Catalogue description Home Office: Internment, General Files

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Details of HO 215
Reference: HO 215
Title: Home Office: Internment, General Files

These files cover the Home Office, responsibilities for enemy aliens and (under Defence Regulation 18B) British subjects interned. The series includes reports by the International Red Cross or the protecting power on conditions in British internment camps, and in enemy internment or prisoner of war camps.

The papers in this series date from 1940 when the I/GEN series was created following the institution of mass internment. The Home Office was the Department with overall responsibility for the welfare of internees and the papers relate to the treatment of internees during their period of internment, the health and educational facilities which they were afforded, their movement within the United Kingdom and abroad, their release and in some cases repatriation, and the conditions in and administration of the camps in which they were kept.

The series contains several examples of reports, by the International Red Cross and by Swiss legations, on the conditions in internment camps in the United Kingdom and the dominions and also on prisoner-of-war and internment camps in enemy and enemy-occupied countries. The latter were sent to the Foreign Office and forwarded to the Home Office in order that a check could be maintained on the conditions under which British nationals were being held abroad.

Date: 1940-1951

In numerical order by departmental file number.

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 511 file(s)
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Administrative / biographical background:

Responsibility for the internal management and administration of the camps was transferred to the Home Office from the War Office in August 1940 although the War Office retained responsibility for security and the provision of guards. The camps were situated throughout the United Kingdom but the largest single concentration was on the Isle of Man. There were also camps in Australia and Canada to where several thousand internees were deported.

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