Centenary of first British Prisoners of War returning home at Boston

How The Standard covered the repatriation of Prisoners of War 100 years ago.
How The Standard covered the repatriation of Prisoners of War 100 years ago.
  • Crowds gather to greet returning prisoners
  • Sixteen Boston fishermen among first to be repatriated

It is 100 years ago today (January 7) since the first British Prisoners of War arrived home from Germany at Boston.

The group comprised 27 officers, 235 soldiers, and 370 civilians, including 16 of the 70-odd Boston fishermen who had been held overseas.

“The occasion was historic in the annals of Boston, and as the tenders came into harbour with their anxiously awaited exiles, the populace who lined the banks cheered long and lustily, to which a rousing response was quickly forthcoming from the boats,” The Standard wrote that week.

Three Dutch ships (the Sindor, Koeningen Regentes, and Zeeland) had brought the party from Rotterdam to the UK, dropping anchor at Boston Deeps. The prisoners then completed the last six miles of the journey to Boston Dock on four smaller crafts (Earl Roberts, Nimble, Frenchmen, and Marple). It was bright and sunny, but bitterly cold, The Standard noted.

Sixteen out of the total of 74 Boston fishermen were among those returning to the town.

“There were affecting little scenes as husband and wife and father and children met and embraced for the first time after weary years of separation,” The Standard wrote.

There were affecting little scenes as husband and wife and father and children met and embraced for the first time after weary years of separation.

The Standard will be exploring this historic homecoming in more depth in Wednesday’s paper.