“He was the leader and chief agitator” of the internees

Ferdinand Louis Kehrhahn arrived at Reading in January 1917, aged 33. He was an art publisher born in the UK (Birkenhead) of German parentage. He had been sent back to Liverpool Police in April 1917, but now (following an unsuccessful escape) wanted to return to Reading. The Governor of Reading Prison objected to this troublemaker returning.

18 April 1918
Reading PI

The internee Ferdinand L. Kehrhahn, now in Brixton Prison, has petitioned the Secretary of State to take into consideration his present position – no companions with whom to mix with. On that account it is suggested that he be moved back to your custody, but before so doing please furnish your observations and views of the questions.
[?] Wall
Secretary

19 April 1918

In reply to letter … dated 18.4.18 on the subject of F. Kehrhahn, I think it very undesirable that he should return here for the following reasons:

When here before he was the leader and chief agitator amongst the men, and almost all of the men (of what was then C. party) are here, including his special friends.

Secondly, after leaving here he brought most untrue and unfounded charges against Warders, accusing them of stealing prisoners’ food – and they deeply resented his accusations.

Thirdly, when Kehrhahn and others escaped from Islington, information was given to me by Escosuras as to their whereabouts. I communicated with Scotland Yard by telephone, an official was sent from Scotland Yard within an hour to see me, and two of the men were arrested the same night, Escosuras being moved from here before Kehrhahn came. Escosuras is now here.

C M Morgan
Gov.
[to] The Commissioners

Reading Prison [Place of Internment] letter book (P/RP1/8/2/1)

Complaints about the canteen

Ludwig Paul Selbach, 58, was a German from Hamburg, interned in Reading. Ferdinand Louis Kehrhahn, 33, was an art publisher born in Birkenhead, presumably of German parentage. He was only at Reading for a few months, being handed into the custody of the Liverpool police in April 1917, whence he had come in January.

3rd March 1917

L P Selbach, an Alien Prisoner, asked the committee for assistance by making enquiries why he was not receiving letters from his son who was interned at Knockaloe Camp. The Clerk was instructed to write to the Commandant.

F L Kehrhahn, an Alien Prisoner, made several complaints respecting the Canteen &c. The Chairman informed him that the Committee had no power to interfere with rules laid down by the Secretary of State.

Reading Prison Visiting Committee minutes (P/RP1/6/1)