'A story of British ingenuity and gumption, which had horticulture at its heart'
The Daily Telegraph
November, 1914. War has been declared. An order is given for British men in Germany to be arrested and sent to Ruhleben Internment Camp - a bleak and abandoned racetrack near Berlin. Faced with no facilities, limited supplies and winter fast approaching, the prisoners did the only thing they could: 'maintain the British ideal of patriotism, patience, courage and usefulness through four long years.'
As Ruhleben was transformed through the prisoner's efforts, a very British Horticultural Society was set up, and - just like any Horticultural Society back home - they turned to the RHS for help.
Largely forgotten today, this remarkable story will be retold by actors, using diary extracts, live music, poems, and various musings from the Ruhleben Camp Magazine.
Q&A with Fiona Davison, Head of the RHS Lindley Library
This event celebrates the Gardens and War Exhibition, on at the Garden Museum until 5 January 2015
£15 Garden Museum and RHS Members
To book, please visit www.gardenmuseum.org.uk or call 020 7401 8865
The RHS is searching for stories about the Ruhleben gardeners from their friends and descendants. Anyone with information can contact the RHS at firstname.lastname@example.org
COMMENT: Thanks to organiser Dudley Hinton for sending this through. I'm unfortunately not going to be able to attend, but for those who had relatives interned at Ruhleben, check out my The Ruhleben Story web project at http://ruhleben.tripod.com, where details of some 2000 of the 5500 or so POWs who were there have been recorded (my great uncle was one of them, which sparkled off my interest in the camp).
Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And please consider purchasing the great new version of Caledonia by The Libations at 79p via www.caledonia2014.com - all profits go to help fund Scottish foodbanks