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Remembered Today:

Burial of German Prisoner


geraint

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March 4th, 1916, Hubert Langenburg was buried at the village church. The newspaper report states that the 23 year old's coffin was accompanied by 30 fellow prisoners under escort and buried "with full military honours" in the parish cemetery.

Full military honours to me suggests a flag-draped coffin and a firing party. Was this normal?
Would British prisoners be given the same treatment in Germany?

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I have little doubt that such a funeral could have taken place in the UK. I have seen some photographs of funerals but I can not recall whether the coffin was draped or not. The relatively large number of deaths in Germany would have made such a funeral the exception and those photographs I have seen of confirmed O.R. funerals are usually simple affairs with the mourners being confined to the PoWs available in the camp at the time, dressed in their best uniforms; no Germans being present. The funeral service generally seems to have been carried out by a fellow prisoner. Officer funerals may have had German officers present. Conditions however varied depending on the nationality of the prisoner, the stage of the war and the place of death. There is at least one report which states that deceased prisoners were buried by burial parties without ceremony, several to a grave at the same time.

Doug

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This is not correct for PoW camp Wahn. I have posted the information in the PoW Wahn thread. Here is a picture of a PoW burial inside Wahn camp. The cemetery still exists and is very well maintained. This 16 Nov we will honor the foreign national dead at the occasion of Volkstrauertag (German Remembrance Day)

post-80-1226581899.jpg

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  • 1 year later...

Very rude of me not to reply. Thank you both (better late than never.)

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Full military honours to me suggests a flag-draped coffin and a firing party. Was this normal?

Would British prisoners be given the same treatment in Germany?

Geraint,

My other research interest is the St Nazaire Raid in WW2.

There the British dead were buried with full military honours, with a German escort party, elaborate wreath and coffins wrapped in the White Ensign ...

post-20192-1268065635.jpg

[Photos from Dennis Reeves Special Service of a Hazardous Nature: Liverpool Scots in Special Forces - please do not distribute]

post-20192-1268065646.jpg

[Photo from Corran Purdon private collection reproduced in Dorrian Saint-Nazaire - please do not distribute]

All the more remarkable when one remembers that a large number of Germans had been killed by these men a matter of days before.

Also remarkable since St. Nazaire was the centre of the Kriegsmarine U-boat force - more pro-Nazi Party than the majority of the military - and less than six months after the Raid, Hitler was to issue his infamous order that all captured commandos were to be executed regardless of whether they were in uniform or not. That infamous order saw British commandos recovering from serious wounds in German hospitals being murdered by lethal injection :poppy: ... a stark contrast to the treatment of these men from Operation Chariot.

Cheers,

Mark

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geraint,

the original Imperial War Graves Commission Register (1931) for the five counties of North Wales refers to nine German graves in Merionethshire : seven in the southwest corner of Frongoch(St.Mark) Churchyard, Llanfor; and two more at Towyn Cemetery.

I imagine they have since been removed and "concentrated" in the main German cemetery in Staffordshire?

As a matter of interest, there were two more in Caernarfonshire (at Bangor Glanadda Cemetery); one in Denbighshire plus an interned Austrian civilian; and two in Flintshire. Nil Anglesey.

LST_164

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Again thanks both. Very pertinent comments Mark. to be followed up on another forum perhaps. ;)

LST - any idea where in Denbighshire? The Tywyn Meirionnydd one's interesting as well. Why there?

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The IWGC Register says that Neptune Hall, Tywyn was used as an internment camp so that probably explains those burials.

Denbighshire - Denbigh Corporation Cemetery on the south side of town held the Austrian civilian, in Section 2.11. The German soldier was buried at Llansannan New Cemetery.

Incidentally, I didn't spot that Flintshire had three interned German civilians as well as the two military.

Just for the record, the similar registers for other parts of Wales record the following:

Brecknockshire - one German soldier

Cardiganshire - nil

Carmarthenshire - one German soldier

Montgomeryshire - three German soldiers

Pembrokeshire - nil

Radnorshire - nil

Monmouthshire - five German soldiers, one interned German civilian.

I don't have access to the Glamorganshire IWGC Register for those statistics. None of these individuals are named or otherwise detailed in the registers.

LST_164

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The Neptune Hall, Tywyn's very interesting. I used to live 500 yards away. It's a caravan site now, but I can remember some concrete bases there. I never knew that there was an internment camp there. Civilian I presume. Tywyn's only an hour from Birmingham by train.

Llansanan's easy to explain - Dyffryn Aled Camp being there.

Thanks Clive

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Again thanks both. Very pertinent comments Mark. to be followed up on another forum perhaps. ;)

LST - any idea where in Denbighshire? The Tywyn Meirionnydd one's interesting as well. Why there?

Geraint - re the pics from WW2 Operation Chariot - not sure what follow up is needed, certainly none expected, and pics provided For Info only, recognising the risk of going a little Off Topic :rolleyes: .

LST - can I be a pain and ask for the details of the Flintshire burials too?

Cheers,

Mark

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Geraint - I could be wrong, but the terminology used by the IWGC suggests to me that "internment camp" = "POW camp". Others might be able to comment on this.

Mark - your wish is my command...

Hawarden Cemetery, the one below St.Deiniol's Church cemetery, contained/contains the three German civilians.

Bodelwyddan (St.Margaret's) Churchyard (aka "The Marble Church") likewise the two German soldiers.

LST_164

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Geraint - I could be wrong, but the terminology used by the IWGC suggests to me that "internment camp" = "POW camp". Others might be able to comment on this.

Mark - your wish is my command...

Hawarden Cemetery, the one below St.Deiniol's Church cemetery, contained/contains the three German civilians.

Bodelwyddan (St.Margaret's) Churchyard (aka "The Marble Church") likewise the two German soldiers.

LST_164

LST - many thanks. I've already got St Deiniol's on my Must Visit list as I think that's where "Gasper" Parish of the KRRC and Civil Service Rifles is buried (see my other posts on him).

Cheers,

Mark

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Geraint - interestingly, the IWGC Register makes no reference to Dyffryn Aled camp under the Llansannan entry.

Mark - couldn't find your posts referred to. If Parish was a WW1 casualty he's not on the IWGC Register for St.Deiniol's or the Hawarden RDC Cemetery below it. If you like war grave tourism, however, St.D's does hold Lieut. W.G.C.Gladstone RWF who was one of those rare casualties (kia by sniper at Laventie) brought back to the UK for burial (Robert Graves was present at the funeral & mentions it in Goodbye To All That).

LST_164

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Mark - couldn't find your posts referred to. If Parish was a WW1 casualty he's not on the IWGC Register for St.Deiniol's or the Hawarden RDC Cemetery below it.

LST_164

LST - my apologies: I didn't mean for you to look him up for me! He died young in 1921 largely from the effects of a head wound received in the War, but was not categorised as "War Dead" by the CWGC. He was married to Gladstone's grandaughter and is probably buried in the family plot at St Deiniol's.

I'm resigned to having to visit the cemetery to find his actual headstone.

Presumably Lieut. Gladstone RWF was related to him by marriage and is likely to be close by, so I'll pay my respects there too, armed with my copy of Goodbye To All That.

Here's a couple of my Parish posts:

Francis Woodbine PARISH, KRRC, Adjutant, & later CO, of Civil Service Rifles

St Deiniol's Churchyard - Signalman Hutton (WW2) & Francis Parish

Cheers,

Mark

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