Richmond WW1 Diary 26 June 1915

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Suspected German imprisoned

On 26 June 1915 the Richmond Herald ran an article about the sentencing of a German national as an Enemy Alien. Heinrich Pretyfelder, known as Henry Jay Pretyfeld, was a commercial traveller of West Park Road, Kew. Born in Germany, he had lived in the US since the age of 16 and had submitted papers of naturalisation there. He did not believe he needed to register as a German alien and “had been travelling about the country as an ordinary Englishman”. For this he was sentenced to six-month imprisonment with hard labour.

Non-British born people living in Britain during the war were subject to restrictions under the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) introduced in August 1914. ‘Aliens’ were required to register with their local Registration Officer and carry identification. Permits were required for any Alien wanting to travel more than five miles and in London a curfew was imposed between 9pm and 5am.

Do you know what happened to Henry / Heinrich after the war ended? Did he return to America? Please get in touch and let us know.

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