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John O'Neill POW camp photographs and crafts
DU235 CB John O'Neill POW camp photographs and crafts
3 medals belonging to John O'Neill Photographs 1 woodwork sculputre produced by John O'Neill in a POW camp 1 wookden cross in bottle produced by John O'Neill in a POW camp
My greatgrandfather John O'Neill was born c. 1890 in Folksmills, Co. Wexford. As far as I know he joined up at the beginning of the war. He was Private 3907. He was probably initially sent to Flanders or Ypres. On 7 October 1914 he is listed as a prisoner of war. I am not sure of the location of the POW camp, but he himself said it was in Germany. He remained in the camp for the duration of the war. I have some examples of the work he produced in the camp and brought home with him - one a wooden scultpure and the second a wooden cross in a bottle. He became a carpenter and builder after the war. He told one story from the early days in the camp of having to light a fire and heat some stones in order to boil a dog to eat. We think he did some farm work while in the camp. He always maintained afterwards that the Germans were decent people, and he seemed to feel well looked after at the camp. I have also provided some photographs and postcards of unidentified people, some of which are dated 1914. I presume he is in some of the group photographs but cannot identify him. One seems to have been taken in the POW camp as it shows soldiers in German uniforms seated at the front. His three medals have been brought back together for the first time. My grandmother (his daugther) had one medal (gold) which was given to my uncle and then passed to me. The silver medal was found at my granduncle's house. This house burned down in December 2011 and the third medal was found intact in a tin box.