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Gotts Family History

 

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Anecdotal evidence is that when soldiers were captured they were beaten up to reveal any intelligence of the enemy's intentions, strength and fortifications. This happened on both sides. Also, the German soldiers were slowly starving by 1918 on meagre rations, so POWs would be at least as badly treated. So life would have been very hard for Matthew. He was lucky that it was only a matter of months presumably, until they were in better hands.


Lastly, on the ICRC website they have a series of postcards of POW camps, and four are of Cottbus. I have included one here, but I don't think these are British soldiers, more likely Russian. But it is likely that Cottbus 1 looked similar to this.

It's nice to reflect that Matthew probably found a sort of soothing tranquility at Mundesley's Sanatorium, when he was there after the war.


Thanks to Nick and Ian Gotts for this item.


 

Nick Gotts, Matthew's grandson, and Ian Gotts of Kings Lynn have been sharing what happened to Matthew after the war.


From Eric Reading's "A Mundesley Album" (Poppyland Publishing, 1985), p16, picked up at a second-hand bookshop in Norwich some time ago by Ian:


"The Head Gardener from 1905, Matthew Gotts, excelled in producing first class vegetables and flowers and exhibited at the Norfolk and Norwich shows, twice winning the Sutton Cup against all comers at the Sweet Pea Society's annual show."


Nick confirms that Matthew was head gardener and junior partner at the Mundesley Sanatorium. There is a book by the senior partner, a medic called Sydney Vere Pearson: “Men, Medicine and Myself”, who seems to have been quite eminent, and himself a tuberculosis survivor. Nick now has a copy of the book and on page 60 it refers to the flower growing:



 

"..for years we used to gain 80% of prizes for the scores of exhibits of vegetables and flowers (grown primarily for the patients' delectation) sent to such shows as the Norfolk and Norwich, and that our sweet peas were renowned. Twice we won the Sutton Cup against all comers at the Sweet Pea Society's annual show. But these 'side shows' I left in the hands of our faithful and clever head-gardener Matthew Gotts who has been with us since I started in 1905. "


Matthew Gotts 489 # 022 - 3


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