My Grandfather William Blazey was a regular soldier, having joined up in 1913. He came from 87 Henley Street, Masborough. Whilst serving with the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in the battle for Le Cateau in August, 1914, he received minor injuries and was taken prisoner.
He was transferred to Doberitz prison camp near Berlin where he was with prisoners from Serbia, Russia, France and Belgium. He said they were taken out into the villages to work and that the ordinary German people were very kind to them, but some of the German soldiers were not so kind.
He received three medals – the 1914 Star, Victory Medal and the British War Medal. During his captivity, William Blazey was sent a tin of biscuits by a lady from Sheffield. He replied, thanking her for the generous gift – he also enclosed a picture of him and his fellow captives, marking himself with a cross.
In 1924, he married Minnie Jepson from Ecclesfield, Sheffield. He had met her after the War whilst visiting an Aunt, who lived next door to her.
William Blazey did not talk freely about his experience but my Uncle, John Blazey, recalled that during the Second World War there were German prisoners working on building Wordsworth Avenue, Parson Cross (Sheffield). As a boy, Uncle John remembers accompanying his father visiting them, speaking to them in German and giving them cigarettes. His German was quite good.
Newspaper article from Sheffield Independent 1st August 1916 page 6.
On the main photograph of William Blazey’s wedding, the three men are (left to right): Harry Jepson (bride’s brother), Geoff Alderson (best man) and William Blazey (bridegroom). The two ladies are (left to right): Minnie Blazey nee Jepson (bride) and Jessie Jepson (bride’s sister, who later married Arthur Baxter from Chapeltown).