Article from Stand To! Number 30, 1990
German prisoners of war in Britain were better fed than most British soldiers in German hands. Nevertheless parcels from home must have been a welcome event for these PoWs at an unnamed camp in the UK. As this photograph shows, before distribution the contents of each parcel were examined by British staff in the presence of the prisoners. The German officer (seated) acting as a witness was obviously uneasy at being used for propaganda purposes.
It is believed that the British NCO belonged to one of the eighteen battalions of the Royal Defence Corps. This Corps was formed in August 1917 from the '(Home Service) Garrison' battalions which had been raised by certain infantry regiments, mostly in the spring of 1916, to supplement the Reserve battalions on garrison duty in the UK.
Many of the original members of the garrison battalions had belonged to the National Reserve. This was a prewar voluntary register of ex-service personnel (both Regular and Territorial) who undertook to make themselves available for service in time of war. They were later supplemented by older men or those who were not fit for duty overseas, sometimes as the result of wounds received on active service.
Royal Defence Corps battalions did not belong to a brigade or division and their duties were essentially of a local or static nature.