inmate at the Y internment camp addressed to the Jewish Chronicle in England.  Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Y Camp" in the left frame to return.

 

 

References

Earl Kaplan and Norman Gladstone, British Internment Camps- Onchan, The Israel Philatelist, February, 1986, P. 4777-80

Earl Kaplan, British Internment Camps Mooragh and Rushen, The Israel Philatelist, June, 1986, P. 4908-09

Peter and Leni Gilman, Collar The Lot, Quartet Books, London

Campbell, Prisoner of War and Concentration Camp Money of the 20th Century, (1993), P. 134

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Copyright 2005 Edward Victor