The National Archives: Prisoner of war interview reports 1914-1918

The National Archive records, in series WO 161, are reports on over 3,000 British and Commonwealth prisoners of war captured during the First World War.

The reports were made by the Committee on the Treatment of British Prisoners of War before the Armistice was signed on 11 November 1918. The Committee appointed examiners who conducted interviews with repatriated, escaped or interned prisoners of war to ask about how they had been treated. The examiners then wrote up the reports.

The reports include:

medical officers
other ranks
merchant seamen and civilians (in a minority of cases)

Although the reports contain valuable information, they represent only a tiny percentage of the estimated 192,000 British and Commonwealth captives. They do not include the many prisoners of war who were liberated after the Armistice.