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WWI Irish POW in Germany: Attempted Escape

The Arthur Evanson Glanville, papers, 1916-1918, a recent addition to the Villanova Digital Library, comprise of wartime letters, written to family members before and during Glanville’s captivity, photo postcards of him as a R. D. F. Officer along sketches like Glanville’s drawing his trench dug out rendered shortly before his capture.

A portion of transcribed text below is from the digitized copy  of Arthur Evanson Glanville’s recollections, a WWI Irish POW, an officer in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, captured by the Germans in France, May, 1918, and held as a prisoner of war for 7 months.

Glanville described the attempt of a POW’s escape from the camp in Rastatt.

POW escapeGlanville's Diary: 1918

******

[p. 50]

day as at night the <insertion: noise> would have attracted too much attention. There was great excitement the night of the escape. There were many willing helpers in the scheme. Their duties were many [158]<insertion: allotted.> Some watched the sentries & reported when they were at the far end of their beats. Others kept a sharp look out for the approach of anyone in the building, while yet others prepared the ropes (from bed-clothes) which were to lower the elopers from the windows to the ground – a distance of 18 feet. The escape took place simultaneously from <insertion: the> two windows. Within one minute from the executive word “go!” from those watching the sentries, both officers were on the road and out of sight – all under the eyes of the sentries in the full glare of the electric-arc lamps of the camp! Further arrangements in the camp were the means by which the escape of these officers was not noticed for 10 days. Every night dummies were placed in the beds.

[p. 51]

But [159] This was simple enough, but was nothing compared to the lucky scheme by th [160] which the missing officers were not remarked [161] on the two daily parades. The day previous to the escape the Roll <insertion: of prisoners> in the German office had been take and “lost” by an accomplice. The result was that a new one was made from the officers on parade next day & the escape was not noticed.  It was <insertion so> a simple a scheme which [162] <insertion: that> we thought <insertion: it> would not have worked. After 10 days the Germans evidently checked the roll with some other record and found their mistake. There was great consternation. It added to their dismay to know it was their own fault. Doubtless they managed to hide their mistake from their superiors, but that did not prevent them from having their revenge on us. All sorts of restrictions were put upon us and life became more unbearable than ever. This was the worst thing they could have done, for it only made others keen to escape. In fact inspite [163] of all the extra precautions,

____________

[158] Author’s strike out.
[159] Author’s strike out.
[160] Author’s strike out.
[161] Best guess.
[162] Author’s strike out.
[163] in spite

 

 


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Toasts from the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick

On March 17, 1814 in Philadelphia, the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick met to celebrate the anniversary of St. Patrick. The United States was in the middle of war a with England that would last for nearly another year. The following is a transcription, with notes, from Rules Minutes &c. of the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, 1813-1852, p. 20-23.

A portion of the transcribed text from the digitized copy comes from The Society of The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick for The Relief of Emigrants from Ireland collection found in Falvey’s Digital Library.

Rules Minutes &c. of the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, 1813-1832.

[p.] 20

This being the anniversary of St. Patrick, [2] the Society, [3] agreeably to former arrangement dined together at the Mansion House Hotel in Market Street, and were honored with the company of the officers of the St. Andrew’s, [4] St. George’s, [5] the Welsh and the German [6] Societies, and of the Right Reverend

[p.] 21.

Bishop White, [7] the Reverend Doctors Blackwell [8] and Abercrombie [9] and other respectable citizens. After Dinner the following toasts were given from the Chair.

1.    The Immortal Memory of St. Patrick.
2.    The Land of our Fathers.
3.    The United States: __ the country of our Adoption.
4.    The Memory of George Washington.
May it ever be, as it always has been, held in grateful remembrance by the Hibernian Society. [10]
5.    The Memory of General Montgomery, [11] and the nation of Hibernia, [12] who spilt their blood for the achievement of the Independence of America.
6.    The President [13] and constituted authorities of the Union.
7.    The Governor [14] and Commonwealth of Pennsylva
8.    The Militia, Army and Navy of the United States.
May their joint and separate exertions in defense of this country meet their best reward — the approbation of that country.

[p.] 22.

9th    The Union of the States
May each return of our anniversary find that Union drawn more close and more strongly cemented by mutual for bearance, material good will and mutual interests.
10th    The Commerce, the Agriculture and the Manufacturer of the United States.
As they naturally depend upon each other, may no unreasonable jealousies deprive them of mutual assistance.
11.    The Ocean
May it be the great high was for all Nations – Usurped by none.
12.    The American Non descripts: Best described by Commodores Bainbridge, [15] and Decatur: [16] the Captains Hull [17] and Jones, [18] their brave officers and crews.
13.    A speedy Peace, [19] upon such terms as the United States ought to grant, and the Enemy ought to accept.
14.   Social Intercourse.
May the spirit of a party never rise so high as to destroy private friendships, prevent the reunion of good men, or endanger the Liberties and Happiness of our common Country.

[p.] 23.

15.    The benevolence Societies of St. Andrews, St. George, the Welsh and the German.
16.    The Education of Youth: __ the only certain mode of securing to the commonwealth “Virtue, Liberty and Independence”.
17.    The fair daughter of Columbia. [20]

———————————-

[1] “History.” Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick For the Relief of Emigrants From Ireland. 15 Sep. 2017. <http://www.friendlysons.com/history/>
[2] “… Known as the “Apostle of Ireland”, he is the primary patron saint of Ireland” Saint Patrick. Wikipedia. 15 Sep. 2017. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick>
[3] “History.” Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick For the Relief of Emigrants from Ireland. 15 Sep. 2017. <http://www.friendlysons.com/history/>
[4] “About Us.” The St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia. 15 Sep. 2017. <http://98.129.112.200/about-us/>
[5] “… being citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, having associated for the purpose of establishing in Philadelphia, a society for the advice and assistance of Englishmen” St. George Society of Philadelphia. Wikipedia. 15 Sep. 2017. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._George_Society_of_Philadelphia>
[6] “Our History.” The German Society of Pennsylvania. 15 Sep. 2017. <http://www.germansociety.org/our-history/>
[7] White, William, 1748-1836. ; William White (bishop of Pennsylvania). Wikipedia. 15 Sep. 2017. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_White_(bishop_of_Pennsylvania)>
[8]  Blackwell, Robert, 1748-1831. ; “Blackwell Rev. Robert, D. D. 50 Pine” Paxton, John A. The Philadelphia Directory and Register for 1813… Philadelphia : B. & T. Kite, 1813. Internet Archive. 15 Sep. 2017. <https://archive.org/stream/philadelphiadire1813phil#page/55/mode/2up/search/blackwell>
[9]  Abercrombie, James, 1758-1841. ; “Abercrombie James, D. D. assistant minister of Christ & St. Peter’s churches Sec. 162 S. Fourth” Paxton, John A. The Philadelphia Directory and Register for 1813… Philadelphia : B. & T. Kite, 1813. Internet Archive. 15 Sep. 2017. <https://archive.org/stream/philadelphiadire1813phil#page/25/mode/2up/search/Abercrombie>
[10] “is an Irish Catholic fraternal organisation. Members must be Catholic and either born in Ireland or of Irish descent. Its largest membership is now in the United States” Ancient Order of Hibernians. Wikipedia. 15 Sep. 2017. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Order_of_Hibernians>
[11] Montgomery, Richard, 1738-1775. ; “a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and he is most famous for leading the failed 1775 invasion of Canada” Richard Montgomery. Wikipedia. 15 Sep. 2017. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Montgomery>
[12] “is the Classical Latin name for the island of Ireland. ” Hibernia. Wikipedia. 15 Sep. 2017. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hibernia>
[13] Madison, James, 1751-1836. ; “Presidents: James Madison.” The White House. Whitehouse.gov. Washington, D.C. 15 Sep. 2017. <https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/presidents/jamesmadison>
[14] Snyder, Simon, 1759-1819. ; “the third Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, serving three terms from 1808 to 1817.” Simon Snyder. Wikipedia. 15 Sep. 2017. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Snyder.
[15] Bainbridge, William, 1774-1833. ; William Bainbridge. Wikipedia. 15 Sep. 2017. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Bainbridge>
[16] Decatur, Stephen, 1779-1820. ; Stephen Decatur. Wikipedia. 15 Sep. 2017. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Decatur>
[17] Hull, Isaac, 1773-1843. ; Isaac Hull. Wikipedia. 15 Sep. 2017. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Hull>
[18] Jones, Jacob, 1768-1850. ; Jacob Jones. Wikipedia. 15 Sep. 2017. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Jones>
[19] “The War of 1812 lasted from June 1812-February 1815, a span of two years and eight months.” “War of 1812 — FAQs” Civil War Trust. ©2017 Civil War Trust. 15 Sep. 2017. <https://www.civilwar.org/learn/articles/war-of-1812-faqs>
[20] “… is a historical name used by both Europeans and Americans to describe the Americas, the New World, and often, more specifically, the United States of America. ” Columbia (name). Wikipedia. 15 Sep. 2017. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbia_(name)>

 


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George Washington fêted by the Friendly Sons’ Society, January 1, 1782.

From Rules Minutes &c. of the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, 1843, 1771-1793, p. 41-43.

A portion of the transcribed text from the digitized copy from The Society of The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick for The Relief of Emigrants from Ireland collection found in Falvey’s Digital Library.

Here is General George Washington’s transcribed response to the Society’s invitation and awarding him the Society’s gold medal as written down in the Rules Minutes book.

[1] ”Sir

I accept with singular pleasure, the Ensign of so worthy a Fraternity as that of the Son of St. Patrick in this City. A Society distinguished for the firm adherence of its members to the glorious cause in which we are embark’d. —

Give me leave to assure you, Sir, that I shall never cast my eyes upon the Badge with which I am Honoured but with a grateful remembrance of the polite & affectionate manner in which it was presented. I am with Respect & Esteem
Sir
Your mo. Obt Servant
(Signd) Geo. Washington

To George Campbell Esqr.
President of the Society of the
Friendly Sons of St. Patrick
in the City of Philadelphia”

————–
[1] On the page, quotation marks [“] placed at the beginning of each line. The marks represent transcribed remarks by Washington. For the current transcription, the quotation marks are displayed only by the initial and final quotation marks.


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Last Modified: August 10, 2017