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British Red Cross Society Department for Prisoners of War card to Geoffrey Haggard

Date: 30 October 1916
Dimensions:
Overall: 90 x 142 mm
Display Dimensions: 90 x 140 mm
Medium: Cardboard, ink
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Jennifer Smyth
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Card
Object No: 00015826
Place Manufactured:London

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    Description
    British Red Cross Society Department for Prisoners of War card to Geoffrey Haggard by his brother, Captain Rider Lancelot Haggard, dated 30 October 1917.
    Captain Haggard would die excactly one year later on 30 October 1917 at Passchendale, Belgium, during the assault on Meetcheele Ridge by shell fire at 6.00 a.m. He served with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, Eastern Ontario Regiment.
    SignificanceLieutenant Haggard, his Commander Henry Stoker and the rest of the crew from the submarine AE2 were picked up by the Turkish boat SULTAN HISSAR after scuttling their submarine on 30 Aptril 1915 in the Sea of Marmora. The whole crew then spent the next 3 1/2 years as prisoners of war throughout Turkey and four crew members later died as a result of illness due to the harsh conditions experienced.
    HistoryThe card reads:
    "Dear old chap,
    Read letter date [?] card to Phyll & card 25.9.16. Your letter v.interesting. Am now having months sick leave. Am quite alright. Have seen a lot of our friend in Hampstead. We talk a lot about you. Billy got your letter. Wonder if you get our letters or parcels. Chin chin Lance."

    The crew were taken by the torpedo boat SULTAN HISSAR to Istanbul in May. The prison here was a Turkish civilian prison and in an account given by Commander Stoker, the conditions there were extremely difficult (Report prepared by Commander Stoker, 27 November 1918). The crew and were later transferred to various camps throughout Turkey, including Afion Kara Hissar, St Stefano and Belmedik. Conditions in each camp varied but some were worse than others. Camp commandants, poor quality food and extreme work conditions contributed to any deaths.
    Lieutenant Haggard seemed to suffer particular hardships. Targeted by Commandant Bimbashi Musloum Bey in the Afion Kara Hissar prison, Haggard was subjected to long bouts of solitary confinement and certainly suffered long term effects for the rest of his life from his years in Turkey.
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