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Ath, German military cemetery and communal cemetery.


christiandup
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On fourth week-end of August, it is the « ducasse » (the fair) to Ath. The day before, many inhabitants are used to put some flowers on the graves of their dead parents.

Hundred years ago, 38 soldiers of the strengths of the Commonwealth were buried in the communal cemetery of Ath. August 24th, 2018, a group of cyclists will organize a historic stroll. On this occasion, we shall put down a small packaged bouquet of flowers with the colors of the city on every grave of these 38 soldiers. We shall give these explanations to the participants:

Private Hill : he was maybe killed in action during the liberation of the city on November 10th, 1918

All other soldiers died after November 11th, 1918

Corporal Hurst: killed during an accident of mine clearance operation to Ghislenghien.

There are three Indians: Mahipat, died of bronchitis; Baldeo Singh, died of heart failure;

Dhani Ram,died of pneumonia

Nicholls A, died of appendicitis

Sunley, accidentally drowned

Smith A, died of pneumonia

Plumb William, died of bronchial pneumonia

Eves Frederick, died of influenza.

13/14 December 1918—27 February 1919: the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station had settled down to Ath civil hospital. So, Constance Mabel KEYS, an Australian nurse, stayed at Ath and maybe knew these sick soldiers.

A staff of British Sisters took over the Hospital.

 

The German army had requisitioned several schools which became complementary hospitals, were these last buildings also used by the Allies after November 11th, 1918? Was the civil hospital of Ath the « Kriegslazarett  667 the "Ordensspital " » ?

 

The « War Diary  of Intelligence Summary »- December 1918 refered :

« Ath – 27-12-18: a serie of loud explosions in the vicinity of the railway station causes many casualties. » The 2 nd Australian C.C.S. evacuated the wounded British soldiers, the deaths were buried in the German cemetery 189 to Ath. At the beginning of 1920s, they were transferred to the Tournai communal cemetery.

 

Ath Communal Cemetery: in1920, a communal employee counted and noted 39 British crosses, among these crosses, a nameless cross.

Does it explain a wider gap between these two graves on the photo?

 

Can some members of the Great War Forum add additional explanations to inform better our visitors? Thanks in advance.

The pictures: our flowers, Sister Constance Mabel KEYS, wide gap between two graves

In November, 1918, the station of Ghislenghien after bombing RAF. Unfortunately for corporal Hurst, there were also landmines.

 

01IMG_9805.JPG

02Constance Mabel Keys Australian Nurse.jpg

03IMG_9809.JPG

04Bombing RAF Ghislenghien.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

August 24th of this year, the soldiers HURST C G, BALDEO SINGH, COOPER LESLIE JAMES, FERGUSON J, STANLEY S, MAHIPAT, NICHOLLS ALBERT HENRY, PAYNE W, CARTWRIGHT H, HOLROYD E J, COOPER D, VOCE C W, PLUMB WILLIAM HENRY, CLARK G W, BRYANT H, EVES FREDERICK, BEW A J, HILL S H, PAYNE W, LOVATT WILLIAM, BOYCE GF, BLUNT HAROLD ERNEST, PARRY H, GRIMSHAW Henry, CAMPBELL D T, CUCKSON H, COYLE PERCY SOWDEN, SMITH Alfred, DHANI RAM, SUNLEY Tom, GREEN C A, CARBONI A, PARRY M H, YOUNG H, MACHIN H, FOWLER J C, ROYALL H and Smith W received a small bouquet of flowers with the colors of the city. As at Irchonwelz, we went by bicycle to the communal cemetery of Ath. « L'Union Picarde des Para-commandos » had made an appointment with us in this cemetery for this small ceremony.

 

IMG_9892.JPG

IMG_9893.JPG

IMG_9897.JPG

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  • 2 months later...

To Ath (Belgium), 100 years ago, Leonhard Böhm and his young wife Ilse Böhm-Maier died from Spanish flu. We did not forget them. We hope to know soon better Karten and Mitterteich, two German cities far from Vladslo.

Johan sent us these two announcements : a wedding on August 8th, 1918; two deaths: November 1st, 1918 and November 2nd, 1918....

Vladslo 1.JPG

Vladslo 2.JPG

Böhm, Hochzeit, Mitterteich, 08.08.1918.jpg

GrenzZeitung Nov 1918 (21).JPG

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 02/11/2018 at 22:59, christiandup said:

To Ath (Belgium), 100 years ago, Leonhard Böhm and his young wife Ilse Böhm-Maier died from Spanish flu. We did not forget them. We hope to know soon better Karten and Mitterteich, two German cities far from Vladslo.

Johan sent us these two announcements : a wedding on August 8th, 1918; two deaths: November 1st, 1918 and November 2nd, 1918....

Vladslo 1.JPG

Vladslo 2.JPG

Böhm, Hochzeit, Mitterteich, 08.08.1918.jpg

GrenzZeitung Nov 1918 (21).JPG

 

Tragic!

But they're together now.

 

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  • 3 months later...

They had never known Valentine’s Day.

Leonhard Böhm, Ilse Mayer.

Leonhard Böhm was born in Mitterteich (Bavaria) and was a pharmacist. Isle Mayer was born in Berlin. They got married on August 8, 1918. Leonhard was a NCO and Ilse worked in the Ath communal administration. In October 1918, they were affected by the Spanish flu virus. On October 27, they were admitted to the hospital in Ath. Leonhard died on November 1, Ilse died the next day, still in the same hospital. Now they rest together in the Vladslo cemetery, block 7, number 799 and 800.

Leonhard Böhm.

Leonhard Böhm was a NCO and a pharmacist at the 6th Bavarian Health Depot in Lille. His unit was temporarily moved to Tournai, where he might have known Ilse. Leonhard Böhm was born at Mitterteich, (Oberpfalz) in Bavaria, on November 9, 1888, at around 8 p.m.  Leonhard was very young when he lost his father Leonhard Rudolf Böhm. His mother, Gabriele Weber, then remarried with Ludvig Fink, a pharmacist in Mitterteich. Leonhard undertook studies as a pharmacist, but the war interrupted his dream.

Like his German brother who survived the war, Leonhard served first the «2nd Feldartillerie Regiment» and then moved to Ostend at the "Bayerische Kraftwagen Flak 72" school of anti-aircraft artillery as assisting lieutenant.. On September 4, 1914, he joined the army with the "Beierse Infanterie Regiment König". On February 20, 1915, with his non-commissioned officer training completed, he approached the front line with the first company then the 3rd. On March 1, 1916, he joined the 2nd "Beierse Infanterie Regiment".  On July 15, he returned to his former regiment to be incorporated in the «Bayerishes Maschienen Gewehr Scharfschützen-Abteilung 01». On July 15, 1917, he was transferred to the «Bayerisches Etappen Sanitäts Depot 6».

On June 25, 1918, he was hospitalized at the "Reserve Lazarett 64", where he remained until July 18. He was a shell shock case.

This traumatic shock was not surprising. In April 1915, near Montauban (plateau de Paissy, Chemin des Dames), he lived bombardments. Later, he fought near Vimy where his unit suffered heavy casualties.  It was a total war. There were also hard fights in the trenches, man to man. At the end of February, his regiment headed for Thelus (Arras), and in July 2016, they reached Saint-Mihiel (Lorraine) and also Verdun where they had to defend a bridgehead. But apparently, these few weeks were much calmer. Later, towards the end of the year, it was Caudry and Sailly-Sallisel (Somme) where their ranks were hard decimated, only 50 men survived in the company. There were also various gas attacks and they were under constant artillery fire. The fighting lasted from October 14 to November 14. He then followed a formation and on 17 January 1917 he fought at Saint-Christ Briost in the Somme and also at Mont-Saint-Quentin near Peronne. Later he took part in the battle of Cambrai on the Hindeburg line (Siegfriedstellung, Hulluch) and again experienced numerous gas attacks. The bombings resumed in April 1917. During an unfortunate and unsuccessful gas attack on the 29th, 1500 German soldiers died of their own gas, and the British casualties amounted to 1260 men. At last it was Bullecourt (Pas-de-Calais) where the storm calmed down. Then he started a new formation again. During this one, Leonhard was moved to the 6th Army depot. It was clear his nerves had been frayed further by recent events. On November 1, 1918, he died alongside Ilse in Ath.

Ilse Mayer

« Helferin » Ilse Elisabeth Mayer was born on 14 January 1898 at 1/4 midnight in Berlin-Mitte, Boyenstasse 4. Her father was not mentioned in the birth certificate. She received the name of her mother: Catherine Elisabeth Mayer who was a chapelier. The witnesses were Augusta Köhler, a midwife, and her husband, an accountant. During the war, Ilse joined the German Civil Management Office at the Ath Communal Administration. She was there from 1916 or 1917. She also resided in Ath. We don’t know how Ilse and Leonhard got to know each other. But they married “Im Felde” by proxy on August 7 and 8 in Mitterteich and Lille. On October 27, 1918, Ilse and Leonhard fell seriously ill, they were admitted to the Feld-Lazarett 80 (La Madeleine Hospital?). where Ilse died on November 2, 1918 of the Spanish flu, one day after her husband. They were both buried in the German military cemetery 189 in Ath. In the middle of the 1950s, their remains were transferred to the German military cemetery in Vladslo.

According to a narrative of:  Johan  Ryheul

 http://www.wo1.be/nl/jewaserbij/13286/herdenking-leonhard-en-ilse-bohm

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I'm sorry, but the story is not completely correct. Leonhard Böhm remained in Germany (training units) until Mid July 1916, when serving with Bavarain Maschinengewehr Scharfschützen Abteilung 1. He served with that unit on the front line (Saint Mihiel and Somme near Sailly-Saillissel). From mid November 1916 to mid January 1917 he (together with the rest of the unit) received training at the MG Ausbildungskommando West. He then served on the Somme near St. Christ and Mont St. Quentin and then in the Siegfriedstellung (Alberich-Bewegung). He was in the Battle of Arras in April and May 1917 until he was transferred on 17 May 1917. He served as a Sanitäts Unteroffizier, so he would have been a kind of doctor for his company and not a machine gunner.

As a trained pharmacist, it is logical that he was transferred out of the front line unit to Etappen Sanitäts Depot 6 (the central warehouse for medical supplies of the 6th Army). He was treated in the summer of 1918 (in Kriegslazarett 64, not Reserve Lazarett) because of hypochondria and neurasthenia. There is absolutely no evidence this was due to war related issues.

 

Jan

 

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Thank you Jan for all these corrections and clarifications. I’m very happy that a specialist like you is interested in this page. My goal is to make the people of our city aware of the existence of this German cemetery, and to discover the life at the front of all those fighters who have suffered so much. Normally for the end of June, I’ll organize a guided cycling ride, like I had made it for the British soldiers. (see Irchonwelz Communal Cemetery). In the population registers of the communal archives, I try to find Ilse Mayer's name, no result until now, but I scanned a document: did Ilse Mayer work for this Passbüro?

I would also like to take this opportunity to ask these three questions.

Where was the Kriegslazarett 64?

According to Johan, Leonhard and Ilse ended their days at Feld-Lazarett 80, what is this building?

In Ath there was also the Kriegslazarett 667, I don’t know what the building is?

Thanks again for everything

Kind regards

Christian

Passbüro d. Ed. Kdtur 289 Ath.jpg

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Kriegslazarette were usually found in the Etappengebiet or even further away. During the Final Offensive, they had to be transported to the back and Feldlazarette (usually in the Operationsgebiet) took over. The building that was used may have been the same, but it was a,other unit.

Each division had two Feldlazarette in its ranks, Feldlazarett 80 belonged to the 16. Infanterie-Division.

 

Jan

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  • 4 months later...

Monday, June 17, 2019, Private Haycock W died 100 years ago today.

He is the last of the British soldiers of 14-18 who died in the municipality of Ath. He is also the only British buried in the cemetery of Rebaix (a village in the municipality of Ath)

We don’t know the circumstances of his death. He may have died in a hospital in the city of Ath, but as the city cemetery was full, he was buried in the nearby village: Rebaix

 

Haycock W driver 76841 Royal Field Artillery United Kingdom.

17-09-2019 Rebaix.JPG

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  • 3 months later...

Lt Arthur Morris, RAMC (1892-1987)

M.O. 1/5 King's Own Royal Lancashire Regiment

55th West Lancashire Division

in Ath, on 11th November 1918

-----------------------------

Ath November 13, 1918: the doctor Morris wrote to his mother:

« This morning we had a special Thanksgiving Service in an old chair factory. It seemed very solemn but most people were too much upset to thoroughly enjoy it - nearly all the men were either weeping or on the verge of tears. The reaction after the months and years out here seems to have taken everybody rather differently to the way it has in England. Today I have been acting as Medical Officer to some six hundred English prisoners who were abandoned by the Huns. Never, never, never have I seen such pitiful wretches or heard such ghastly stories of brutality and cruelty. The smell of them made one sick. Those that were captured in March and April were wearing the same underclothes as when they were taken prisoner and these have never been taken off to be washed and the men themselves have never been washed. Many of the poor chaps were almost half-witted, many couldn’t stand upright. Terrible were the stories that they told of the sufferings not only they had gone through but the dozens who did not live long enough to escape. At an epidemic of flu a few months ago in one camp about fifty died and no doctor ever went near the camp. Several men had gone raving mad and died ».

------------------------------

We wish to collect all tributes relating to the memory of the English soldiers passing through Ath in November 1918 in one place: the chapel Notre Dame au Chêne to Irchonwelz.

Dr Morris’s moving testimony must not be forgotten

 

Thanks to Marie-Laure Raeymackers who has put on page text, photos, badge and put it all in the frame that her daddy hung in the chapel.

Irchonwelz A.JPG

Irchonwelz B.JPG

Irchonwelz C.JPG

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This is amazing Christian
I have just received the cardboard tube with the copy you sent me!. And the information about the factories.

Many many thanks.

 

You mentioned in your letter that you have the History of the 2/1 Wessex, Field Ambulance. I have one too. This was written very soon after the war. Sgt. W Pearce who assembled the information in it will therefore have died a long time ago. Sgt Pearce  (who received the Distinguished Conduct Medal and Military Medal) and my father were in the unit at the same time before my father was moved to the 1/5 KORL.

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  • 5 months later...

The most dangerous period of a pandemic

In Ath Cemetery, 38 Commonwealth soldiers are buried.

34 out of 38 likely died of influenza, or its aftermath, bronchitis, pneumonia.

November 1918: 1 dead/ January 1919: 1 dead/ February 1919: 22 dead / March 1919: 10 dead

Among them: 3 soldiers of the Indian troops: Baldeo Singh, Mahipat, Dani Ram.

Pictures of the tourist office of Silly:

Commonwealth troops in Bassilly (15 km from Ath) after 11 November 1918

Bassily 1.JPG

Bassily 2.JPG

Bassily 3.JPG

Bassily 4.JPG

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Thanks Christian, for both the pictures and the data about the deaths. And perhaps importantly for the reminder of how things went wrong in the past. All we need now is to make sure we do the right things and fast enough!
Hope you are well.
Hopefully, if I catch it I will be to beat it like my father did when he caught Spanish 'flu when he working as an RAMC doctor at Stationary Hospital near Lille in 1919.

 

Best Wishes

John
 

PS: 
I was thinking of you yesterday as I have just sown some of the poppy seeds you sent at Christmas, and made some shortbread biscuits with the flour!
 

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  • 1 year later...
On 23/03/2018 at 21:20, christiandup said:

364 Lieutenant RAF Wedderspoon Jack H.B. / 06-04-1917 A / 21 years / 27th Sqdn. Royal Flying Corps / Son of W. Gibson Wedderspoon and Mary Wedderspoon, of 32, Cluny Gardens, Edinburgh, and Rangoon, Burma.

We would like to know the circumstances of the death

John/Jack Henry Butcher WEDDERSPOON - died whilst flying a Martinsyde G.100/102 Elephant

[RAF Museum StoryVault http://www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk/pages/raf_vault.php?&RAF-code=7000288691&RAF-titel=Wedderspoon%2C J.H.B. (John Henry Butcher)&van=1

 http://www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk/pages/raf_vault.php?RAF-code=7000288691&RAF-titel=Wedderspoon%2C+J.H.B.+(John+Henry+Butcher)&RAF-code=7000288694&RAF-titel=Wedderspoon%2C J.H.B.&van=1

:-) M

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On 17/06/2019 at 11:30, christiandup said:

Monday, June 17, 2019, Private Haycock W died 100 years ago today.

He is the last of the British soldiers of 14-18 who died in the municipality of Ath. He is also the only British buried in the cemetery of Rebaix (a village in the municipality of Ath)

We don’t know the circumstances of his death. He may have died in a hospital in the city of Ath, but as the city cemetery was full, he was buried in the nearby village: Rebaix

 

Haycock W driver 76841 Royal Field Artillery United Kingdom.

Sad circumstances, whilst under arrest, appear to be as shown on his Medal Index Card

468183033_HAYCOCKW.76841.png.fc999997601ebcc510363081b0ad7a70.png

Image courtesy of Ancestry

His 1914 Star was Returned - Not Required.  His BWM & VM medals appear Forfeited and do not appear to have been issued [Two Medal Rolls at Ancestry]

His Soldiers Effects Register entry shows £10 0s 11d and 11s 11d but it is unclear if these were ever claimed/issued - the note against the first entry was marked CCCCCXXXIV [its meaning is unclear]  War Gratuity: Not admissible (Deserter)

His mother, Mrs Margaret Haycock, 16 Campbell St, Old Lodger Rd., Belfast, made a dependant's pension claim on 29-10-1920 - there was a Refusal of a pension and no gratuity was visible [Three index cards at WFA/Fold3 - Main Pension claim file is long lost/likely destroyed once its use was ended]

Another casualty of the GW it would seem - whatever the circumstances of his death - it seems appropriate that CWGC commemorate him too.

:-) M

 

Edited by Matlock1418
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On 20/07/2018 at 21:53, christiandup said:

Private Sullivan Edward killed on November 10th, 1918

See also this thread: https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/242698-irchonwelz-communal-cemetery-belgium/page/5

:-) M

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Matlock1418

Thank you for all your information.

Private Haycock was reported a deserter on September 1, 1918. He was killed on June 17, 1919 while trying to escape, but I cannot read and translate the word in front of the date 13-06-19. Please, can you help me?

I also hope to send you soon the photo of a new trail created in Ath, it will bear the name of Sullivan, killed at Ath on 10-11-1918 and buried at Irchonwelz. A plaque with its name must still be placed

We also wish to know more about the deaths of these 3 British soldiers, it’s not always easy when you live outside of Britain.

H S Hill Private 34 019 died 10 november 1918 l (Ath Communal Cemetery)

W H Condra Private 100 846 died 10 november 1918 (Irchonwelz Communal Cemetery)

GR Godfrey Private 33190 11 january 1919 (Irchonwelz Communal Cemetery).

Thank you for a possible answer

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"...I cannot read and translate the word in front of the date 13-06-19..."

I think the word is "rejoined", it may mean he voluntarily returned to his barracks, it may mean he was caught, perhaps by a police check on ID papers etc, and was then escorted back to barracks.

 

(Hope you are well Christian!)
 

 

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