German's in a CWG attached to an ex-military hospital

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by alfred_the_great, Jul 27, 2010.

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  1. All,

    I live near the site of a former military hospital, and it has an attached Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery. In addition to the mixture of UK, NZ and Aus graves, it also has a good dozen German graves. I'm aware that we buried the dead together in France etc, but I'm a little confused as to how the German's got to South Hampshire? Would we really have put them into our Casualty Chain all the way back home, and how did they enter it? If it makes any difference, all the dates are about 1915....


  2. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    I would imagine they were POW and possibly died of wounds or illness.There were a number of POW camps in the UK, so not a surprise really:
  3. IIRC there are WW1 German graves near Petersfield, again with a duff memory, I think they were from a zeppelin that may have crashed/shot down.
  4. In 1915 there were a lot of casualties in tented/prefab camps from meningitis. There are for example twenty graves from a Service battalion in Ambleside churchyard, who lost their lives to the disease. However a lot of Germans did make it back through our casualty and PW chains, only to succumb to wounds or disease.

    There is a whopping concentration cemetery in Cannock Chase, which holds 5000 German graves from WW1 and WW2 split pretty evenly between the two conflicts. The cemetery originally served a large PW hospital and a neighbouring camp which was used as a depot by the NZ Rifle Brigade. There are still some other plots around the country but the four Zeppelin crews were all brought here from their original grave sites.
  5. Not WW I but WW II war graves of Luftwaffe airmen buried with British and Commonwealth service personnel in the churchyard at Thorney Island, West Sussex. In its time, Thorney has been an RAF station, a camp for Vietnamese boat people and was even owned by the RN for a short period but it now accommodates Baker Barracks, the home of 12 and 47 Regts RA. The double headstone probably marks the grave of a bomber crew.


  6. There is apparantly a row of (now vacant) graves in the town cemetery of Hexham in Northumberland.
    They were occupied by German POW's who died of wounds in the local military hospital. After the war (and I do not know which!) the bodies were exhumed and taken back to Germany.
    This was told to my daugher by an elderly local. My daughter was doing some historical research there some years ago but this story was never confirmed as it was not part of her remit.
    Does anyone know of this, or of similar situations? Were some repatriated even then?
  7. Morton Cemetery near Keighley in West Yorkshire held the graves of 18 German POW's who died during the influenza epidemic in 1918. The grave were exhumed many years later, apparently to Germany. The cemetery spot now bears the war memorial.
  8. Although my memory is getting poor I believe I have come across this situation before. Jersey for example has a memorial garden based on something similar.
  9. By the A20 Harrietsham Nr Maidstone Kent, there is a reasonable sized CWGC plot. There are several individual RAF pilot Battle of Britain graves plus the same but Luftwaffe graves. However there is a large number of REME and other supporting units graves, all killed on the same day which if I recall was July 1944. I don't know what the story was I assume a V1 took them out?
  10. Which CWGC cemetery is that? Harrietsham's CWGC has only 5 graves - none REME.
  11. Jamdonut, you donut, you meant LENHAM?

    46 REME casualties there from the 6th Guards Tank Brigade workshop, stationed between Lenham and Charing, who were killed by a flying bomb on 24 June 1944. Amazingly they are all corporal or below in rank. Which suggests the V1 fell on the workshops while the officers/SNCOs were doing toast and coffee, around 11 am!
  12. Plot thickens...51 men killed, 40 wounded.

    As an aside Runcie and Whitelaw both served with 6th Independent Guards Tank Bde in 1944. The Bde deployed to Normandy in late June - presumably without its workshops - and distinguished itself in the break out at Caumont.
  13. You are quiet right, I am a donut and yes I meant Lenham, was checking since first thread on this subject. Have you checked out Kents fallen web site very interesting site.