Recurring problem presented by prisoners from Napoleonic Wars

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On this day in 1801, 6,000 French prisoners of war were returned to France.

The problem of what to do with the men captured in the Napoleonic Wars was a recurring one.

In 1813 there were about 18,000 men in the Portsmouth area – 4,000 at Forton in Gosport, 5,000 at Portchester and about 9,000 distributed among 14 hulks in the harbour – from John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.