Illness and death to German POW's

The Red Cross inspections of POW camps in Great Britain concluded that the death rate of POW's was comparatively low.

Food was adequate is somewhat boring and housing conditions, if basic, again were adequate and in most case better than that enjoyed by many of the rural workers in Essex at the time.

There was obviously a degree of depression often referred to as 'barbed wire disease, amongst the men who were cooped up for long periods in camps.

The main risk was from pre existing war wounds and from illness sweeping the camp where so many men lived so close together.

Those men who volunteered to work were often healthier as not only did they have an open air life with exercise but they enjoyed better rations and the farm barracks tended to be much smaller and more spacious.

In December 1918 an outbreak of influenza swept across the country and POW were not immune.

Five German prisoners and four British Guards died from influenza at the Halstead POW Camp in Halstead Union Workhouse.

 while 100 more Germans were confined to barracks while suffering from Flu.

Thirty miles away at the working camp at Mayland several German POW's died as did two of the British guards who were treated at the VAD hospital at Burnham on Crouch.