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Private Thomas Taylor

1st Battalion Cameron Highlanders

He lived at Hopedale, Camelon. He was a reservist and went to France in September 1914 and was taken prisoner on 11 November 1914 during the heavy fighting of First Ypres near Polderhoek spending four years as a PoW.

He was first taken to Gardelegen Camp in Altmark at the end of 1914 and were typhus broke out and as with the outbreak at Wittenberg the Germans withdrew their medical staff. In the Report of the Typhus Epidemic at this camp by the Government Committee on the Treatment of PoWs, it reported that there were 320 men to a barrack and that men from all nationalities were crowded together. It was the work of three British RAMC officers who saved lives and Private Taylor recounts that it was mostly the French and Russian PoWs who suffered the most with as many as fourteen men dying per day among those prisoners.

Gardelegen Camp

In the Second World War Gardelegen Camp was a Nazi concentration camp were over one thousand Jewish prisoners were murdered in 1945.

He was next moved to Stendal and then Zerbst, Anhalt. At Zerbst he witnessed prisoners being tied to a post. Inspectors visiting this camp in July 1915 reported that prisoners had been tied to a post as a result of a breach of discipline. This was done to make the punishment visible to the whole camp and to enforce the message to the prisoners. The camp commandant justified the punishment by stating that he was simply enforcing discipline based on contemporary German military practices. The practice was the equivalent of the British Field Punishment No.1. While at Zerbst Private Taylor worked in a creosote factory and had to sleep on the overcrowded floor.

PoWs tied to a post

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