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Remembered Today:

Gardelegen PoW


archangel9
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Hi,

I am researching a man who is buried in Tournai Communal Cemetery in Belgium. He died while a PoW on 5/08/1918. I have recently discovered that he died in Gardelegen. Would this be unusual, to have died in central Germany and be buried in Belgium? I know that after hostilities had ceased a number of graves were moved to Tournai, but I can't find any mention of graves being moved from Gardelegen or Germany.

Cheers

John

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Hi John,

Sorry to be pedantic but do you have any concrete evidence that he died in Gardelgegen? Gardelegen was a head camp and carried the registration of thousands of PoWs that were not there. In addition a number of camps, principally Limburg, acted as registration camps for prisoners working behind the lines but were not actually under their control. I am not sure whether Gardelegen acted as such a registration camp, I would have to check, but it is possible. Despite merely being registered there his death would have been reported by them which could cause confusion.

Doug

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Hi Doug,

What I have is a copy of his will from the Scottish National Archives which has a covering page from the War Office stating that he died at "Gardelegan" on 5/08/1918. Also from the Scottish Service Returns (kindly provided by member alf mcm) -

DATE OF DEATH:- 5.8.18

PLACE OF DEATH:- Hospital, Germany

CAUSE OF DEATH:- Died of disease

Cheers

John

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Any other thoughts on this?

Cheers

John

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Hi John,

Service has been intermittent this week as I have been away. It could be that Gardelegen was the place the death certifcate was issued rather than where he died. It would be worth checking at TNA for a death certificate. There is a series there of original certificates, not complete and largely in French but worth a check as it may contain more specific information. NB died of disease is also a bit doubtful unless starvation is a disease. It is not uncommon for certificates to be less than truthful about the cause of death where this was not natural. Most certificates seem to be more specific where they actually did die of disease.

Doug

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Hi Doug,

Cheers for the information. Checked TNA -

"French and Belgian death certificates for British and Commonwealth soldiers and airmen, who died in hospitals or elsewhere outside the immediate war zone, are at The National Archives, in RG 35/45-69 .

* They are arranged alphabetically.

* Certificates for surnames beginning C, F, P, Q, and X are missing.

* Certificates for unknown soldiers are under U.

* They are in French or Flemish and can be informative."

Unfortunately the mans surname begins with C!!

John

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It is not likely your man died in central Germany and was later moved to Tournai. Tournai was in German hands from Aug 1914 to 8th Nov 1918. If he died in August 1918 he died in German held territory ie. Germany.

The Germans had hospitals operating in Tournai throughout the war.

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  • 2 weeks later...
It is not likely your man died in central Germany and was later moved to Tournai. Tournai was in German hands from Aug 1914 to 8th Nov 1918. If he died in August 1918 he died in German held territory ie. Germany.

The Germans had hospitals operating in Tournai throughout the war.

I thought this was not likely alright. So I must assume he died somewhere close to Tournai or was moved to Tournai from one of the cemeteries listed on CWGC?

http://www.cwgc.org/search/cemetery_detail...4800&mode=1

John

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