Advent Calendar: 16 December – Christmas Party

Sunday 16 December 2018

A black and white photograph of a Christmas party, complete with Christmas tree and Father Christmas (GMC-4-5-3). The photograph is by George Cowie, a local press photographer from 1930 to 1982. The description of the photograph reads ‘Prisoner of War Christmas Party, St Andrews, 1947’ though the exact details of the event are unknown.

At the end of 1947, the local papers reported that there were around 200 German prisoners living in East Fife many of whom wished to stay and continue working in agriculture. In a letter written to the St Andrews Citizen in 1947 an appeal was made for local families to offer hospitality to the prisoners near St Andrews, many of whom had been away from home for several years. In 1948 it was reported that the Byre Theatre Company had put on a special performance of the French Nativity play, Christmas in the Market Place, for the German prisoners of war at their camp at Dunino. The stage was made from the dining hall tables and candles were used as footlights. A Christmas party was held afterwards, possibly much like the one in this picture!

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