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Prague in WW1

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:42 pm
by ScottishFA
This is a bit of an esoteric query, but hopefully someone on this board will know their geopolitical history.

In World War 1, were British residents in Prague interned, or left alone? The question maybe applies to Bohemia in general, as the country then was.

The reason is, I'm doing some research into John Dick, the Scots coach who went to Prague in 1912 and later took charge of Sparta Prague. He seems to have remained in Prague throughout the war, but football in the country closed down during the conflict. Bohemia was a (fairly reluctant) part of the Austria-Hungarian empire at the time, hence effectively 'the enemy'. Basically, I'm trying to find out what happened to him from 1914-19.

Re: Prague in WW1

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:35 am
by bluedragon
You have probably already checked out all the places I have looked.

I first went to "Mister" by Rory Smith that tells the story of British coaches overseas. However, a quick scan shows that only covers footballers interned at the Ruhleben camp near Berlin.

From what I can see martial law was imposed in Bohemia in the beginning of 1915. The city of Prague was closely monitored and it appears that attention was specifically directed to those sections of society who were not seen to be supporting the war. The authorities in particular looked at sports clubs and other clubs and groups to identify them as either German or Czech. There was a large civilian camp at Heinrichsgrün in Bohemia (today Jindřichovice in the Czech Republic). Most of those interned were not enemy aliens but deportees from other countries and local people considered as enemies. Alongside internment there was a slightly more relaxed version called “confinement”. I suppose how John Dick was treated might depend first on how the Sparta club was considered by the authorities.

This link may help further:

http://shura.shu.ac.uk/9021/5/stibbe-Jo ... ersion.pdf

Re: Prague in WW1

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:12 pm
by ScottishFA
Thanks for the link, it's an interesting article which basically tells me there is no simple answer! And no records kept, either.

Curiously, John Dick had six children, four born in Woolwich, then the last two born in Prague in 1914 and 1920 - a long gap which hints that he may have been separated from his wife during that time.

Re: Prague in WW1

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:35 pm
by jeroen
Football wasn't completely closed down during WW1, Dick not only trained D.F.C. he played for them as well. http://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/anno? ... nno-search http://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/anno? ... nno-search http://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/anno? ... nno-search. etc.

Re: Prague in WW1

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:47 am
by ScottishFA
Wow! Thanks very much, that is an archive I hadn't come across before. The Gothic script is quite a challenge, but the information in those cuttings is incredibly useful.

Re: Prague in WW1

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:32 pm
by jeroen
this one is interesting http://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/anno? ... nno-search It says he was known as "Johnny" There is a Johnny in this lineup played in Vienna in 1917'. http://www.austriasoccer.at/data/spiele ... idfc_1.htm

Re: Prague in WW1

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:22 pm
by ScottishFA
With particular thanks to jeroen for those links, I've now written up the fascinating story of Johnny Dick: http://www.scottishsporthistory.com/spo ... nto-sparta