Heinrich Haase was one of approximately 120 men who acted as orderlies to the officers in Raikeswood camp.

He spent over four years in British captivity during the First World War and was again captured by the British in the Second World War.

His granddaughter Sylvia Reineke identified her grandfather on the photograph of a group of footballers in the camp, which Anne Buckley had found in the German Military Archives in Freiburg.

Sylvia has been sorting through her grandfather’s belongings and came across some postcards of Skipton High Street and the castle.

Here Sylvia Reineke tells the story of her grandfather’s life: “My grandpa Heinrich Haase was born on January 27, 1892 in Schlangen, the second oldest of six children. Schlangen is a rural community in between the heath landscape of the Senne in the northwest and the Teutoburg Forest in the northeast. At the time, most of the inhabitants earned their living as farmers, as did my grandfather’s family. Life was shaped by hard work on the fields and the protestant reformed church with its strict work ethic. Most people were rather poor and there were quite a number of migrant workers who went to work in brickworks or on farms in the Netherlands to earn a living to support their families.

In August 1904 almost all houses of the community burnt down, amongst others my grandpa’s home. It was later rebuilt.

In April 1909, he joined the ‘Reichsbund’ (Imperial League) for physical training. In 1910, the first gymnasium was built in the community. In summer 1912, my grandfather worked in brickworks close to his home town.

He must have been drafted in the summer of 1914 to fight with the Infantry Regiment 57 (at Liège, Reims, Arras, Lille) and was taken prisoner by the British at La Bassée on 17 May, 1915. He then stayed in several camps, amongst them Stobs, Brocton and Catterick camps before he came to Skipton on 8 May, 1918. He was discharged from his final (transit) camp in Hannoversch-Münden in Germany on 11 November, 1919.

From March 1920 to June 1921 he worked for the German post as telegraph worker, in January 1926 he finished his training as telegraph construction craftsman. In this year, he also became first gymnast and head of the gymnastics department of the local sports club.

In February 1927, he married my grandma. They built their home (which has now been sold, revealing all its secrets…) and had two daughters, my mother, born in 1932, and my aunt born in 1934. He continued with his hobbies of gymnastics, singing in the local choir, hiking in the surrounding hills and playing the mandolin. The family would often sit on the front porch and sing folk songs. (At least that’s what neighbours told me…).

In September 1938, he changed his job to become a postal worker in the neighbouring town of Bad Lippspringe. He continued to work there until he was drafted to the ‘Volkssturm’ at the beginning of 1945. He was drafted despite suffering from heart problems - my mother always attributed this to the fact that he was not a member of the NSDAP (Nazi party). He was injured in April 1945 and again taken prisoner by the British. This time, he was discharged only a few weeks after the end of the war on 12 July, 1945.

My aunt still remembers this day as she was working in the garden when she heard someone approaching whistling a song.

After the war, he continued to support the local sports club, VfL Schlangen, where he led gymnastics groups and was active as a referee.

In 1957, he retired but continued to work all around the house and garden and when the first grandchildren, me and my cousin, enlarged the family in 1962, he proved to be an enthusiastic grandfather. He would often take us on walks in the pram or rock us to sleep.

Unfortunately, I do not really remember my grandpa as he died in February 1965, but from what people who knew him told me, he was a friendly, lovable person with a radiant smile. His family’s haven of peace.”

The English translation of the book written by the German PoWs (Kriegsgefangen in Skipton) along with an introductory chapter about the camp and the men by Anne Buckley is due to be published this year. It will be under the title: German Prisoners of the Great War. Life in a Yorkshire Camp, by Pen & Sword.