TV Star’s Family Lived Behind the Wire at Knockaloe

A recent episode of BBC1’s Who Do You Think You Are has shone a spotlight on the island’s role as an internment camp during the First World War.

Presenter Sue Perkins was the subject of last week’s episode, which saw her trace her family from owning a shop in London to being interned at Knockaloe.

As part of her visit, Perkins visited the brilliant centre at Knockaloe. Running out of the old school building, the centre details the story of internment on the island and has a massive array of information on the people who were sent there during the First World War.

The Visitor Centre posted on its Facebook page: ‘It had all started, as so many of our enquiries do, with an email seeking help about the possibility of a German born father, noted on the 1911 census, being interned in WW1. We were delighted to be able to help and eventually be able to welcome Sue as the descendant of a Knockaloe internee and show her, on our scale model, exactly where her Great Grandfather had been interned.

‘It was absolutely fascinating and humbling to chat to Sue about her family’s story and how they coped with such incredibly hard experiences and thanks to Sue for sharing this image of her Great Grandparents with us. Little would the newlyweds have imagined that 14 years later he would be sent far from his family to live behind barbed wire on an island in the middle of the Irish Sea.

‘We are looking forward to welcoming Sue and her family back in the future as we continue to collate so much information about the internees and their experiences.’

You can find out more about the visitor centre here or watch the episode on BBC iPlayer.