Institutional support to POWs

Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE)

Of course, not all POWs had access to support via the Red Cross, especially those in camps not considered subject to the Geneva Convention.

At the end of the war, the IEE agreed that any members who had been prisoners of war would have their full membership fees waived and the Secretary of the IEE, W. K. Brasher, wrote to members who had been released. As well as refunding any subscriptions due, he sent information on local IEE events and encouraged members to re-join their professional networks.

Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)

In February 1940, the IMechE Council put to its members proposed amendments to the IMechE by-laws which would allow Council to reduce or remit membership fees for those unable to pay “by reason, directly or indirectly, of any War in which Great Britain is engaged.”

The amendment was approved by the IMechE membership and the by-law change came into force in March 1940 after further approval by the Lords of the Privy Council.

Members are first reported as Prisoners of War in the October 1940 Council Minutes with two members noted as having received a remission on their membership fees. As the war progressed the number of Members receiving a remission due to their status as a POW increased as shown below.

Date Number recorded as POW
October 1940 2
October 1941 15
November 1942 32
February 1943 52
October 1944 95