Tag Archives: 1914

Ramsgate soldier’s tale of life as a PoW

Private A H Atkins, 2nd Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers was interviewed by the Thanet Advertiser and Echo in January 1919, having returned home after four years in captivity.
The German Prisoner of War camps or Kriegsgefangenenlager during World War I were run by the 25 Army Corps Districts into which Germany was divided. There were four different types of camp as follows:-
• Mannschaftslager for private soldiers and NCOs, such as Sennelager
• Offizierslager for commissioned officers.
• Internierungslager for civilians of enemy states, such as Ruhleben
• Lazarett, military hospital for POWs.

Continue reading Ramsgate soldier’s tale of life as a PoW

Live Bait Squadron

The following Thanet men were lost when their ships were torpedoed in the North Sea on September 22nd 1914. They are commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial

Assiter A Chief Yeoman of Signals                   HMS Aboukir
Blackburn L Leading Seaman                          HMS Hogue
Brenchley George Charles Able Seaman        HMS Aboukir
Brenchley J C Seaman                                      HMS Aboukir
Brown H J Seaman RNR                                  HMS Aboukir
Castle John Shipwright 1st Class                    HMS Cressy
Howes Albert Edward Petty Officer              HMS Aboukir
Morris Stoker J 1st Class                                 HMS Hogue
Wheat George Alfred Signalman                    HMS Cressy or HMS Aboukir
White F 1st Class Petty Officer                      HMS Cressy

Ramsgate in August 1914


Ramsgate was a town of some 30,000 inhabitants whose prosperity in 1914 relied heavily on its visitors in the summer season, whether day trippers or boarders. Other important industries were the railway, fishing and market gardening. A large flour mill and brewery were also important employers in the town. The many small family-run shops and businesses were busy catering for visitors and townsfolk alike, offering a level of personal service unknown to most of us a century later. Some tradespeople were directly involved in servicing summer visitors, such as bath chair proprietors, licensed porters, and a bathing machine proprietress, as well as all those people who ran furnished apartments, boarding houses and dining rooms. Other important jobs were servicing the boat owners, sailors and fishermen in the harbour, such as sail makers, ships’ chandlers, shipwrights, and smack owners.

Many young men would have been apprentices before enlisting in the army but one local man was listed as a Journeyman butcher, one who had completed his apprenticeship, but was not yet considered a master-craftsman. Another was a Brewer’s carman, who drove the wagon with the barrels to deliver them to customers or to the railway stations.Yet another was simply listed as an errand boy.Here are some of the other jobs, those we know about mainly from the local papers, that the young men of Ramsgate had before enlisting:-

Ramsgate Council employees Shopkeepers, managers and assistants
Local school masters Insurance clerks
Builders Bank employees
Doctors Shipwrights
Local Reporters Printers
Policemen Postmen and GPO employees
Gas works employees Newspaper distributors
Coach builder Plumbers, carpenters
Painters and decorators Hotel and catering staff
Cinematograph operators Signwriter