Kitchener camp exhibition

I have been asked to post the link to our fundraising page – so here it is:

Extraordinarily, we’ve already raised a quarter of our target in just a few days. Thank you so very much everyone!

We are applying for formal funding towards the exhibition costs, but must raise half the amount ourselves – hence the link above.

No-one should feel under any pressure to contribute, and it won’t make any difference as to what goes into the exhibition: our professional designer will be making those choices – not the committee.

If you would like to be involved in the fundraising, please do pass the link around and see if you can persuade friends and colleagues to chip in: every £5 helps towards the target.


Everyone who has sent in materials to this project should now have received an email with a new permission letter – specifically for the exhibition.

If you haven’t yet received the exhibition letter, please forgive me – it’s simply a sign of how busy things have been here recently.

I have now uploaded a copy of the letter onto the website, so if I have missed you, please just download from here and send it to me at the usual email address.

The link is here:


I spent a fascinating afternoon at the Wiener Library a couple of weeks ago, being given privileged access for this project to view the Kitchener camp Visitor Book. The book has not yet been catalogued, so I was not able to take photographs of it, but I was allowed to make notes and will be uploading these as soon as I can clear some desk space.

The book was very kindly donated to the library by the family of Jonas May, who was the Director of Kitchener camp.


In the meantime, I am still wading through ship lists.

If only they had been digitised at the level of ‘previous address’ … but sadly they were not.

So, the task is to find every ship that sailed out of Liverpool between around April 1939 and summer 1940 and to note wherever possible that the ‘previous address’ is given as Kitchener camp, Richborough. I then make a note of the man’s name (and those of his family, where applicable) and other details, and cross-check the information with other sources.

If I tell you that I passed the 500 figure some time ago, you may gain some idea of the scale of the task.

It’s well worth it, however, because this research will enable me to work out how many of the men transmigrated successfully in the end.

It will also fill in some names we have no other source for at present.

The 1939 Register wasn’t taken until September ’39, so men who migrated onwards before that date will not be on that list. Neither will they be on our other chief source for camp names – the Exemption from Internment cards.

Thus, in a few cases, these ship lists may provide the only proof that a particular man was rescued at Kitchener, which will enable us ultimately to provide a more complete list of Kitchener men – although it can never be fully ‘complete’, given the incomplete nature of the extant records.