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Author Topic: Prisoners of War and HMS Revenge 1918.  (Read 14191 times)


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Prisoners of War and HMS Revenge 1918.
« on: 24 August 2020 01:53:27 pm »

Hello all!

I'm wondering if this group can help me with a research question.
I've been researching through a bunch of old service records, and came upon a post-war description of a POW escape.

"About 4 days before the Armistice was signed two Australians and myself escaped from the camp and got to Hamburg where we met a German girl who had lived in England for 15 years. She hid us in the cellar of her house until the day the Armistice was signed, when she came and told us and let us go out. The Revolution was on in Hamburg and so nobody took any notice of us in the streets. We went into a restaurant a couple of days afterwards, where we got into conversation with a German sailor.

He told us that he was one of the crew of a German battleship that was sailing the next day to be handed over to England. We then persuaded him to smuggle us on board, and so we sailed with the German fleet and landed at the Orkney islands. On arrival there we were taken by the English pilot of our ship to the Revenge, the flag-ship of the fleet, where we were sent up before Admiral Madden. We told him our story and he made us his guests on board the Revenge for the night and did everything in his power to give us a good time. He supplied us with money, underclothes and cigars and sent us ashore at Scapa Flo and put us on the Naval train to Ripon. We arrived in London on December 8th 1918."

My first venture was to check with the Royal Naval Museum, but they're currently two years into an archives rearrangement, so I expect they won't be taking information requests for the near future. Does anyone know of any November 1918 records, relating to HMS Revenge, Admiral Madden, or anything else relevant which might provide a confirmation of the story? Any help would be most appreciated.

Original statement can be found here: <>
"The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but time and chance happen to them all."


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Re: Prisoners of War and HMS Revenge 1918.
« Reply #1 on: 24 August 2020 04:35:38 pm »

Ships log HMS Revenge now in The National Archives.  For November 1918 see:

Admiral Madden's papers now in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.  For his official diary of the time see:

However, neither may have any mention of the escaped POW's, as I would think that as both are 'official' documents, they may not refer to this personal story
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