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Langemark Grave Analysis


cwbuff

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I have been researching the history of my wife's great grandfather, Edmund Weber. He was killed in July 1917 at Pilckem. He was initially buried in Westrozebeke Ehrenfriedhof II. I believe that sometime in the 1950s he was reburied in his final resting place in Langemark in Section B, Grave 15618. His is the first name on the picture below.

post-71339-0-23459700-1417887373_thumb.j

Having the regimental history of his regiment, Reserve Grenadier Regiment 100, I decided to look up the other names on his grave marker to see if he rests with some of his comrades from his own regiment. The markers have 16 names divided into two groups of 8. As indicated by the arrows in the figure below, the names on the top of the marker correspond to the burials above the marker and the names on the bottom of the marker are buried to the bottom of the marker. Edmund Weber's marker is highlighted in yellow in the figure. Based on my research, Edmund shares his grave with 5 comrades from his regiment, and his marker with 8 comrades. On a subsequent trip to Belgium, I decided to take pictures of the surrounding markers to see if other comrades from his regiment are buried near by. The numbers are shown in the figure.

post-71339-0-41494800-1417887395_thumb.j

This small study seems to indicate that great care was taken when the reinterments took place in the 1950s. I assume that the soldiers who were buried near Edmund Weber in Westrozebeke were reburied near each other in Langemark. I would be interested in any information (pictures, reports, etc.) on when and how the reburials occurred, Thank you.

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Have you tried the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge (VDK), to see if they have anything in their files?

I was just about to post the link to the info I had on the location of the cemetery and then realised that you were the OP of the thread on the Ypres Battlefields Forum, nearly five years ago now.

Phil

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Yes it has been a long project. I have looked at the VDK, but perhaps not in the right place. The information that I have seen does not link back to Westroozebeke.

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"This small study seems to indicate that great care was taken when the reinterments took place in the 1950s. I assume that the soldiers who were buried near Edmund Weber in Westrozebeke were reburied near each other in Langemark. I would be interested in any information (pictures, reports, etc.) on when and how the reburials occurred, Thank you."

  • The transferring from Westrozebeke II (Ehrenfriedhof nr. 161) to Langemark B (extension) took place in the period 11-21 january 1955.
  • Originally there should have been 1337 or 1335 graves on Westrozebeke II
  • There were 1218 identified rests reburied on Langemark B and 41 non-identified in the 'Kameradengrab' (the mass-grave)
  • It was the 3rd group of transfers. Their gravenumbers started with 277, ending with 1526 (this means 1250 graves) ==> all the bodies from one cemetery 'stayed together' indeed...
  • In fact the graveparcels were 0,70 x 0,50 m and contained the rests of two soldiers.
  • Edmund belonged to the 7./R.Gren.R.100 and is in grave nr 15472
    There was only one other who belonged to the 7./R.Gren.R.100: Artur Winter who died on 25/07/1917 and is in grave nr 15618 (so nearby Edmund)
  • 51 belong to the R.Gren.R.100 (I don't know if they come from Westrozebeke II), sorted by gravenr:
    Name Vorname Dienstgrad Todesdatum Truppenteil Grab

    Franke Bruno Unteroffizier 26/07/1917 11./R.Gren.R.100 15291

    Blome Johannes Leutnant 21/07/1917 10./R.Gren.R.100 15435

    Schröter Otto Gefreiter 20/07/1917 8./R.Gren.R.100 15461

    Rothe Rudolf Vizefeldwebel 24/07/1917 3./R.Gren.R.100 15468

    Schüppel Otto Grenadier 24/07/1917 3./R.Gren.R.100 15470

    Winter Artur Grenadier 25/07/1917 7./R.Gren.R.100 15472

    Dietel Paul Grenadier 25/07/1917 3./R.Gren.R.100 15474

    Rothe Max Vizefeldwebel 27/07/1917 11./R.Gren.R.100 15479

    Willig Otto Gefreiter 19/07/1917 1.M.G.K./R.Gren.R.100 15523

    Hähnel Karl Gefreiter 24/07/1917 1./R.Gren.R.100 15534

    Poitz Max Grenadier 25/07/1917 2./R.Gren.R.100 15535

    Schmidt Arno Grenadier 24/07/1917 1./R.Gren.R.100 15536

    Hendel Fritz Vizefeldwebel 6/07/1917 8./R.Gren.R.100 15539

    Liebler Kurt Vizefeldwebel 10/07/1917 5./R.Gren.R.100 15541

    Werner Alfred Grenadier 8/07/1917 8./R.Gren.R.100 15546

    Unger Richard Grenadier 29/06/1917 9./R.Gren.R.100 15553

    Müller Artur Grenadier 27/06/1917 11./R.Gren.R.100 15555

    Thürmer Robert Unteroffizier 18/07/1917 12./R.Gren.R.100 15582

    Lungwitz Ernst Grenadier 28/06/1917 9./R.Gren.R.100 15602

    Meyer Bruno Grenadier 28/06/1917 2./R.Gren.R.100 15603

    Peil Friedrich Unteroffizier 6/07/1917 5./R.Gren.R.100 15605

    Berndt Otto Grenadier 8/07/1917 8./R.Gren.R.100 15610

    Haymann Egon Gefreiter 9/07/1917 2./R.Gren.R.100 15611

    Laschak Anton Unteroffizier 6/07/1917 8./R.Gren.R.100 15617

    Weber Edmund Grenadier 8/07/1917 7./R.Gren.R.100 15618

    Keller Karl Grenadier 8/07/1917 8./R.Gren.R.100 15619

    Kretzschmar Max Grenadier 25/07/1917 8./R.Gren.R.100 15620

    Liebe Otto Grenadier 24/07/1917 1./R.Gren.R.100 15621

    Aechtner Gustav Grenadier 26/07/1917 2./R.Gren.R.100 15622

    Schröter Richard Grenadier 25/07/1917 6./R.Gren.R.100 15627

    Tutzschky Emil Grenadier 19/07/1917 1.M.G.K./R.Gren.R.100 15634

    Fischer Max Unteroffizier 18/07/1917 2./R.Gren.R.100 15638


Robert

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Thank you Robert for this detailed information.

Can you tell me the source of this information? Also you state that Edmund Weber is in grave nr 15472. How does this relate to what is on the stone marker?

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Sorry, I have switched the two grave nrs...

I was co-author of a book about the Langemark German Cemetery (published in 2011) and I took things together in one database wich makes it possible to 'play'...

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It seems that it differed per "source-cemetery" :

Below are some of the casualties of Marine-Infanterie-Regiment nr 3 , all killed on 9th May 1915 during a botched attack at Rottevalle.

Erich Bonert I believe was first buried at Slype ("20 minutes from Ostend by tram") , don't know about the others.

(Where there is no grave number mentioned he's buried in the Kameradengrab )

1 coy

Adolf Beenken

Hermann Engelbrecht

Erich Bonert

Andreas Eckhardt

2 coy

Heinrich Brox

Wilhelm Bieser

Walter Freund Block 8 Grab 772

Bernard Giesbers Block 8 Grab 816

3 coy

Johann Bodiss Block 8 Grab 652

Hermann Helmke Block 8 Grab 848

Heinrich Igelbusch

11 coy

Albert Hartung Block 8 Grab 655

So yes, the guys that have a gravestone are near eachother, but why are the others in the Kameradengrab?

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Sorry, I have switched the two grave nrs...

I was co-author of a book about the Langemark German Cemetery (published in 2011) and I took things together in one database wich makes it possible to 'play'...

I looked up the book you co-authored. It looks like it is written Dutch, which I am not familiar with. Is there a version in English (or German, which I can read)?

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There is a lot of information about the reburials also in my book about "Menen Wald" as a friend of mine managed to do an interview with someone who worked on the xhumations in 1955-1957. There is also a plan about how the place of the nowadays stones is to the place of the graves. The dead are not buried directly under the stones.

My book is only in Dutch as well though.

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Some more questions:

1) How close is Dutch to German?

2) Do any photographs exist of the reburials?

3) I assume that the bones and what was left of the uniform was transferred to small burial boxes - is that correct?

4) Based on the placement into 2 groups of the 16 names on the stone markers, were there 8 burials are above and 8 burials below the stone markers?

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Some more questions:

1) How close is Dutch to German?

2) Do any photographs exist of the reburials?

3) I assume that the bones and what was left of the uniform was transferred to small burial boxes - is that correct?

4) Based on the placement into 2 groups of the 16 names on the stone markers, were there 8 burials are above and 8 burials below the stone markers?

1) Closer as English to French ;-)

It al depends, being a Dutch speaker, I can understand German, but I can't speak it.

2) As far as I know: not...

In the reburial period, everything was carefully held out of sight. Access to the cemetery was prohibited.

3) I was told that everything was put in burlap bag: the big bones (femurs) at the bottom of the bag, the rest of the (smaller) bones above it and on top the skull (with inside the skull personal belongings as rings, watches, etc.).

4) I can not confirm that. It seems likely to me that the gravestones are approximations...

I looked up the book you co-authored. It looks like it is written Dutch, which I am not familiar with. Is there a version in English (or German, which I can read)?

Sorry, there is not an English or German translation...

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So yes, the guys that have a gravestone are near eachother, but why are the others in the Kameradengrab?

Those who were buried in the Kameradengrab were those who couldn't be identified 'by name'.

In the excavationperiod, it turned out that "the underground situation not always corresponded to the archives ..."

There is, for example, a Belgian citizen who is excavated by mistake, and later buried in the mass grave, too late for his family to raise the alarm.

In retrospect, a list was made with appr. 17.000 (on a total of 25.000) names of those suspected they are buried in the massgrave. those names are on the panels. around the kameradengrab.

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Thanks for the information. I can never get enough of it. As far as I can tell, the original cemetery, Westrozebeke II (Ehrenfriedhof nr. 161), is now occupied by houses. Edmund Weber was 42 years old when he was killed at Pilckem. His son was in Feldartillerie Regiment Nr. 64 and survived the war. The last time he saw his father was when they passed each other on a road - one going into position the other coming out. Hopefully some day I will figure out where that occurred.

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Does anyone have an explanation for the variance in the death dates? For example, in the marker in the picture above, most died in 1917, but a few are from 1914 or 1915.

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Does anyone have an explanation for the variance in the death dates? For example, in the marker in the picture above, most died in 1917, but a few are from 1914 or 1915.

Maybe not an answer to the question...

I don't have figures for the extension = Plot B, but I did some research for the original part (Plot A) of the cemetery:

(Part of the book, in Dutch but I presume the dates can be understood in English)

Figures are the known dates. Source: the hand-typed burial list of the cemetery in the 30's this means Plot A

1 Ontmoetingsgevechten (tot 18 oktober 1914) 6 ==> 0,10%

2 De Eerste Slag bij Ieper (19 oktober-22 november 1914) 2259 ==> 36,55%

3 De vergeten winter (23 november 1914-21 april 1915) 616 ==> 9,97%

4 De Tweede Slag bij Ieper (22 april 1915-25 mei 1915) 1008 ==> 16,31%

5 Van het westelijk front geen nieuws (26 mei 1915-6 juni 1917) 1942 ==> 31,42%

6 Vanaf de mijnenslag (7 juni 1917) tot einde oorlog 349 ==> 5,65%

Totaal aantal data op A-deel van de begraafplaats: 6180 ==> 100,00%

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Some more questions:

1) How close is Dutch to German?

2) Do any photographs exist of the reburials?

3) I assume that the bones and what was left of the uniform was transferred to small burial boxes - is that correct?

4) Based on the placement into 2 groups of the 16 names on the stone markers, were there 8 burials are above and 8 burials below the stone markers?

Re 1) How close is Dutch to German ?

It looks the same, but the meaning of the actual words is more than often completely the opposite. e.g.:

The German "See" is the Dutch "Meer" ( English: Lake)

The German "Meer" is the Dutch "Zee" (Ënglish : Sea) and the pronouciation of See/Zee and Meer/Meer is absolutely the same.

But speak Dutch with a German accent and our friends the Germans will understand us. :thumbsup:

Works the other way around as well!

Those who were buried in the Kameradengrab were those who couldn't be identified 'by name'.

In the excavationperiod, it turned out that "the underground situation not always corresponded to the archives ..."

There is, for example, a Belgian citizen who is excavated by mistake, and later buried in the mass grave, too late for his family to raise the alarm.

In retrospect, a list was made with appr. 17.000 (on a total of 25.000) names of those suspected they are buried in the massgrave. those names are on the panels. around the kameradengrab.

Thanks Robert, thát explains it all !

Too bad Erich Bonert's precise grave was lost.

As an aside: the guy who wrote to Erich's parents about his last moments also wrote that he "placed a sprig of Buddleia flowers on Erich's chest before the coffin was closed".....

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Dank aan allen voor uw reacties. :-)

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Hello,

German graves were sometimes more than once reburied, hence the different dates together. Also, new graves were sometimes put in between other graves if they hadn't enough space.

The Germans are NOT all buried underneath the stones. The graves are long rows, on which on top there are here and there stones. Please look in my book as there is a plan of this in it... My book may be interesting just for the pictures and plans in it (ven if you don't understand all of the text). You'll understand better than how the situation under the ground corresponds to the stones.

Not all the names on the plaques near the Kameradengrab are buried in the grave. The plaques were (and still are, additions have been done recently) mentioning names of those who are believed to have been buried in Belgium but have no known grave (most of the names were put there after research in the Bavarian archives, so it is all very partial). Some of the names also refer to graves f.i. in Namur where civilian graves were put on top of the German graves by 1955, when the graves were to be moved. The graves are definitely still there in Namur, but the people are commemorated in Langemark.

I can only recommend to try and read my book as plenty of these questions are answered in the first part.

Jan

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The book is my list!

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Hello,

I checked my many files about German war graves in Belgium and found a map of the graves and grave markers in Langemark.

Here you can see the location of the graves compared to the location of the grave marker (the very small square in the center). Not all the grave numbers are mentioned on the map, but I think you get the point.

Regards,

Jan

langemark_weber.jpg

post-24-0-15686600-1418409350_thumb.jpg

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  • 6 months later...

Hi all,

This thread has been quite an education for me; I learned today I have a distant relation who is buried at Langemark.

Nachname: Lewin
Vorname: Leo
Dienstgrad: Ersatz-Reservist, 6. Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment 248
Todes-/Vermisstendatum: 09.10.1915
Endgrablage: Block B Grab 17930
Would you know if he is in fact buried there, and would you know where I might get a photograph of the stone marking this spot?
Many thanks,
Daniel
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Hi all,

This thread has been quite an education for me; I learned today I have a distant relation who is buried at Langemark.

Nachname: Lewin
Vorname: Leo
Dienstgrad: Ersatz-Reservist, 6. Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment 248
Todes-/Vermisstendatum: 09.10.1915
Endgrablage: Block B Grab 17930
Would you know if he is in fact buried there, and would you know where I might get a photograph of the stone marking this spot?
Many thanks,
Daniel

Daniel,

He was originally buried in Polygon Wood German Cemetery (which was the regimental cemetery for RIR 248). In the winter 1917-1918 the British buried some of their dead on this cemetery, which was made into the separate and still existing Polygon Wood Cemetery. There used to be a gate in the wall towards the German cemetery, which is still slightly visible.

Leo was born on 22.10.1882 in Schwetz (Prussia) and lived as a "Kaufmann" in Feuerbach. he was married to Bella geb. Hirschfeld with whom he had 1 child.

He arrived on 05.11.14 at Ers-Bataillon IR 120 and was transferred to the Ersatz-Bataillon RIR 248 on 18.03.1915. he arrived at the front with the 6th Company RIR 248 on 02.10.1915 and was killed already at the 09.10.1915 at 8 o'clock in the morning because of a mine (head injury). He was buried at the regimental cemetery.

Regards,

Jan

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Robert and /or Jan,

Correct me if I am wrong.

This is "Westrozebeke", but I am not sure if this is Westrozebeke I or II.

Do you know which one ?

Aurel

post-92-0-94838400-1434542742_thumb.jpg

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Daniel,

He was originally buried in Polygon Wood German Cemetery (which was the regimental cemetery for RIR 248). In the winter 1917-1918 the British buried some of their dead on this cemetery, which was made into the separate and still existing Polygon Wood Cemetery. There used to be a gate in the wall towards the German cemetery, which is still slightly visible.

Leo was born on 22.10.1882 in Schwetz (Prussia) and lived as a "Kaufmann" in Feuerbach. he was married to Bella geb. Hirschfeld with whom he had 1 child.

He arrived on 05.11.14 at Ers-Bataillon IR 120 and was transferred to the Ersatz-Bataillon RIR 248 on 18.03.1915. he arrived at the front with the 6th Company RIR 248 on 02.10.1915 and was killed already at the 09.10.1915 at 8 o'clock in the morning because of a mine (head injury). He was buried at the regimental cemetery.

Regards,

Jan

Hi Jan,

These details are incredible...are they from the regimental history?

I see his grave was indeed photographed:

http://www.twgpp.org/information.php?id=3930845

I will be requesting a copy.

My sincere thanks!

-Daniel

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Daniel,

The details come from the Kriegsstammrollen. I can send you a scan if you send me your e-mail adress.

Regards,

Jan

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