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Zantvoorde British Cemetery Case #5: Amerika German Cemetery, Lt Grenadier Guards


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This is Case #5 from the list at:

https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/262948-zantvoorde-british-cemetery/

 

SEE POST #15 - HE HAD BEEN IDENTIFIED AS LT. VAN NECK AND I MISSED IT!

 

I saw a number of mentions of this area, on the COG-BR documents and in the war diaries, which appears to be a German Cemetery and clearly shows at 28.P.12.b.8.0, even on the 1/40.000 McMaster Maps ([Ypres] 28). There it is named "America Cab", which appears to be cross roads. There is a place called "America" in 28.P.12.d but I do not yet know the difference. This post is as much about finding out more about "AMERIKA" (probably the German spelling), as it is about the UNKNOWNS. It is located about 3,600 yards to the southeast of ZANTVOORDE, 3,200 yards southwest of GHELUWE and approximately 2,500 yards due north of WERVICQ.

 

There are 9 maps showing this on the UKNA trench maps, where it is named AMERICA CABARET on 28SE1 WERVICQ:

  • German rear area east of the Messines-Wytschaete Ridge
  • Battle of Messines 7 June 1917
  • Third Battle of Ypres 31 July 1917
  • German rear defences July-November 1917
  • German retirement to the west? August 1917 (I would have thought they retired east)

 

r9uun9qeg1jz3no6g.jpg

Edited by laughton
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There are two sets of remains on COG-BR 1840120 and there may be others in this cemetery or elsewhere from AMERIKA. These are identified here as a UBS of the 3rd South Staffs from 1914 and an UNKNOWN Grenadier Guards Lieutenant from 1914. A watch was sent in from the Lieutenant but there is no response.

 

The candidates for the Lieutenant are:

 

ANTROBUS

Lieutenant

EDMUND

Saturday, October 24, 1914 Age 27

YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL 

VIEW RECORD

1st Bn. 4 Coy Grenadier Guards

 

MILLER

Lieutenant

FREDERIC WILLIAM JOSEPH

Friday, October 23, 1914 Age 22

YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL 

VIEW RECORD

2nd Bn. Grenadier Guards

 

DOUGLAS-PENNANT

Lieutenant

The Hon. ALAN GEORGE SHOLTO

Thursday, October 29, 1914 Age 24

YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

VIEW RECORD

1st Bn. Grenadier Guards

 

 

Lieutenant Douglas-Pennant is the only one of the three that has a listing on the ICRC website. Initially I thought i however it was an INQUIRY ONLY as there was no corresponding PA file, however the text is clear:

 

Quote

He was hospitalized in Brussels and directed him to Friedrichsfeld. Will be currently in Haltenhohe near Soltau.

 

Wikipedia tells me:

Quote

Soltau Camp (Lager Soltau), the largest German prisoner-of-war camp of the First World War was built in 1914. 

 

Looking on Google Earth, Soltau is far-far away to the south of Hamburg, so it would not be logical that he appeared back at the Zandvoorde burial site. Friedrichsfeld is south of Frankfurt and generally referred to as Mannheim-Friedrichsfeld.

 

C_G1_E_15_01_0025_4081_0.JPG

 

War Diary information about the 1st and 2nd Battalions Grenadier Guards in October 1914:

  • 1st Bn (20th Brigade, 7th Division) for October 24th and 29th 1914: 
     
  • 2nd Bn (4th Guards Brigade, 2nd Division) for October 23rd 1914:
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Amerika (or America) was the name of the hamlet, where there was a café with the same name, America Cabt on maps.

There was a German cemetery there (well, several to be precise in the immediate area).

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Thanks for that. See below about another location called HANNEBECK BROOK, which I cannot locate.

 

Just checking the war diaries and my internet connection went AWOL, so continuing on:

 

doc1840120.JPG

 

War Diary information about the 1st and 2nd Battalions Grenadier Guards in October 1914:

  • 1st Bn (20th Brigade, 7th Division) for October 24th and 29th 1914: 
    • October 1914 starts at page 269 of 867 under Piece 1657 20 Infantry Brigade, 7th Division
    • Another case where the war diary was not submitted for October 1914 (page 277 of 867) and then I see only parts, as on the 20th it says "The work on entrenching was continued during the morning and at midday the attack on the ....", and then it ends. The next page is a note from 30 November 1916 reporting that the there was continuous fighting from the 20th October to November 6th and the 1st Battalion was so heavily engaged that it was not possible at that time to keep a diary.
    • Back then to looking at the 20th Brigade HQ war diary (page 2 of 399) and then to October 24th (page 22 of 399) at KRUISEIK (maps says Kruiseeck 28.J.36.d). At 3 pm the Grenadiers reported the Germans attacking in force. The war diary (page 23 of 399) reports on the death of Major Colby and Lieutenants Antrobus, Somerset and Walters. It also states "4 Officers Killed".
    • Lieutenant Somerset is one of the men that was buried by the enemy in the Kolenberg Forest German Cemetery and later concentrated into the Harlebeke New British Cemetery (GRRF 1816018).
    • There is no record of a Lieutenant Walters on the CWGC, however there is a Serjeant Arthur Walters #14465 of the 1st Bn Grenadier Guards listed as KIA 29 October 1914? He is the only Walters listed as a death casualty in the Grenadiers Guards in the Great War. It is Second Lieutenant Sydney Walter (CWGC Link). His death is listed there as 25 October 1914.
    • By October 28th (war diary page 30 of 399) the unit has been withdrawn and reorganized at Basseville and then is shown at Gheluvelt (28.J.22.c). They were informed that the enemy planned to take the crossroads southeast of Gheluvelt, which we have recently covered in another of the Zandvoorde cases. The attack took place at VELDHOEK where Major Stucley was killed (Zandvoorde 6.c.3 found at 28.J.29.d.8.5 COG-BR 1840036). That is the location of the crossroads at NIEUWE KRUISEECK.
    • The Grenadier Guards were beaten back to east of GHELUVELT and during the day (29th October) heavy losses were reported, leaving only 5 of the initial 20 officers alive (page 34 of 399). On that same page, Lieutenant Hon. A. G. Douglas (see above ICRC file) is wounded and missing and reported killed - but apparently he was not, so his date of death on the CWGC is incorrect - we don't know when he died as a POW.
       
  • 2nd Bn (4th Guards Brigade, 2nd Division) for October 23rd 1914:
    • October 1914 states at page 17 of 673 under Piece 1342 4 Guards Brigade 2nd Division
    • On the 21st of the month (page 21 of 673) they marched to assembly 2 miles west of ZONNEBEKE (28.D.28) at HANNEBECK BROOK (where ?) then 1.5 miles toward PASCHENBAEL (Passchendaele?), where they remained on the 22nd and 23rd, when Lieutenant Miller was reported killed. The 3rd Bn Coldstream Guards were on their left and the 2nd Bn Coldstream Guards on the right.

It would appear to me that both Lieutenant Antrobus of the 1st Battalion and Lieutenant Miller of the 2nd Battalion were both killed in the field and would not have ended up going back to a German facility for burial. There is no reference to them MIA and presumed KIA.

 

That raises the question as to how correct the ICRC report was for Lieutenant Douglas-Pennant and whether he is not the casualty that is reported in the AMERIKA GERMAN CEMETERY? That would appear to make more sense than his long trek to Brussels and then to a prison camp in northern Germany.

 

There is still the question of Lieutenant Walters, the first time I have come across a reported casualty that is not on the CWGC. FOUND HIM!

 

On a side note, there is only one OR of the 3rd Bn. South Staffordshire Regiment missing in 1914. There are three (3) Lieutenants but I suspect that the Germans would have reported the grave as being an Officer if one existed? I see no reference to the 256 but we don't know if that was to be related to a service number or a German assigned number. There are no 256 references for 1914 in any units of the South Staffordshire Regiment.

 

ARCHER-SHEE

Lieutenant

GEORGE

Saturday, October 31, 1914

PRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

VIEW RECORD

3rd Bn. South Staffordshire Regiment

LATIMER

Private 6829

JOHN

Tuesday, October 27, 1914

YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

VIEW RECORD

3rd Bn. South Staffordshire Regiment

ROBINSON

Lieutenant

FRANCIS EDWARD

Tuesday, October 27, 1914

YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

VIEW RECORD

3rd Bn. South Staffordshire RegimentU

FITZPATRICK

Lieutenant

D T F

Tuesday, October 27, 1914

YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

VIEW RECORD

3rd Bn. South Staffordshire Regiment

Edited by laughton
found 2nd Lt Walter
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So, there were 5 British graves on America Crossroads cemetery, which was probably started late October 1914 when there was a German medical aid post in America Cabt (Egberts grandfather, Gottfried Sandrock, passed here as well in November 1914 when I'm not mistaken).

Three were later exhumed and transferred to Larch Wood Cemetery, among these Jack Eden. He was buried in grave 32. Grave 16 and 17 were taken to Larch Wood as well (Wilson of 2/Scots Guards and an unknown from 2/Yorkshire).

Two graves were apparently taken to Zandvoorde: 14 and 15. Number 14 was an unknown officer, 15 just an unknown according to the German list.

 

There is no information when the cemetery was created or whether field graves were moved here (which I am inclined to think).

 

Edited by AOK4
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Just to cover the issue of the SECONDARY REGIMENT in the two cases noted above:

  1. There were two men listed with a link to the GRENADIER GUARDS 1914 via the secondary regiment linkage, however both have known graves in Belgium (CWGC Link).
     
  2. There was one man of the SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE REGIMENT 1914 via the secondary regiment linkage, however he was lost in France (CWGC Link).

 

On the matter of Lieutenant Douglas-Pennant, I have asked "votaire60" if he can check the Officer File on his next visit. Something is wrong if he was wounded, missing and reported killed and the ICRC has him on a long trek to the hospital and POW camps far away. I may be misinterpreting the ICRC document, as there was no attached PA file. Maybe to person who filed the request was only saying "I had heard that Lt Douglas ... was hospitalized in Brussels and directed him to Friedrichsfeld. Will be currently in Haltenhohe near Soltau"?

 

Quote

The Grenadier Guards were beaten back to east of GHELUVELT and during the day (29th October) heavy losses were reported, leaving only 5 of the initial 20 officers alive (page 34 of 399). On that same page, Lieutenant Hon. A. G. Douglas (see above ICRC file) is wounded and missing and reported killed

- but apparently he was not, so his date of death on the CWGC is incorrect - we don't know when he died as a POW.

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     From officer file at Kew.   The matter of where Douglas-Pennant came up in 1928, when his father, Lord Penrhyn, died. the younger brother of Douglas-Pennant asked the War Office for the issue of a death certificate for his brother in order that he might request a Writ of Summons to the House of Peers.

 

     There is a War Office note in the file from Corporal J. Hayter, 13538, 1st Grenadier Guards,t-he had heard from Captain Preston, Grenadier Guards, when both were in hospital at Roubaix. in December 1914. Douglas-Pennant had been firing from a trench near Crecic(Name unclear),near Ypres when he was hit and killed.  The report had been forwarded from the commander of a German prison camp in Germany and June 1915 was its receipt at the War Office. (This may be the cause of the misleading statements about D-P-it was the witness that was in Germany, not D-P)

 

    There is a further note of 7th April 1915 from Private Peasegood, Rd Cross Hospital, Boulogne. he had seen a picture of D-P's wife in the papers, and recognized it as that of the officer he knew had been killed.

 

      The June 1915 Letter had been forwarded to Lord Penhryn, who had accepted it as evidence that his son was dead.

 

I can only suggest 2 ways forward on this

 

1)  D-P was killed in a front-line trench- Where was his Company of the Grenadier Guards that day, set against trench maps?

 

2) Whether there is any further possibility of information sourced from either papers and records of Captain Preston, Grenadier Guards, or, if he survived, whether there is anything in a surviving debrief "Circumstances of Capture" after the war ended.

 

     Hope that helps a little

Pip,pip

Mike

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Thanks Mike - your work and assistance is invaluable! The mystery name that you could not read was probably "Kruiseik".

 

Jack Hayter has an ICRC file and corresponding PA files. (For my reference these are now in "7. Great War Forum/ Zantvoorde British Cemetery"). The first two PA documents relate to the location at Hanover (Res. Laz. I Hanover). I assume "Laz 1" is the POW camp? The last one, dated 25 March 1916, is "Reslz. 5" Hanover. These are all in the "Shared MediaFire Zantvoorde Folder".

 

C_G1_E_15_01_0040_3373_0.JPG

 

I did not find Captain Preston in the ICRC Records, so I went back to the War Diary to see if I could find any reference to him. Absolutely fascinating reading for a Canadian to be looking at what was going on in October 1914 as the BEF first arrived in Belgium! By the 19th of October The 1st Bn Grenadier Guards (20th Bde 7th Div) were holding the line in the trenches with the Gordons, I believe at the cross roads just south of Kruiseik-Zandvoorde (war diary page 17 of 399). Heavy shelling was coming from the vicinity of Wervicq. The Germans had occupied Gheluwe. The advancing Germans opened fire on the Grenadier Guards on the 20th at Kruiseik (war diary page 19 of 399) at the time the enemy was occupying America. On the 21st they were being heavily attacked at 3 pm. On the 24th the Grenadier Guards reported the Germans were attacking in force (war diary page 23 of 399). A counter attack was led By Major Colby, which takes us back to the time of our earlier analysis of the events of 24 October 1914 (war diary page 23 of 399). There is no mention of Captain Preston (perhaps he was not a Grenadier Guard?) as it says that Captain Leatham was wounded and Lieutenant Sir P Duckworth-King was the only officer to survive. Later it is reported that 20 Officers are still alive (war diary page 30 of 399) and there are no other reported deaths until Major Stucley is killed leading the counterattack on the 29th (war diary page 32 of 399). It is then reported that of the 20 Officers in the Grenadier Guards who started on the 29th only 5 were left (Roach, Pilcher, Hamilton, Hope and Darby - war diary page 34 of 399). That page also lists the Officer Casualties, which included Lt. Hon. A. G. Douglas-Pennant wounded and missing - reported killed. Still no mention of Captain Preston being captured.

 

There is a typed narrative of the events of October 1914 for the 20th Infantry Brigade at the end of the month's war diary (page 44 of 399). I guess I should have read that first!

 

In the event that Captain Preston was not with the Grenadier Guards, I checked the list on the UKNA site (this search link). He is not there either? Nothing even for a Lieutenant. Who was Captain Preston?

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THE HUNT CONTINUES FOR CAPTAIN PRESTON (see Mik's post). If Corporal Hayter heard from Captain Preston, we have to find him.

 

The war diary says that of the 20 Officers and 670 men who started the day, only 5 Officers and and some 200 men were left.  The war diary (page 30 of 399) says that on October 28th the unit mustered 20 Officers and 670 Other Ranks. That would mean that there were 470 OR casualties (killed, wounded or missing) on the 29th.

 

The officers left were:

  1. Captain Rasch
  2. Lieutenant Pilcher
  3. Lieutenant Lord C. Hamilton
  4. Lieutenant Hope
  5. Second Lieutenant Darby

These are the Officer Casualties listed in the war diary (page 34 of 399). If the name is highlighted, the link is to their page on the CWGC. The CWGC for 27-29 October lists the names of 73 men known dead for that period, 3 of whom died in the hospital at Boulogne and thus were most likely wounded prior to this time.

 

None of these appear to have any link to the mysterious Captain Preston nor a link to Corporal Hayter. I do not know enough about the Officer's Files at Kew to know if they are complete, as I could not find all of these men.

  1. Lieutenant M. Earle, DSO - wounded and missing
    • he has a record on the ICRC web site (3 records, this being the main one with the PA records)
    • PA 1343 - Krgs. Laz. I Militar Hosp. Brussel (that is similar to the wording on the file for Lt. Douglas-Pennant)
    • PA 2585 - Gefangenenlager Friedberg - same Prison Camp where my Grandfather resided, it was an "Officer's Camp" and very comfortable!
    • PA 7043 - I see no mention of him on that page
  2. Major H. S. Stucley - killed
    • buried in 6.C.3 Zantvoorde British Cemetery
    • recovered at 28.J.29.d.8.5 COG-BR 1840036
  3. Major Hon. A. O. Welo-Forester - wounded
    • I can not find him on the UKNA Officers list - these 5 Majors are listed
  4. Captain Lord R. Wellesley - killed
    • buried in 16.B.11 Hooge Crater Cemetery
    • recovered at 28.J.36.c.45.95 COG-BR 2014621
  5. Captain Hon. M. Ponsonby - wounded
  6. Captain G. Rennie - wounded and missing
    • no known grave, Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
    • Officers File at UKNA WO 339/6427
    • he has a record at the ICRC (thought he was at Laz. Wurzburg but he was not)
  7. Lieutenant Hon. A. G. Douglas-Pennant - wounded and missing (reported killed)
    • no known grave, Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
    • the candidate for grave 5.H.14 Zantvoorde British Cemetery as an Unknown British Lieutenant, Grenadier Guards 1914
    • recovered at 28.P.12.b.8.0 Grave 14 AMERIKA German Cemetery COG-BR 1840120
  8. Lt. P. Van Neck - wounded and missing
  9. Lieutenant Aubrey Cletcher - wounded
  10. Lieutenant L. Aimes - wounded
  11. Lieutenant Harcourt Powell - wounded
  12. Second Lieutenant R. O. R. Kenyon Slaney - wounded and missing
  13. Second Lieutenant S. Lambert - wounded
  14. Lieutenant Butt, RAMC - missing
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There's no mention of a Grenadier Guards Captain Preston in the November/December 14 army lists that I can see.

Craig

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Good idea Criag!  I had been looking in other units as well but never thought of the lists.

 

Four (4) in 1914: Ancestry Link

 

View Record A. J. D. Preston 1914 THE ROYAL DUBLIN FUSILIERS Captain
View Record B. W. Preston 1914 ROYAL ENGINEERS TERRITORIAL FORCE Captain
View Record P. H. H. Preston 1914 Royal Garrison Artillery Captain
View Record R. P. PrestonWhyte 1914 PRINCE ALBERT'S (SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY) Captain

 

I will have to check them in the ICRC list.

 

From the LLT for the 7th Division 20th Brigade, so not from the same Brigade:

 

20th Brigade  
1st Bn, the Grenadier Guards left August 1915
2nd Bn, the Scots Guards left August 1915
2nd Bn, the Border Regt  
2nd Bn, the Gordon Highlanders  
1/6th Bn, the Gordon Highlanders joined December 1914, left January 1916
8th Bn, the Devonshire Regt joined August 1915
9th Bn, the Devonshire Regt left September 1918
1/6th Bn, the Cheshire Regt joined January 1916, left February 1916
20th Machine Gun Company formed 10 February 1916
left to move into 7th MG Battalion 1 April 1918
20th Trench Mortar Battery formed 14 February 1916
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How did I miss that! The Canadian idiot! :o

Edited by laughton
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6 hours ago, ss002d6252 said:

There's no mention of a Grenadier Guards Captain Preston in the November/December 14 army lists that I can see.

Craig

 

     Same here - I did October 1914.  And I'm the one that copied the name!!

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See Post #15 - this is now a closed case.

 

However, we still do not know where Lieutenant Douglas-Pennant is buried or who is Captain Preston. As always, I have learnt a lot working on this file and my apologies for the wild goose chase on the Unknown Lieutenant. I always check that but in this case I clearly missed the connection!

 

This part still remains OPEN:

 

On a side note, there is only one OR of the 3rd Bn. South Staffordshire Regiment missing in 1914. However, I don't know if it is worth pursuing given that there is 1 OR and 3 Lts. There is no proof that he is not one of the Lieutenants.

 

But who is Captain Preston?

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Just a short follow-up on the SIDE NOTE above. The 3rd Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment was a Reserve Battalion, not a serving Battalion. As such it could be any number of men that passed through the reserve battalion and were serving in one of the active units.

 

LLT link

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