Armistice 100: German POWs did their best to escape too

Dateline: August 21, 1918: On this day in 1918, five trade unions waved the flag for equal rights after they demanded equal pay for men and women driving trams, buses and tube trains.

Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 9:38 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 1:15 pm

Meeting in London, they called on the Ministry of Labour to act on their resolution, which stated: “This conference is... of the fixed opinion that the whole matter must now be settled on a national basis of absolute equal pay for equal work and will take immediately the most appropriate and determined action to enforce the above principle...”

Unions signing up to the resolution included The Amalgamated Association of Tramway and Vehicle Workers, The London and Provincial Union of Licensed Vehicle Workers, The National Union of Vehicle Workers, The National Union of General Workers and The Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Workers’ Union.

In other news, we are all familiar with English POWs attempting daring escapes from their prisoner camps but the Germans also tried to break out and one such account ran in the YEP 100 years ago today.

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It detailed attempts by German prisoners to escape from the camp at Catterick. August 21, 1918 was a Wednesday - the previous Sunday, two Germans who had been on the run for a week were recaptured; they were actually captured hiding on a plane.

On the Monday, another prisoner broke camp and managed to take a train to London. His name was Von Graeber, 46, who spoke English fluently.

Another pair of escapees hid in a field for a week but apparently got bored of eating potatoes and so went back.