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mebu

Ankara Municipal cemetery / Baghdad North gate

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mebu

The CWGC registration list for Bagdhad North gate memorial says some are "buried in Angora".

The CWGC also lists Ankara Municipal Cemetery, but with no names registered and no information.

Does anyone know if there is a mass grave of WW1 POWs there? .

Any info welcome.

Peter

PS have contacted the Commission but I know they are busy and replies take some time.

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Maureene

There was a POW Camp at Ankara, although I know nothing about the cemetery.

Reading some accounts of POWs in Turkey, I get the impression (which could be wrong) that it was up to the prisoners to bury their own dead, and so any burials were probably in the grounds of the POW camp, close to where the person died, and not in an actual cemetery. Perhaps it may have been different for officers who were generally, but not always, treated better.

Cheers

Maureen

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trajan

The CWGC also lists Ankara Municipal Cemetery, but with no names registered and no information.

Does anyone know if there is a mass grave of WW1 POWs there? .

Mebu, can you give me the date of the CWGC reference to the burials in the 'Ankara Municipal Cemetery'? The point being that I have never come across any mention of any POW graves in Ankara - and I have lived in the 'Big city' for some 21 years now... I have always thought that any WW1 POW's who died there were probably buried in the old Armenian / foreigner's graveyard, at the Armenian monastery of Vank which was originally on the outskirts of town. This monastery was (unsurprisingly) closed during WW1 in connection with the Armenian genocide, and demolished (I assume) shortly after and certainly before 1933, since at least which time the site has been a military hospital. I do know that many foreigners who died in Ankara were buried there (including some English wool merchants in the 17th century and another in the 18th!), but the cemetery has been levelled. So, I wonder - is this the same as the 'Ankara Municipal Cemetery'?

Trajan

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johntanner

The cemetery, known locally as Cebeci Asri Mezarligi, is a well known cemetery in the eastern segment of the Altindag Municipality district in the north east of Ankara. It is easily accessible off Tuggurt Ozal Street.

Entrance should be made through either gate 3 or gate 4 as the grave is located against the main wall between these two entrances in Block 31.

The cemetery is open 9.00am to 6.00pm

From the CWGC website - appears to be a mass grave.

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trajan

The cemetery, known locally as Cebeci Asri Mezarligi, is a well known cemetery in the eastern segment of the Altindag Municipality district in the north east of Ankara. It is easily accessible off Tuggurt Ozal Street.

Entrance should be made through either gate 3 or gate 4 as the grave is located against the main wall between these two entrances in Block 31.

The cemetery is open 9.00am to 6.00pm

From the CWGC website - appears to be a mass grave.

Thanks very much! I know the cemetery as the parents of a friend of mine are buried there but never thought that there would be a CWG grave there! Simply assumed that pre-Republic all 'yabanci' were buried at the Monastery of Vank! We live and learn... Now, a follow up question - do you know where the GW POW's were kept at Ankara? I had assumed the Castle but never found any reference to support this.

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johntanner

No real references in relation to the rank and file of the Ox and Bucks, which is my interest, but the officers are recorded as being held in a barracks some distance from the centre of the town.

John

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mebu

Trajan, on the list of names on the Angora Memorial in Baghdad is written (feint, left hand side) "buried in Angora". Copy attached.

I have had a reply from the CWGC who say that there are no WW1 POW graves nowadays in Ankara Municipal Cemetery, as they are all lost or destroyed.

The man I am researching, Harry Rosevere, was known to have been work on the tunnel at Pozanti Belemedik. How he came to be buried in Angora (could be the Armenian Vank cemetery rather than the municipal) is a mystery i would like to solve.

Peter

post-2649-0-34672700-1438347751_thumb.jp

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Maureene

The following profile of Valentine Michael Flood says there was an outbreak of Typhus at Belemedik between October and December 1916 with many of the victims being transferred to the POW Hospital at Angora (Ankara). “It looks like Valentine was one of these many victims who died in the hospital and who were buried in the hospital cemetery. His grave was later lost".

http://www.ramc-ww1.com/profile.php?cPath=274_443_157&profile_id=11658&osCsid=29

Although Harry Rosevere died in March 1917, perhaps he was moved to Ankara for a similar reason.

Cheers

Maureen

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trajan

Trajan, on the list of names on the Angora Memorial in Baghdad is written (feint, left hand side) "buried in Angora". Copy attached.

I have had a reply from the CWGC who say that there are no WW1 POW graves nowadays in Ankara Municipal Cemetery, as they are all lost or destroyed.

Well, I'll try a grab a look around there one day - IIRC, though, it is a pretty large one. I will also see if I can get my friend whose parents are there to come along to ask the cemetery people.

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mebu

Maureene, thanks for the Flood link. it does make sense, however it further complicates as I don't think the hospital cemetery is the same as the Municipal cemetery. Perhaps Trajan could comment there?

Also, just had a reply from CWGC,as follows.:

"In answer to your question, the Angora Memorial commemorates those casualties that were buried in Angora Cemetery, but their original graves were subsequently lost or destroyed.

As they are determined to be lost, it is. unfortunately, not possible to say whether the graves may still be there.

Please be reassured that we will continue to commemorate these casualties on the Angora Memorial in perpetuity".

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Maureene

A Google search indicates that one British POW was buried in the Armenian cemetery at Angora. Here is a photo on flickr.com

https://www.flickr.com/photos/juleshynam/10786405454/in/album-72157637529993183/ from an album “1918-1923 Constantinople and Angora”

The cemetery looks somewhat isolated, probably on top of a hill. Given the logistics of getting a deceased POW there, for comrades who probably did not have access to a cart, I do wonder how accurate this reference was.

I have also found a reference that in 1917 Angora became the centre of the working groups engaged in laying the narrow-gauge line towards Yozgad.

page xv A Prisoner in Turkey by John Still 1920 Archive.org.

https://archive.org/details/prisonerinturkey00stiluoft(edited link, select page xv)

Possibly Harry Rosevere was transferred from Belemedik to Angora/Ankara to work on the narrow-gauge line, as it seems transfers between camps did occur.

Cheers

Maureen

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trajan

A Google search indicates that one British POW was buried in the Armenian cemetery at Angora. Here is a photo on flickr.com

https://www.flickr.com/photos/juleshynam/10786405454/in/album-72157637529993183/ from an album “1918-1923 Constantinople and Angora”

The cemetery looks somewhat isolated, probably on top of a hill. Given the logistics of getting a deceased POW there, for comrades who probably did not have access to a cart, I do wonder how accurate this reference was.

I have also found a reference that in 1917 Angora became the centre of the working groups engaged in laying the narrow-gauge line towards Yozgad. https://archive.org/stream/prisonerinturkey00stiluoft#page/xiv/mode/2up/search/Angora

page xv A Prisoner in Turkey by John Still 1920 Archive.org.

Possibly Harry Rosevere was transferred from Belemedik to Angora/Ankara to work on the narrow-gauge line, as it seems transfers between camps did occur.

Cheers

Maureen

Many thanks for that link to the cemetery photograph. At first I could not believe it was the Ahi Şerafeddin (Arslanhane) Camii as that area is built up now (and full of expensive 'antique' shops!), and the only grave visible in that area (apart from the octagonal turbe next to the mosque - white in the photograph) is a brick shelter supported on four columns and covering the tomb of a local Muslim saint... which naturally makes me think that this entire area (as in the photograph) was a Muslim cemetery, not an Armenian one. Note also that the site in the photograph is literally just outside Ankara Kale, running down the hill to the SE, but the Armenian Monastery of Wank (sic - both Vank and Wank spellings are used!) was some distance away (about 2 km) on the WNW of the citadel. I'll try and check for more data when I get back to Ankara, but I do know that several of the tombstones in the cemetery there were re-used bits of Roman masonry.

I couldn't open the second link - but what / where is / was the "... Google search indicates that one British POW was buried in the Armenian cemetery at Angora."?

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Maureene

I couldn't open the second link - but what / where is / was the "... Google search indicates that one British POW was buried in the Armenian cemetery at Angora."?

I have edited the "second link" in post 11.

The other reference is:

Batts, William Henry: … he became a prisoner of war. William died of recurrent fever at Angora and was buried in the local Armenian Cemetery.

http://www.rutlandremembers.org/fallen/39/batts-lance-corporal-william-henry “Rutland Remembers”

Cheers

Maureen

edit: also

O'callaghan, John Died as a POW at Angora 21/1/1917 of Enteritis-Buried Armenian Cemetery

http://www.powmemorialballarat.com.au/world-war-1-pow-names.php

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mebu

Maureeen, thanks for the links, very interesting.

Looks like those listed on the CWGC roll above may be more likely to have been buried in the Armenian cemetery - then lost or destroyed - than buried in the municipal cemetery.

Peter

PS a google trawl for Armenian cemetery Ankara brings up news that only recently, in April 2015, the already-ruined site has been vandalised by locals.

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trajan

Maureeen, thanks for the links, very interesting.

Looks like those listed on the CWGC roll above may be more likely to have been buried in the Armenian cemetery - then lost or destroyed - than buried in the municipal cemetery.

Peter

PS a google trawl for Armenian cemetery Ankara brings up news that only recently, in April 2015, the already-ruined site has been vandalised by locals.

Well, I'll certainly look into this when I get back - at the very least if they were reburied in the municipal cemetery surely there should be a CWG memorial there?

As for the Armenian cemetery that was vandalised, that was not actually in Ankara city but at Sincan, a town within Ankara province... Many reports on Turkish geographical locations go off half-cock like this one, mistaking the province name for the actual place...

Trajan

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mebu

Well, I'll certainly look into this when I get back - at the very least if they were reburied in the municipal cemetery surely there should be a CWG memorial there?

As for the Armenian cemetery that was vandalised, that was not actually in Ankara city but at Sincan, a town within Ankara province... Many reports on Turkish geographical locations go off half-cock like this one, mistaking the province name for the actual place...

Trajan

Trajan, thanks for that....I suppose it is likely then that the Angora, and the memorial name used by CWGC refers to the province rather than the town, which would make sense as there are rather a lot of names for any one cemetery. So, Harry Rosevere and the others could have been in one of several burial places. Probably will never know.

Peter

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trajan

Trajan, thanks for that....I suppose it is likely then that the Angora, and the memorial name used by CWGC refers to the province rather than the town, which would make sense as there are rather a lot of names for any one cemetery. So, Harry Rosevere and the others could have been in one of several burial places. Probably will never know.

Peter

Well, I'll have to check when I can get a post-grad from the History Dept. to come with me to the cemetery, after which I'll see if the Embassy here has any information at all (unlikely, I admit - but perhaps they can lead me to where there might be a record: so, who did represent GB to the Ottoman Empire in the GW?).

But I have to say I would have thought that CWG would know the difference between a burial in Ankara and one, let's say, in Kirikale, or Sincan, in Ankara province. And as there was (apparently) a POW camp of sorts here, then it does seem possible some guys died and were buried here.

Julian

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mebu

Julian, just found a bit more tucked away on CWGC site. Angora memorial is to those buried/lost at Angora, Ada Bazar, Bozanti, Islahie, Nisibin. Not sure if all these are in Angora province. Would you be able to say if they are? Also, not sure how these names relate to POW camps, except for Bozanti, the tunnel works.

Thanks Peter

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trajan

Julian, just found a bit more tucked away on CWGC site. Angora memorial is to those buried/lost at Angora, Ada Bazar, Bozanti, Islahie, Nisibin. Not sure if all these are in Angora province. Would you be able to say if they are? Also, not sure how these names relate to POW camps, except for Bozanti, the tunnel works.

Thanks Peter

Peter, that's useful to know!

So, some deaths at Ankara then? As for the others (although you probably know them so for the benefit of other readers) Ada Bazar is likely to be modern Adapazari, Sakarya Province; Bozanti is Pozanti, Adana Province (and yes, a railway connection); Islahie looks to be Islahiye in Gaziantep Province (so another railway link?); and Nisibin is Nusaybin (one of my favourite places pre-present crisis!), Mardin province (and also on the railway).

I still think exactly who was buried at Ankara (and where) could do with looking into...

That aside, I don't know how familiar you are with the Berlin-Baghdad railway line? A fair bit marks the border between Turkey and Syria, Nusaybin being (I think) a junction town - and certainly a market place from north to south and east to west since Roman times (it is mentioned in a 4th century source as the common market between Persia and the Eastern Roman Empire!). Indeed, it is one of the few places where the modern border deviates from the railway easement area clearly to incorporate Nusaybin into Turkey... I have travelled the western part of the line a few times between Ankara and Adana, on my way to Syria, shamefully unaware of its GW connections as it was before my GW interest began... And believe you me, the track across and through the Taurus is a stupendous piece of engineering!

Julian

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Guest Canberra

Just this week I have found a relative who died as a POW in Turkey and is commemorated at the memorial in Baghdad. I came across this forum when I was looking for further information. While he is not the person being researched here there is some correspondence on his file that might be of interest to you. You can find his records at:

www.naa.gov.au

go to 'search the collection'

record search

Enter the name Chapman Mathers and the date range of 1914 - 1918

Look on the right of the next screen 'view digital copy'

regards

Jenny

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Maureene

Thanks Jenny. Sad but interesting to read the file.

The link to the record is http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/DetailsReports/ItemDetail.aspx?Barcode=8013117 but I'm not sure if it's a permanent link.

Some details from some of the pages:

Pages 57,58 (appear to be the same page). Perhaps a death certificate? Handwritten. Contains Arabic? writing, and French and English. Advice that Chapman Mathers was buried in the Armenian Cemetery at Angora. He died of chronic enteritis (?). Elsewhere in the file it says typhus.

Page 25, in respect of the Angora cemetery where he was buried ( i.e. the Armenian cemetery at Angora)

“No surface markings could be traced, and it was found impossible otherwise to identify the actual place of burial of these soldiers".

There is then mention of the memorial at Baghdad “To the memory of 265 soldiers and sailors of the British Empire who died as P. of W. and were buried at the time at Angora, Ada, Bazar, Bozanti, Islahie and Nisibin but whose graves are now lost”.

This is similar to the wording mebu (post 18) found on the CWGC website, except it reads as though Ada and Bazar are separate places, but they are men "whose graves are now lost" because they were buried with no identifying markings.

Page 38 Statement by an Australian Prisoner of War at Angora

"We are not allowed to attend the burial of a fellow prisoner, when they die in hospital they are taken to a room in the hospital and washed and then conveyed on a stretcher to the Hospital graveyard and buried by Turks. …There are no marks to show whose buried in certain places, we know they are British, that’s all....As far as I know [Private O’Callaghan] was buried in one of the numerous yards of Angora."

Cheers

Maureen

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trajan

... Pages 57,58 (appear to be the same page). Perhaps a death certificate? Handwritten. Contains Arabic? writing, and French and English. Advice that Chapman Mathers was buried in the Armenian Cemetery at Angora. He died of chronic enteritis (?). Elsewhere in the file it says typhus. ...

Maureen, as you and Jenny have probably guessed, the Osmanli text on the document looks to be the basic 'Name', 'Place of birth', etc., sort of stuff, so an official form of some kind. I regret that I have not been able to follow up yet on the Armenian Cemetery or the 'Municipal Cemetery' at Ankara yet. I'll be in a good library in town later today or this week where I think they have book from the 1930's that might help with this.

Trajan

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Maureene

Thanks Trajan. I hope you are successful.

Cheers

Maureen

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trajan

I tracked down a copy of Ankara: guide touristique, by E.Mamboury (1933), and he mentions the Armenian Cemetery as being the place where "the rare foreigners in Ankara are buried" but says no more. He confirms that the cemetery was at the site of the Armenian Monastery of Vank, which is roughly where the the modern military hospital (Gulhane Hastanesi) is located.

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Maureene

I have always thought that any WW1 POW's who died there were probably buried in the old Armenian / foreigner's graveyard, at the Armenian monastery of Vank which was originally on the outskirts of town. This monastery was (unsurprisingly) closed during WW1 in connection with the Armenian genocide, and demolished (I assume) shortly after and certainly before 1933, since at least which time the site has been a military hospital.

Trajan

I tracked down a copy of Ankara: guide touristique, by E.Mamboury (1933), and he mentions the Armenian Cemetery as being the place where "the rare foreigners in Ankara are buried" but says no more. He confirms that the cemetery was at the site of the Armenian Monastery of Vank, which is roughly where the the modern military hospital (Gulhane Hastanesi) is located.

Thanks for confirming Trajan.

As the prisoners were buried in the Armenian Cemetery, I wonder if this might be an indication that the POWs and/or the hospital to which the some POWs were admitted (and died) was situated in the Monastery, as you would expect them to be buried in the vicinity of where they died.

Cheers

Maureen

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