Further to the story about the Naval Division men interned in Groningen at the very beginning of the Great War, here’s a note from the Ness news in the Gazette (date unknown at present but about 1917) about the poor rate of exchange they were getting on remittances from home. As previously mentioned, the internees, though hardly living in comfort, were in touch with their families and indeed able to come home on leave in some cases. Later in the war they were able to work in Groningen and earn a little to supplement their meagre rations in the camp.
A Hardship on Interned Men
We have been informed that money sent by Post Office Money Order to prisoners of war in Holland is only worth 15s for every £1 remitted. This seems an exorbitant rate of exchange, and strikes very hard those lads who are unfortunate enough to be interned there. Their friends endeavour to supply them with a little extra cash to enable them to get a change occasionally from the usual routine of menu, but at the present rate of exchange the weekly or fortnightly remittance dwindles into a very insignificant sum by the time they get it. Perhaps some of our readers may know of other means to remitting cash to those prisoners without such a heavy reduction, such as a society interested in the welfare of interned seamen. Any information on this subject will be welcomed by friends concerned.