Large 3 x 28 hardbound scrapbook and photograph album, entitled “INDURANCEVILE” put together by a British Officer who was interned at Schweidnitz prisoner of War Camp in late 1917-1918.
Content of the album:
Approximately 163 photographs, 3 of these loose.
Approximately 20 commercial type coloured postcards or views of Schweidnitz.
9 sketches, paintings, mostly large and 1 per page.
Content wise the album clearly focuses on individual officers, in particular Leicestershire Regiment and Royal Flying Corps/Royal Air Force, Merchant Marine and POW stage shows. It is therefore probable the owner of the album one of these units/arms and was involved in the stage shows. There are also a number of sketches and paintings, several signed ‘C Rigby’, who’s portrait also appears in the album. A single page entitled ‘Brandenburg A/D Havel 1917’ suggests the owner was transferred from there.
WW1 aviation being an interest of mine, I looked at a few of the photographed Officers as example of details that can be found and we have:
Lieutenant Allbarton – shot down 19 May 1917, pilot 19 Squadron, Spad 7.
Lieutenant C E Stuart – shot down 26 September 1917, pilot 70 Squadron, Sopwith Camel.
Lieutenant Marchand – shot down 22 November 1917, pilot 43 Squadron, Sopwith Camel.
Lieutenant R H Richardson (Australian) – 6 October 1917, pilot 102 Squadron, FE2b.
Captain Costello – shot down 24 March 1917, pilot 70 Squadron, Sopwith Strutter.
There are other named RFC/RAF Officers, Regimental, Royal Navy and Merchant Marine Officers that will be equally researchable.
Most of the Officer portrait photos are postcard size, whereas many of the stage show photos are larger, a number with 2 per page and some 1 per page. As can be seem, a large number of photos have also been cut out to add to the effect.
There are a large number of photos of stage shows put on by and starring the officers. The costumes and sets are extremely elaborate, a Lieutenant Allbarton (RFC) appearing to have been photographed numerous times.
In addition to the above, there are a number of photographs of Schweidnitz camp itself, bread staff, Rugby matches, boxing, camp football team, funeral of British soldiers, who are given full military honours by the Germans and many other shots. Also 4 tokens? From the POW camp.
Schweidnitz POW Camp itself was located Silesia, Germany, now part of Poland.
Album condition is good, the outer binding is intact, but the inner binding has come away in parts with the result that many pages are loose or in sections. This is probably something that could be fixed. There may have been a few pages missing; three loose photos have come from the album from a damaged page. Nonetheless the photos and sketches are remarkably sharp, with most signatures clear.
Album was probably originally an artists sketchbook from the type of paper pages within; the blue borders round many of the photos were added by the owner. The reverse of a number of the pages have been sketched on by a child, probably WW2 era due to content of some (spitfires etc). However as photos etc are only applied to a single side of each page, it doesn’t really effect the album in a negative way.
The owner of the album clearly put a great deal of time, thought and effort into the wonderful piece of history. All in all, this is a rare and somewhat important WW1 POW and given the number of names of officers within, is extremely researchable.
Note: photos of all the pages have been added to this listing with close ups of a number of pages and individual photos to give you an idea of quality. These photos have been taken with a digital camera, not scanned so actual quality will be better.