150 Germans and Austrians living in Cumbria during World War 1- “Waiter, Miner, Butcher, Spy” by Dr Rob David

In October 2017, Dr. Rob David gave a fascinating talk on the fate of the those men retaining their German/Austrian nationality were mostly interned, including an enclave of German miners at Nenthead and hotel waiters from Keswick. Losing the wage-earner left many families in great poverty.

Those who were naturalised British had mixed fortunes, especially when “Germanaphobia” spiked after events such as the sinking of the “Lusitania” and horror stories from Belgian refugees. Some pork butchers in Barrow had their windows smashed, and “spy fever” fuelled by the media led to the German wife of an ex MP near Whitehaven being interned. This followed a U Boat attack on Lowca Coke Ovens. Some others however lived unmolested.

After the War most were deported but some such as the Head Waiter from Keswick were allowed to remain. Some families were never reunited.

Catherine Bottomley

At the end of Rob’s lecture, he mentioned his interest in the Trapp family and Harry Mudd of Grange. Subsequently Pat Rowland has been helping Rob with his research and Rob has produced two papers which are both on this website:

The Trapp Family of Grange-over-Sands during the First World War

 Harry Mudd of Grange-over-Sands

 

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