Article form the Nantwich Guardian 17th December 1915, Page 5: Harold  is from Group 20. This Article is in poor condition and hard to read in parts so I have typed the rest of the Article.


ABOVE: The news article, photos of Harold taken in 1914 and 1919 and the lyrics from "My Beautiful Girl" from the revue "Smile" a revue written to entertain the prisoners at Ruhleben, where Harold was held for 13 months until December 1915.

Mr Harold Tivey, an Alsager gentleman has arrived at his home after being a prisoner in a German interment camp near Berlin for thirteen months. He  has been released in connection with the exchange of English and German prisoners, who are ineligible for military service. Interviewed by a representative of the Guardian, Mr Tivey said he was following his professional pursuits in Berlin when diplomatic relationships between Britain and Germany were broken off. The declaration of war with England evoked scenes of great exitement. "We were assured" he said " that we should not be taken, but on the morning of the 6th November 1914, at seven o'clock I was pulled out of bed by the police and taken to the city prison, where I spent an hour or two in the cell before being sent by the military authorities to Ruhleben. On that day every Englishman in Berlin was taken, regardless of their state of health or his age, some being dragged out of bed at five o'clock in the morning. A number of the Englishmen had been in prison in Berlin as early as August 19th 1914, so the German Statement that no Englishmen were interned before the inetrnment of Germans in England, is absolutely untrue. A Large number of sailors on trading vessels were held up right at the commencement of the war, and in some cases before the war was actually decelared. There were some boats about to sail in Hamburg on the Friday before the day of the declaration, and one was held up, the officers and men being made prisoners. The people shouted at us as we were being taken to prison, but we were subjected to no hostile demonstartion to speak of.
"The treatment at first was very bad, but it is much better now. The food was very bad, when I left, but ut was worse at the beginning. The cooking of the food is now managed by the British prisoners, but the supply is quite inadequate. Everybody has friends or relatives, or knows of anyone interned in Ruhleben or any camp in Germany should send regular supplies of butter or margarine, dripping, lard and milk.  The supply of fat in the food is negligiblw. "Parcels to Ruhleben" he added " have arrived safely, with on or two exceptions. Parcels to military camps rarely arrived at the beginning, but it seems that now things in many of the camps have improved. Ruhleben is one of the best camps in Germany. Some of the military camps are terrible places, and every effort should be made to help those who are out there. All the improvements made at Ruhleben have been made with the help of  British money. the German military authorities never having provided a knife, fork, or soap, or any of small similar necessaries of life. It is impossible to get butter or milk in any of the camps because the Germans have difficulty in getting them themselves.
"So far as improvements go, the prisoners have themselves organized a school, which is very successful, the teaching being done voluntarily, and comprising all the subjects that one might have taught at university. they also have a very capable and efficient theatre,a s there are many professional artists there. The spirit of the men at Ruhleben is very good, but at some of the camps they were badly treated. A batch of civilian prisoners who had been at the mllilitary camp at Wittenberg, numbering about twenty stated that Ruhleben was heaven compared with the camp they had left. "there is apparently great disparity in the treatment meted out in the various camps. this tends to depend on the character of the commanding officer, As an instance, a wounded private from the Northumberland Fusiliers told me his treatment had been quite good."
Asked to give his opinion upon the recent newspaper reports of Berlin food riots, he said "There certainly have been bitter riots in Berlin. there was one on the Sunday just before my release, and there has been talk of a big peace demonstratio. Ruhleben is near Berlin, and news very often finds it's way to the men imprisoned there. It is quite possible there have been these riots in Berlin, but such news never gets into German newspapers which we were allowed to see. The papers made a statement that such news never would be published. The people in Germany" he further stated "were led to believe that all Germans in England were interned in October 1914 and a Pro campaign was started by certain Berlin newspapers for the imprisonment of Englishmen in Germany. After sinking of the Lusitania  when it stated that a large number of Germans   in England were interned one or two of the newspapers expressed surprise at hearing that there were still a large number of Germans free in England. This surprise was shared by a number of the population. the Germans were very bitter when they heard of the anti-German riots in England. Pictures were reproduced and they sneered at English civilisation.
"The temper of the German people" he concluded" is much more chastened that at the beginning of the war, but they still believe they are winning. I believe a large number are more interested in the fact that the price of food is than they are conquering their enemies. The German authorities are very careful in their scrutiny of those who cross the border" Mr Tivey was well received by the authorities after crossing into  Dutch territory, and he had a  very good journey from Flushing to Tilbury and very gald again to breathe the free air of old England.


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