RAF Wegberg Infant Deaths

I too would advise that anyone looking into this makes as much use of context as possible at the time BMH's were few and far between and served a much larger catchment area then a local hospital did.

I wouldn't be surprised if the mortality rate in every age band showed abnormalities when compared to a similar civilian establishment just due to the fact that that's where all MOD personnel ended up. Both my sisters were born in Rinteln despite my dad being stationed in two different locations many miles apart and much further from Rinteln then would expected in a civilian location.

my daughter was born in 1996 she was very early and very small and a nurse of many years experience told us that we were lucky as maybe even just 5-6 years before she would probably have been unviable purely because the levels of care and treatment that saved her were just not around

It's not the case that all MOD personnel and families were treated in military hospitals. Many were treated in German hospitals, usually as emergencies, and these were often the most seriously ill and injured. German ambulance services rarely took patients to BMH or RAF hospitals - in 4 years at Wegberg I can only recall one occasion, and that was because the incident occurred <0.5k away, and the patient was moribund. I also recall collecting quite a number of bodies from hospitals in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands (usually, but not always, RTCs).

Local policy would have had an impact. The RAF regularly took emergency patients to local hospitals (they could be transferred once stable), whilst the Army often transported patients long distances in elderly ambulances.

Some patients were transferred from British hospitals to German facilities for specialist treatment. I took patients from Wegberg to Aachen (Burns Centre and Neurosurgery) and Duisburg (decompression chamber), for example.

Also, some seriously ill patients were aeromedically evacuated to UK, so if they subsequently died they wouldn't appear in BFG mortality data.

It would be interesting to compare mortality rates, because it always seemed as if BFG had a particularly high number of deaths from RTCs and suicide, but I'm not sure if the data is available.


War Hero
Slightly off topic, but I visited the Military Cemetery in Pembroke Dock recently, and one couple had lost 4 of their children in a two month period, due to an outbreak of scarlet fever.
The headstone was one of the saddest things I've ever seen.


Hello - I have started researching the whereabouts of my stillborn child, born at Wegberg in the 80s. I would dearly love to connect via a telephone call to anyone who is in a similar position. Please get in touch if you are open to this - many thanks, and all the very best to all who like myself, have unanswered questions.
Such a sad thread. My deep condolences to all who suffered bereavement.


My eldest daughter was born in Wegberg hospital in1966, she weighed less than 2lb,after a couple weeks
she was transferred to Iserlohn hospital where they had paediatricians, Wegberg sent a car to take my wife
to Iserlohn, she stayed up there for 5 weeks, Thanks to the staff at both hospitals my girl survived.
The amount of people that came forward to help me was truly amazing
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I have just saw your message . If you want to send your contact details then I can get in touch. I like you just came across this site.


Book Reviewer
At the top of the page, click on Inbox. There you can select 'new conversation'. put in the name of the person you want to contact, and Bob's your uncle.

Good luck!


Book Reviewer
At the top of the page, click on Inbox. Then see 'start a new conversation'. put the name of the person you want to talk to, and Bob's your Uncle.

Good Luck!


Book Reviewer
Just discovered this site today. I had a daughter who died at Wegberg in 1976. She was diagnosed with cancer there, sent to Kings College London for treatment and we returned after her radiotherapy. She died on May 23rd 1976, just before her 3rd birthday. One of the sisters on the Children's Ward at that time was Sister Strange (really) - I knew her because she was a midwife on the ward where my son was born at Wroughton in 1968. My daughter is buried in the Military Cemetery at Rheindahlen.


I am doing research into the level of infant mortality in the 70s. The geographical location is the JHQ Rheindahlen district and more specifically RAF Wegberg.

If anyone can assist in the location of any stats or case histories I would be extremly grateful all infornmations will trated in the strictest confidence.

Hi. I’ve only just found this thread so maybe a bit late. My son was born at Wegberg in 1987 and quite frankly we were both lucky to have survived considering what happened. I believe there was a Channel 4 dispatches documentary about Mum and baby deaths and near misses about 5 years later. I watched it and saw a Dr being interviewed and I knew he was talking about what happened with me

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