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Zeebrugge Raid - Zeebrugge Churchyard

Regulus 1

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This comes from another topic on Lt.Cdr. Harrison :

Cemetery seen from the entrance, everything has remained in the same way, only the headstones changed. Also the German monument has vanished.


Situation at the end of 1918, this is still the original stone made by the Germans for the casualties of St.-George's Day 1918


On the German stone is said :

3 officers (drei Engl. Offiziere)

7 marines (sieb. Engl. Seesoldat.)

2 seamen or sailors (zwei Engl. Matrosen)

2 stokers (zwei Engl. Heizer)

Total = 14

Today in this plot there are :

left :

Captain Tuckey

2 unknown officers

3 unknown marines

right :

4 unknown marines

2 unknown sailors

2 unknown stokers

Total = 13

However in a plot to the left we find :

Petty officer Mayers HMS Thethis

Corporal Osborne RMLI

In this case, total is 15 ! Rather confusing isn't it ? Just wait, it gets worse !

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I just got two reports from KEW thanks to Dominic Walsh and his dad, which make things even more confusing.

First I should mention that the original German headstone said that the unknown grave numbers were the following concerning the Zeebrugge raid :



Total : 14

The first document is a letter from a certain Baron de Ryckel to Colonel Waldron, Intelligence Officer at Dover, dated 26 December 1918 in which is mentioned :

2) A common grave marked A on the enclosed sketch bears the following inscription :

Hier ruhen

3 Engl. Offiziere

7 Engl. Seesoldaten

2 Engl. Matrosen

3) Grave No. 163 bears the inscription :

Engl. Obermaat J.A. Mayers (23/4/1918)

This would make the total : 13

Our Baron seems to have forgotten all about the last line on the stone :

2 Engl. Heizer

In that case : 15

He continues :

5) Graves Nos. 164, 165 and 175 would be those of the English sailors

However he does not mention if they have anything to do with Zeebrugge raid, they are probably unknown having nothing to do with it.

Another undated overview of the 'List of fallen Englishmen killed in the attack on the Mole at Zeebrugge' makes the confusion even worse :

141 Captain.

142 Officer. 2

143 Officer

144 - 150 Marine

151 - 152 Sailor

153 Stoker

162 Stoker P.O.

163 Stoker C.E.R.A.

171 Sgt Osborne Mayer C.E. or G.E.

Washed up bodies : Marks P.L.

R.M. C.8. 16683 G.A.

No. 176 An English Artificer

My personal remarks :

So 142 is that 2 officers ?

153 pops up as a new one

161 seems to have dissapeared...

163 is supposed to Mayers but he was a Petty Officer and this is a Chief Engine Room Artificer (can anyone help on the difference between these ranks)

171 Also a double grave with Osborne and Mayer (which I've never heard of)

Where is Marks in this case ? In the same grave, there's no number, he's not mentioned on the CWGC list. Has anyone information on him ?

And where does 176 come from and who is he ?

So what should now be the correct number of graves ? 16 ? 17 ? 18 ?

Rather confusing isn't it ?

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A Chief Engine Room Articifier is an appointment with the same rank as a Chief Petty Officer - hope this helps


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Chris, it most certainly does, so that is not equal to a petty officer ! Mayers was a Petty Officer not a Chief Petty Officer... So it gets even better...

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Regulus, following on input by CHRIS ;

Petty Officer is SEAMAN Grade rating and CERA as written ENGINE ROOM Artificer


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Thanks Sadsac !

Any other feedback on this matter ? Additional information on the names mentioned ?

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  • 5 weeks later...

Further information has now been asked for to the CWGC

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  • 3 months later...

And for the very first time, no reaction on any of my e-mails from the CWGC concerning this matter.

That answers the question after all I guess...

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It is now clear what a post on the GWF can do. I'm not planning to say more about it, but it gave a very positive result.

Today I received an e-mail from the CWGC that they are willing to take a further look at the evidence we have concerning Commanders Brock and Harrison.

It is just a first step, but it is a positive one. And that is a start.

I would like to thank the CWGC for the effort they are willing to do in this case. I know that they have a difficult task, and that they can not generalise this way of working. But in this case there is a more than serious amount of evidence which points out in the direction of both officers.

I am convinced that together we may bring this to a good end.

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