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Remembered Today:

German cemeteries of the Great War in Belgium


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Good evening, 

 

Here it is, a project that still needs a lot of work, I'm not going to say that all the information is correct, a lot has still to be researched, a lot needs to be corrected in the time to come, a lot still needs additional information, but this is the first time something like this is published for the whole of Belgium, and the cemeteries that existed just after the great War and what happened with them.

 

Currently I have over 1500 cemeteries and locations, and there still need to be added some 1212 field graves that I have to make a decent inventory for in the Ypres region.  And the list is certainly not complete ! 
All remarks and additional information is welcome.  

 

This is the link : https://germancemeteriesofthegreatwarinbelgium.wordpress.com/

 

The situation reflects mostly material from the 1920's and 30's so a number of locations is meanwhile in another Belgian province.  You can use the search function on all pages except the home page when in doubt.

There's also a page about the situation in 1939, and about the present.  As I said, still a lot needs to be added.  But I think this is a good start.
And we have a page with locations and information that are under investigation and one concerning lost cemeteries.  Not all of these were actually lost, some of them are ready to move to another part of the site.

Johan

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Glad  you like it Richard.  Thanks !   Most people think that this was impossible to reconstruct.  Happy to say it is not.

This is really the first time something like this is published concerning the whole of Belgium

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Johan,

 

An excellent piece of work.

Although I spend most of my time in UK cemeteries, I have had an interest in the German cemeteries in Belgium for a number of years and will be following your site with interest.

Good luck with your ongoing work.

 

Phil

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38 minutes ago, Regulus 1 said:

Glad  you like it Richard.  Thanks !   Most people think that this was impossible to reconstruct.  Happy to say it is not.

This is really the first time something like this is published concerning the whole of Belgium

 

That is incorrect, there is my book about Menen Wald (listing all cemeteries that eventually were transferred there) and similar books have been published about Hooglede and Langemark.

 

Jan

 

 

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Jan, I'm talking about the remainder of Belgium as well and the cemeteries that remain on the other side of the country.

I do have the books you mention, yours as well, and they are excellent.

The material I've been working on concentrates a lot on the period before WW II and just after WW I over the whole country.

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Regulus well done for the research and getting it out to a bigger audience I will have a look at the German post cards and see if I have anything to send you.

 

Roy

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What a fabulous project, Johan!

I see you have Kemmel no. 1 French cemetery under investigation. You say there are 53 German burials, I thought there were more? And what does "burial book at the RAM" mean?

 

Roel

 

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Aha, the RAM is in Brussels. Can you say what kind of info is in this burial book?

 

Roel

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Roel thanks, I must say quite good information in them actually, First and last name, rank, unit, date died, sometimes birthday and place, sometimes a plan of the cemetery, etc.

And yes I think there are some 94 German burials today on the cemetery, so others were moved to this location after the war.  Should check how many identified ones next time I'm at Brussel.

Johan 

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As far as I can remember the list for this cemetery was just an extract from the British register, so nothing interesting there.

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So most (or all) info is about the British soldiers buried there? Most Germans at Kemmel no. 1 are unidentified. I'm still trying to find out how/when they were buried there, but that remains a mystery I'm afraid.

 

Roel

 

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38 minutes ago, roel22 said:

So most (or all) info is about the British soldiers buried there? Most Germans at Kemmel no. 1 are unidentified. I'm still trying to find out how/when they were buried there, but that remains a mystery I'm afraid.

 

Roel

 

 

Roel,

 

I say that as far as I can remember the file in Brussels is an extract from the British register with only the German names (as far as they are known). It should be checked as my memory could be wrong of course.

I think that the cemetery was made by the French war graves service after the war as they were active in that area. Unfortunately, no one bothered much about identifying German soldiers at that point.

 

Jan

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I have put together a COG-BR binder for Kemmel No.1 and here are the links to the relevant CWGC documents for the German Plot:

https://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1819428.JPG

https://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1819429.JPG

https://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1819430.JPG

https://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1819431.JPG

https://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1819441.JPG

 

There is/was also an Unknown German Soldier in Plot 1, Row E, Grave 5.

Unfortunately there appears to be a figure missing for the "Belgian" collective grave(s) in Plot A.

 

Phil

 

 

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Some little differences

 

For the CWGC :

ATH GERMAN CEMETERY (Hainaut), at Trieu-Perilleux, on the South-East side of the town (six buried by Germans, 1917-18., 23 buried by British (mainly by 2nd Australian C.C.S.), Dec. 1918-Jan. 1919).

https://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/54800/TOURNAI%20COMMUNAL%20CEMETERY%20ALLIED%20EXTENSION.

 

In my town Ath : the old German Cemetery was at: chemin du Champ des Dailles, on the North-East of the Town. It extended around a chapel: la chapelle de Saint-Antoine de Padoue, please see the picture in the year 1903.

 

More or less in 1920, a communal clerk copied out the inscriptions of the crosses on graves.

Before November 11th, , 1918, he counted 7 graves (N° 368 was a Portuguese soldier), after November 11th , 25 graves.

364 Wedderspoon Jack H.B. / Lieutenant RAF / 06-04-1917 / (The clerk read 1916)

365 Proud John Reginald Stanhope / Second Lieutenant RAF / 06-04-1917 / (1916)

366 Gilmour Robert / S 35368 / Private / 18-04-1918

367 Unknown / 25-10-1918

369 Unknown Soldier / (the clerk added 29-10-1918)

370 Unknown Soldier / (the clerk added 122.818 / 30-10-1918)

371 Willez Arthur /129179 / Private / 19-10-1918 (the clerk added « prisonnier »)

 

 

372 Harvey A. McD. / WR / 203793 / Sapper / 22-12-1918

373 Greenough / M 272084 / Private / 23-12-1918

374 Taylor John / 150940 / Gunner / 22-12-1918

375 Lett C E /WR / 274409 / Private / 22-12-1918

376 Unknown British Soldier

377 Brown A / 96638 / Driver / 27-12-1918

378 Babbidge W H / W /761 / Driver / 28-12-1918

379 Gallimore John William T/382629 / Driver / 27-12-1918 (The clerk read 22-12-18)

380 Mayes John William / 52351 / Private / 29-12-1918

381 Rankin W / 415922 / Sapper / 29-12-1918 (The clerk read 27-12-18)

382 Hallett, Edgar John / 233471 / Serjeant / 27-12-1918

383 Poole William / 67775 / Private / 30-12-1918

384 Smith GE / S/12751 / Quartermaster Serjeant / 28-12-1918

385 Duffy, J / WR / 600917 / Lance Corporal / 29-12-1918

386 Middleton W J / 152488 / Gunner / 01-01-1919

387 Bridge, W / M 287720 / Private / 24-01-1919

388 Webster D / 19682 / Private / 13-01-1919

389 Jones, J H / 102914 / Driver / 13-01-1919

390 Richards A E / S/36529 / Rifleman / 02-01-1919

391 Cox Walter Edwin / T 356512 / Driver / 01-01-1919

392 Horsley J / 38851 / Private / 02-01-1919

393 Bullent G A / 211169 / Driver / 02-01-1919

394 Gibson J A / 41754 / Private / 02-01-1919

395 Evans E / 355128 / Private / 02-01-19190

396 McMullen T / WR / 319926 / Sapper / 4-01-1919

 

All these soldiers are now in Tournai communal cemetery, except the Portuguese soldier.

In attachment: the original list of 1921 (with the Germans and the Russians)

 

In the War Diary of Intelligence Summary – December 1918: Ath - 27.12.18 - A series of loud explosions in the vicinity of the Railway Station in Ath caused many casualties ...

 

History Information (CWGC)

The 38 Commonwealth burials of the World War I in Ath Communal Cemetery date from November 1918 to March 1919, and are mainly those of men who died at No. 2 Australian Casualty Clearing Station. (influenza, brochitis, heart failure, pneumonia..)

 

In Belgium, in Hainaut , what are the other german disappeared cemeteries where British soldiers were buried. ?

Thank you.

Christian (Johan, my small grain of salt for your beautiful project.)

 

**

Clément, 16 years old, looked hard and found the photo of the airman Wedderspoon.

 

Chapelle bois du Renard inaugurée en 1903.jpg

Picture from Delcampe

 

Soldats inhumés à Ath.pdf

364 PHOTO WEDDERSPOON JACK HENRY BUTCHER-2.jpg

Edited by christiandup
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Many thanks for the Kemmel no. 1-docs, Phil!

 

Roel

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Christian,

 

Thank you very much for the new material.  It is appreciated.

 

Meanwhile several updates have been done on the website, such as new locations, number of burials added, locatiosn to where they were moved etc.  Also a lot of photos.

As I said this is a project that still needs a lot of time.

 

Johan 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Johan,

 

regarding the massgrave at Beselare Church that was missing or not.

 

The British must have had information from German or local sources that  Private F. Lynn was buried there on 24 October 1914.

But they couldn't find him in November 1924:

http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1826405.JPG 

 

The remains are then found in January 1930 and there is also a German Burial List No 379 listing 2 unknown british soldiers.... Both can be identified and are moved to Kemmel No1 French Cemetery:

http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1819481.JPG 

The location 28.J.18.b.7.8 is just north of the church.

 

This doesn't tell anything about the number of German remains but wouldn't it be logical that these were moved at the same time?

Finding that German Burial List No 379 might solve a lot.

 

Regards,

Luc.

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Three pictures from: Archives Iconographiques du Tournaisis (A.I.T.)

Tournai, in the Southern Communal Cemetery, there are always the British graves.

Before, there were also German graves.

Near the entrance « chaussée de Douai », the German had built a monument: « la Pyramide ».

After 1918, on the same monument, a memorial stone was put to the memory of the English and French soldiers.

Inauguration and speech by Mister Léonard Colmant.

This monument was distroyed.


 

 

 

5a7b24dc1a91c_Tournai1.png.45ad5ff2f6d46ec1891108ad195cebcf.png5a7b24de92eed_Tournai2.png.fc398a7e63eefb8e1f5e759508b58e20.png5a7b24e0c74d3_Tournai3.png.5dd436aa1fd9c4eda4e940bbe595e7b9.png

Edited by christiandup
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Christian,

 

Sincere thanks for the very interesting information in this topic and in the mail ! 

 

Johan

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Luc,

 

Very interesting information, thanks ! 

 

Jan indeed !  BTW, have you heard about a small mass grave near Molenhoek started by RIR 246 ?

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23 hours ago, Regulus 1 said:

Luc,

 

Very interesting information, thanks ! 

 

Jan indeed !  BTW, have you heard about a small mass grave near Molenhoek started by RIR 246 ?

 

I have some more but need some time...

 

There is a small cemetery near the Molenhoek on the British trench maps that I can't identify, I found the map references for all others from the burial return sheets but nothing for this one. Can't find it in books or internet neither.

Location is 28.J.12.d.8.5 on this map: http://maps.nls.uk//view/101464909 

This is not the communal cemetery as it was still at the church during the war and is now near the Zwaanhoek.

Below is an extract of the map with the names of the known cemeteries to the north of Beselare, what is the big red questionmark?

 

 

5a6cc5c3b4ba7_Beselarenordcemeteries.png.775fc9bf3ec74273fcdf0bb8ebbdc5b4.png

 

Luc.

 

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Johan,

 

you have Langemark Ehrenfriedhof no 124 Jean Bart House under investigation.

There was one Unknown British Soldier buried there and moved to Kemmel No 1:

http://archive.cloud.cwgc.org/archive/doc/doc1819455.JPG

Map location is 20.U.4.c.8.8 and is here on a modern map:

 

 

5a6cd22bee823_JeanBartMap.png.974e66a6ba0aee08c3f5a2988852a1f2.png

 

You have this one as number 124, the book "German cemetery at Langemark" has it as number 125 and 39 Germans moved to Langemark Nord.

 

Regards,

Luc.

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Luc,

 

Concerning Jean Bart, the number I found on the map at the RAM is 124...  The Langemark book has it indeed as 125.  Which should be correct, as 124 was Poelkapelle Dorf I.  Thanks for the correction ! 
 

Thanks for the info on the British soldier as well.
I think a lot more attention should be given to the Commonwealth, French, Belgian soldiers buried on these cemeteries.  Very little research has been done on this matter, and by finding out where men were buried originally it sometimes gives us the possibility to identify them, airmen for example.  With the Ichtegem cemeteries list, two unknown airmen should now be identified, the CWGC/MoD is working on this since a few months.  I'm certain there are a lot more that are similar cases with the material we have today on the airwar, regiments, etc.
I think it is a missed chance with the centenary.

If you PM me your full name I will gladly mention you in the credits on the website for the appreciated help.

Locations of the cemeteries, and in this case the one with the red question mark is most interesting.  I have to say my knowledge on the matter is not what I would want it to be in a number of cases :-)

Any help to identify this one is appreciated !  Thanks for the map, which is most interesting.  I now also know where Lichtenstein was exactly ! 

 

Johan 

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