A wide range of organisations tried to help the prisoners of war (PoW) held by both sides during the First World War. Many countries had local and regimental associations, who supported prisoners held overseas who were connected to their geographical area and/or military unit. The role of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva in co-ordinating information on individual prisoners and in inspecting prisoner of war camps is also well known. But what about a British organisation - situated in Switzerland - that helped locate PoWs? And in fact its work was mainly down to the efforts of one man.
A British organisation in Geneva helping prisoners of war: the Enquiry Branch of the Queen Victoria Jubilee Fund Association during the First World War
There are many books and articles in English and other languages that contain useful information about Switzerland in the period 1914-1918. This bibliography will evolve over time, and I would be happy to hear suggestions for new additions to the list. Read on...
I obtained this unusual 'fan' from a seller in the USA, who had bought it at an estate sale in the San Francisco Bay area. Inscriptions on the item indicate that it was made in 1916 by a French soldier who was interned at Vernayaz (a town in Switzerland). Apart from that, nothing else was known about it, but I have managed to discover some of the fascinating story behind this curious object.
The blog will feature interesting images, objects or information relating to Switzerland and the First World War. If you have something interesting that you think could be featured here, I would be glad to hear from you! Thanks.