Need Help on finding old soldiers grave

#1
Hi Lads /Lassies

My Aunt is getting on a bit and she has recently been saying that one last thing she would like to do is visit her fathers grave. He died at the tail end of WW2. However she doesnt know where he is buried.

Wondering if anyone could give me some links where i could start looking to find out.
He was actually in the Navy so Im guessing the first links i would need is to the Navy equivalent to ARRSE , any other links you think would be useful would be appreciated too.
Going to post his details below in case they help with knowing what places I could look. cheers in advance fellas

Adam William Docherty
NoC/kx118543
Royal Navy
HMS Bedouin
DOB 25/5/1917
Deceased 5/5/1945
Podasam Hospital
Chechslovakia
 
#2
have you tried the commonwelth war graves site

searched it for you

hope its him

CWGC :: Casualty Results

click the above link
 
L

Lechies

Guest
#5
Sadly, it looks as though he may have no known grave: his name is engraved on the Chatham Naval Memorial - see here CWGC :: Casualty Details
Yeah, I got the same search results as 40C and mrrandom, looking into it a bit more, I discovered he was a POW in Czech when he died therefore it may be that he was buried unmarked. He has as mentioned have an engraving on Chatham Naval Memorial.
 
#6
Don't know of this is any use-

15th June 1942 Under attack by Italian force comprising cruisers MONTECUCCOLI and

DI SAVOIA with destroyers ORIANI, ASCARI, VIVALDI, MALOCELLO


and Ex-Yugoslav PREMUDA.


Led by HMS CAIRO took part in attack on Italian ships with HM Destroyers


MARNE, MATCHLESS, ITHURIEL and PARTRIDGE.


Came under 6in gunfire and hit by 12 shells causing severe damage and


fire in gearing room. with structural damage forward. Ship disabled.


Taken in tow by HMS PARTRIDGE which had also been damaged.


Came under torpedo attack by aircraft during which two were shot down


after having dropped their weapon one of which hit the ship.


Sank quickly in position 36.12N, 11.37E SW of Pantellaria.


28 of ships company lost their lives and the remaining 213 were rescued


by an Italian hospital ship and became prisoner of war.


(Note: The account given in THE NAVAL WAR IN THE


MEDITERRANEAN 1940-43 is at variance with other sources


which include Supplement to LONDON GAZETTE dated


11 August 1948, THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN


by D Macintyre and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY.




 
#8
Oh man, you guys are something else. Seriously. I thought this was the begining of a hard slog of info chasing. You have no idea what this means to me. It was going to be like a mission for me to get this info as my aunt has cancer and the prognosis is just a few months.
Im not sure how much info she has surrounding the actual sinking, I will ask her if she wants me to find out before actually telling her as some people may prefer not to know how their family member died.
Seriously people , you have my immense gratitude. Nearly in tears here. Thank you
 
#9
not a problem mate, best of luck
 
#10
If you still can't find it, a trip to the Imperial war museum (London or Manchester (Classed as IWM North) and you'll find that one of the staff will help and guide you through the computer system to find the grave. Veyr helpful people.
 
#11
in this case I don't know how detailed the photo would be but when i was trying to trace my great uncles grave they were able to supply me with an image of his gravestone in tunis in high enough res for me to read his service number etc

The War Graves Photographic Project worth 3 quid for a digital copy
 
#15
Again a million thanks. Ive got much more info than I ever dreamed I would find for her. The photos will be of immense comfort to her as well. I think the next step is to get her down to the memorial in Chatham. Im going to do a bit more digging regards the cemetry in Prague,if I found that he was buried there I would arrange a surprise week-end for her to go see it.
I lied in my last post, I am not nearly in tears here , I am.
Really appreciate your help
 

jim24

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
Again a million thanks. Ive got much more info than I ever dreamed I would find for her. The photos will be of immense comfort to her as well. I think the next step is to get her down to the memorial in Chatham. Im going to do a bit more digging regards the cemetry in Prague,if I found that he was buried there I would arrange a surprise week-end for her to go see it.
I lied in my last post, I am not nearly in tears here , I am.
Really appreciate your help
F@ck off we aint finished yet

these people might be able to help

Ministerstvo obrany
 
#17
It seems that he is not buried in a marked grave in the Prague CWGC. It may well be that he was cremated at a camp or buried in an unmarked grave during the march. Apparently 157 of the ship's (HMS Bedouin) company were rescued after it's sinking (HMS Bedouin) and became PWs. Interestingly the casualty list given on the web-site I referenced includes your forebear but gives details of his death as unknown, alongside the names of those actually killed during the engagement.

This passage from the BBC WW2 People's War web-site may be of interest. It is the thoughts of one of your uncle's shipmates (Terrence William Doyle (Ted)) on that period in time...it sounds a very rough time indeed but I think we all knew that.

May 1945. Aged 20. Moosburg, POW camp. 8st in weight.
They retreated two weeks ago now, but they still stand guard around the camp. The Geneva Convention states they should. It will be three years next month since his freedom. To think he joined this for the uniform. An overcoat. Of course he knew the war was on its way, but never believed it would arrive so soon. The Yanks had arrived when the Germans retreated. All he had to do was to wait, surely they would soon be on their way home. What would it be like when he got back? He closed his eyes and thought about his family, his street, would it be the same? This was one way to see the world. How was he going to describe it to people back home? He wouldn’t know where to begin. He found it hard to believe that he was going back home, back to normality. It seemed a distant memory.
The last two years have been tiresome. He never realised Europe was so vast. To think this is where he started off and now two years later he’s back. Yet things are so different now. The last time he was here in this camp they were carrying out medical assessments to see what jobs they could give their prisoners. After that they were sent to Blechhammer, to a slave camp, a sub-camp of Auchwitz. The survivors of the Bedouin were not the only ones there. There must have been 12,000 Jews, amongst other nationalities. He had heard that the Jews had to march each morning to whatever work was in store for them, they were bare foot, whether it was rain or snow. He often felt fortunate when he looked down at his boots, but at the same time he pitied these men who had had their last scrap of dignity taken away. His boots were a Godsend on the 3-mile walk each morning. With a selection of jobs to try his hand at, it kept his sanity. Painting, labouring, making bunkers, and the best of all- grave digging. One day when he was doing a painting job with a fellow prisoner a German soldier left two loaves of bread next to them. They were so hungry that they were prepared to risk everything and take them, one each.
He stayed in Blechhamer right up until the Russians made their advance. They knew they were coming because they had heard the guns. The stories that had been told meant that all of the prisoners’ dreaded being picked up by the Russians. They knew who they had killed. One of their evil captors, Spere, his name was, wanted to march them all right towards the Russians. The panic and the fear could be sensed throughout the camp. Luckily for these men they were moved away from this advancing danger.
Along with his fellow captives and friends, with whom he spent every day of his life, he was made to march. A march that would take over his life for months. They would be made to cover approximately twenty five miles each day, only stopping at night to sleep in a barn, which they would take over. Three and a half months in the same clothes meant that he felt lousy. After Blechhamer they crossed Poland and Czechoslovakia, until finally reaching their final destination of this horrific ordeal- Moosburg.
During the march he was hungry, lice ridden, and had no idea where they were being taken. Whilst marching through Czechoslovakia an old woman came out and as he walked past she handed him a cake. He took it and put it into his shirt, he couldn’t risk the Germans seeing it. Once he reached the barn, he took it out of his jacket, the hunger was incredible. Disappointment soon took over as he realised what she had given him. It was caraway seed cake- the cake he associated with funerals. He couldn’t eat it now. Luckily he managed to swap it for some German bread that another prisoner had stolen.
Yet another record suggests that the Bedouin survivors were held as PWs in Stalag 7A and 8B. Stalag 8B had been a PW Camp in 1870 for French prisoners! Roy Cardus, 22 Hanover Court, Mostyn Broadway, Llandudno, LL30 1TP may also be able to help - he was the brother of a Bedouin and has been researching.

Commander Scurfield, the CO of Bedouin seemed to share the same twisted luck as your uncle. Like Stoker Docherty he was rescued from the wreck but was killed, by allied air action whilst en route from one camp to another, the column machine-gunned in error for a body of German troops. This may have been the incident at Gresse, referred to in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_March_(1945) which will also be of interest.

Hope this all helps.
 

jim24

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
Heres another

Terence William Doyle

Royal Navy HMS Bedouin

I served on HMS Bedouin until sank and was then made a POW in Stalag 7A and 8B, I would be interested to hear from survivors particularly ones from the Bedouin, I have never attended a reunion as they were always in London, but would now like to.

Terence Doyle

The Wartime Memories Project
 

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