Page under construction.
In this section we will see the Allied cemeteries which had German burials in the period between the two World Wars.
1 On Commonwealth cemeteries :
1 Charleroi – British cemetery on the communal cemetery 145 : 15 burials – They are still there today, all burials are from 1919 !
2 Elouges – British cemetery on the communal cemetery : 3 burials – There are 2 identified burials there today, from November 1918, Ebling and Truetschler
3 Hautrage – Mixed British German cemetery 190 : 537 burials (354 in the Belgian register from 1925) – There are 185 identified burials there. From 1914 and 1918.
Highest ranking officer is Major Alfred Prager, from the Staff of the 3rd Bn of Grenadier Regiment 12, he died on 23 August 1914. Among them also Hauptmann Otto Bruestlein from 4 FAR 54 who died on 24 August 1914 and Hauptmann Arthur von Stocki killed one day earlier and who served with 9 Grenadier Regiment 12. Hauptmann Martin Spiegel, with 1 Grenadier Regiment 12, died 24 August 1914. A member of German nobility, Lt Friedrich von Guretzki-Cornitz who was with the 1 Grenadier Regiment 8 and died on 24 August 1914
Also Oberleutnant Drees Otto, KIA 23 August 1914 with Grenadier Regiment 12, 4e Komp.
4 Marcinelle – Mixed British German cemetery on the communal cemetery : 285 burials (279 in the 1925 Belgian register) – 231 of the German burials are identified.
Feldhilfsarzt Karl Heinrich Spitzbarth is among them, he died on 6 November 1918 from the Spanish flu and served with 2/Grenadier Regiment 4.
5 Mons – British cemetery on the communal cemetery : 3 burials – There’s on iedentified German burial here, Soldat Stossey who died on 29 October 1918, his unit is not known.
6 Saint-Symphorien – Mixed british German cemetery 191 : 283 burials (254 in the 1925 Belgian register) – 244 German burials are identified. Among these a member of German nobility, Lt Jobst von Schele, killed in action on 23 August 1914 with 12/Infanterie Regiment 85.
1 Adinkerke – British cemetery – Militärfriedhof 25 : 98 burials – burial book in the RAM – Today there still are 98 German burials on this cemetery.
2 Boezinge – British cemetery Bard Cottage 137/19 : 4 burials – Today there are 3 identified German burials on the cemetery, it is not known what happened to the 4th grave.
3 Boezinge Sint-Jan – British cemetery … ? 139/24 : 1 burial – no further information
4 Boezinge – British cemetery Essex Farm 142/43 : 4 burials – Today there are 3 identified German burials on the cemetery, there is nothing known about the 4th German grave and what happened with it
5 Brielen – British cemetery Solferino Farm 136/17 : 3 burials – Today there are still 3 German burials on this cemetery
6 Koksijde – British cemetery 1 : 10 burials – no further information
The cemetery is now known as COXYDE MILITARY CEMETERY
One of the burials is Leutnant Alfred Herzberg, Kagohl III Kasta 15, who died on 26 September 1917
His Gotha GIV 1064 had to do a forced landing near Oostduinkerke after it had been hit by AA fire. Alfred was killed, as was his observer, Lt Franz Rahning and gunner Wilhelm Wienecke, a Vizefeldwebel, was wounded and taken prisoner.
The body of Rahning was possibly repatriated.
7 Dikkebus – British cemetery Old Military Cemetery 180/87 : 1 burial – no further information
8 Dikkebus – British cemetery Huts 104/85 : 6 burials – Still today there are 6 German burials on the cemetery
Among the burials is a Flieger of Flieger Abteilung 8, Heinrich Horstmann who died on 17 October 1917, who was a pilot
And also Oberleutnant Ernst Haedrich, also Flieger Abteilung 8 and killed on the same day. He was the observer of the plane.
FA 8 lost two planes that day and had 4 men killed in action.
Both planes were shot down in between the area of Geluveld-Bellewaardeaccording to several sources. However the reality is different, Horstmann and Haedrich were victims from 56 Squadron, and Captain McCudden said about this :
‘Whilst going north at 14000 feet over Wytschaete at 11am saw EA two-seater getting height over Comines. I waited till EA crossed lines and started pursuit when EA was ell East. Caught up to EA just S of Poperinghe without being observed, and fired a burst of 30 rounds from Vickers from just under his tail. EA’s propeller stopped and petrol which was streaming from his centre-section caught fire. The flames soon burnt out and after going down vertically to 12,000 EA’s left wings fell off and he crashed just south of Vlamertinghe.’
Lt Coote said the following about the attack :
‘…Capt McCudden then climbed behind the other and fired a burst into EA which went down at once in a steep diveand burst into flames, which burned very fiercely for a short time and then went out, The EA continued down in a steep dive East followed by the SE5 formation, until one wing suddenly came off and the machine went down out of control appearing to crash NW of Dickebusch…’
9 Dikkebus – British cemetery New Military Cemetery 179/88 : 1 burial – no further information
10 Dranouter – British cemetery 206/137 : 1 burial – no further information
11 Elverdinge – British cemetery Ferme Olivier : 3 burials – Today these 3 burials are still there, the most famous one is Leutnant Hans von Keudell who served with Jasta 27 who died on 15 February 2017
von Keudell had 12 confirmed victories and was born on 5 April 1892. Joined the army cadets at the age of 12 and in 1911 Kaiser Alexander II von Russland Uhlan Regiment 3 went to war with them in 1914 and transferred to aviation in 1915, first serving with Brieftauben Abteilung Oostende, on 4 August 1916 he joined KEK B aftr he was trained as a fighter pilot. He was from the start with Jasta 1 and on 5 February 1917 became CO of Jasta 27. He was shot down by Lt. Stuart Harvey Pratt from 46 Squadron RFC according to several sources but most probably his victor was 2nd Lt V H Collins from 1 Squadron RFC
Another air force burial is Leutnant Alexander Kutscher, DOW 1 May 1917 while in service with Jasta 28
He was born on 27 September 1882 at Saarbrücken and we know that he flew with Flieger Abteilung 32 and joined Jasta 5 on 27 August 1916, but it is not known when he went to Jasta 28. He was seriously wounded in aerial combat over Poperinge and had to do a forced landing that seems to have ended in a pond at Elverdinge. His victors seem to have been two pilots of 1 Squadron RFC, flying Nieuports, 2nd Lt E S T Cole and Lt F Sharpe. It was Cole his 8th and final victory.
12 Elverdinge – British cemetery Bleuet Farm 123/5 : 1 burial – There’s one German burial there today, Leutnant Karl Heinrich Voss of the Marine Feldjagdstaffel of the Marinekorps Flandern who died on 17 December 1917
Voss was born on 7 May 1895 at Usedom and joined the I Marine Feldjasta in 1917. He scored one victory on 12 December 1917 and was KIA over Houthulst Wood in combat with 2nd Lt Kelsey from 1 Squadron RFC. He crashed in the Pilkem area south of the village, hopefully he was death already as his Albatros D.V 2356/17 went down in flames.
13 Elverdinge – British cemetery Hagle Dump 86/34 : 2 burials – Today there remain two German burials
14 Heestert – British cemetery 265 : 56 burials – Today there are 18 German burials on this cemetery, it is not known what happend with the 38 other burials
15 Ingooigem – Ingoyghem British cemetery 259 : 54 burials – no further information, we only found 3 identified German burials
16 Kemmel – British cemetery French No 1 171/106 : 47 burials – Today there remain 5 German burials and there’s no further information on what happened with the others
17 Kemmel – British cemetery Irish House 199/119 : 4 burials – Today there are no longer any German burials on this cemetery and there’s no further information on what happened with them
18 Kemmel – British cemetery Lindenhoek Chalet 203/127 : 2 burials – There are no German burials today on this cemetery, no further information on what happened with these
19 Kortrijk – British part of the communal cemetery La Madeleine : 1 burial – no further information
20 Langemark – British cemetery Cement House 149/10 : 1 burial – no further information on what happened with the German burial which is no longer there
21 Loker – British cemetery 10/136 : 12 burials – no further information
22 Loker – British cemetery Hospice 114/121 : 2 burials – these two burials are still there today
23 Menen – British part of the communal cemetery : number unknown – no further information
24 Moorsele – British cemetery Kezelberg 246 : 14 burials – Today there remain 14 German burials on this cemetery
25 Moorsele – British part of the communal cemetery : number unknown – no further information on what happened with these burials
26 Nieuwkerke – British cemetery Westhof 207/150 : 5 burials – Today there remain 4 German burials, no further information on the 5th
27 Nieuwkerke Romarin – British cemetery Maple Leaf 231/162 : 9 burials – Today there are still 7 German burials, all from April 1918 no further information on what happened with 2 others
28 Nieuwkerke – British cemetery Kandahar Farm 217/141 : 3 burials and there still are 3 German burials on this cemetery Petzult, Fischer and Begler
Leonhard Schallhammer was one of them it is said, but he’s not there
Some sources say 22 German burials – no further information on this
29 Passendale – British cemetery Tyne Cot 238/31 : 17 burials – no further information on most of them
There’s only one identified German burial here, Landsturmmann Otto Bieber who served with the 11th Komp. of Infanterie Regiment 79 and who died on 4 October 1917. He was born on 25/10/1896 at Gross Werder/Osterode.
Gross Werder was part of the district Osterode in Eastern-Prussia, Gross Werder is now part of Poland and known today as Ostrów Wielki. On 4 October Tyne Cot was still in German hands, which explains why he was buried at this location.
Two of the German burials on Tyne Cot are probably from POW’s who died after the area was taken by Allied forces. However, in the case of Bieber and another unknown soldier, it seems that they were buried near what was to become the north Pavilion in Tyne Cot Cemetery when it was opened in 1927, and they had been buried here since 1917 by their German comrades on the location where they had fallen. They were reburied on their current location just before the opening of 1927.
Note that in the fighting of the 4th of October 1917 the regiment was almost completely wiped out. Many men died on the 5th as well from their wounds. It is said that only 137 men were left after this battle in the regiment ! A large part of the regiment seems to have been taken prisoner as well. What was left of the regiment was put into one battalion and in the weeks after this the regiment was reconstructed from its Ersatz or reserves/replacements from Germany.
His unit was part of the 20th Infantry Division, they relieved the 23rd Infantry Division on the 28th of September 1917 and were located to the west of Passendale. Major Niemann was the new KTK of the regiment and the IR 77 was to the north of them and the Grenadier Garde Regiment to the douth of them. By the morning of the 29th the division was fully deployed in the sector. According to Leutnant Kollibay of the regiment they were under the attack of gas the same day (evening) already.
Here is a quick section of the regimental history that relates to the 11th Company on 4 October, coming from Ralph Whitehead :
“Also Leutnant der Reserve Reinsdorff north of the railway between Flandern-I Position and the graveyard is completely unclear about the situation. A few wounded men that came back over the railway embankment, bring him the message of the breakthrough by the guard. Immediately Leutnant Reinsdorff ran from his B-Position at the embankment with Gefreiter Pfannkuch and one orderly back to the company. Both of his companions fell on the way there. The shelter is already full to bursting, 2 groups from the 11/79, 1 MG Section and many stragglers crowded themselves inside together. The bunker was immediately prepared for defense. The company leader observes keenly, recognized movement without being able to determine if it was friend or foe. The fire lying on the cement-block increased from minute to minute. “There something terrible happened” wrote Leutnant Reinsdorff, “a heavy caliber shell hit in the area in front of the shelter and of the men that previously still stood here and with the joy of battle expecting the attack, lay mutilated, terribly torn apart and burning on the ground and their company leader, on honor and conscience, I know it still today; I stood among them, and I was not hit! Each soldier, who had the same experience, will understand, that I now was “Human”; because I was horrified, as I looked in into that ghastliness that the shell had brought. Did I extinguish the fire completely mechanically, or had it gone out unaided, because it did not find any more nourishment? I noticed that the artillery fire was transferred to the rear and I went to see when all at once the Englishmen stood 20 meters in front of the shelter. I grasped my MG that was missing the hand grip and the sledge or underbody was bent and threw it on the shelter. I shouted the alarm and looked for ammunition, however it was buried under the dead and nobody heard my shouts! Leutnant der Reserve Reinsdorff and 4 men fell into captivity.”
30 Ploegsteert – British cemetery Tancrez Farm 237/167 : 2 burials – 1 identified German burial, no further information on the 2nd burial
31 Ploegsteert – British cemetery Strand 224/154 : 10 burials – Today there are 8 identified burials, no further information on the 2 other burials
32 Ploegsteert – British Cemetery St Quentin Cabaret 216/143 : 2 burials – 1 identified German burial, no further information on the 2nd one
33 Ploegsteert – British cemetery Ration Farm 219/144 : 1 burial – Today there’s still one German burial here, Unteroff. Hedrich.
34 Ploegsteert – British cemetery La Plus Douve Farm 248/145 : 9 burials – and today 9 identified German soldiers remain, all were killed in April and May 1918
35 Ploegsteert – British cemetery London Rifle Brigade 232/163 : 18 burials – There are 9 identified German burials here, two of them are lieutenants, no further information on the other 9
36 Ploegsteert – British cemetery Motor Car Corner 235/166 : 1 burial – and there’s one identified German burial here, Vizefeldwebel Otto Gaertner
37 Ploegsteert – British cemetery Lancashire Cottage : 13 burials – Today there are 12 identified burials, one of them is Hauptmann Johannes Witt who served with the staff of Infanterie Regiment 54 and died on 12 April 1918,no further information on the 13th burial
38 Ploegsteert – British cemetery Hyde Park Corner 222/133 : 4 burials – Today there are 2 identified German burials, Lt Max Seller and Sgt Georg Fuchs, no further information on the two other German burials
39 Ploegsteert – British cemetery Gunners Farm 233/164 : 4 burials – Today there are two identified Germans, Musketier Schaffer and Unteroffizier Kirchgeorg, no further information on the two others
40 Poperinge – British cemetery Lijssenthoek 97/81 : 224 burials – Today there are 212 identified German burials
41 Poperinge – British cemetery Gwalia 84/13 : 3 burials – Today there remain three identified German burials, Hain, Lindner and Tietze.
42 Poperinge – British cemetery Old Cemetery 91/60 : 2 burials – There remain 2 identified German burials here, both with the rank of Jäger, Johannes Wermes and Rudolf Naumann, both served with 4/Reserve Jäger Bn 25
43 Poperinge – British cemetery New Cemetery 92/61 : unknown number – we found one identified burial, Lt Caesar Ohse, who died 20 May 1918, served with the 7/FAR 241
44 Poperinge – British cemetery Nine Elms 90/32 : 37 burials – There are 36 identified burials on the cemetery, only one of them is an officer, Lt Friedrich Petz who served with the air force, more specifically with Flieger Abteilung Artillerie 291 and who died on 1 April 1918. His unit was erected on 15 June 1917.
Petz was born on 23 June 1895 at Ingolstadt, Bavaria, and originally served with the 12. (Bayerisches) Feld-Artillerie-Regiment and became a pilot.
His observer was Lt Moessner, who became a prisoner of war.
Petz lived at Munchen ans was not married. He joined Flieger Ersatz Abteilung 1 on 1 June 1917.
45 Proven – British cemetery Mendinghem 70 : 52 burials – There are 51 identified German burials here. Among them Krankenträger Burkhard Schoeferle who died on 3 August 1917. He served with 9/Reserve Infanterie Regiment 94.
Also one air force burial, Unteroffizier Friedrich Wassermann, Jasta 27, died 12 August 1917, (not 18 August as marked on his grave) and he was born on 1 March 1894 at Luckenwalde, Brandenburg. In July 1917 he was with the Armee Flugpark 4 at Gent and joined Jasta 27 on 27 July 1917. He was killed in combat over Ypres in an Albatros DIII.
46 Reningelst – British cemetery New Cemetery 49/82 : 2 burials – no further information
47 Roesbrugge – British cemetery Bandaghem 240 : 39 burials – There are 36 identified burials, two of them are officers.
48 Sint Joris – British cemetery Ramscapelle Road 8 : 2 burials – no further information as the two German burials are unknown soldiers
49 Sint Jan Ieper – British cemetery Wieltje Farm 143/55 : 1 burial – There is indeed one identified German NCO buried here, Unteroffizier Otto Hofmeister who died on 22 September 1917 and served with 6/Reserve Infanterie Regiment 91
50 Sint Jan Ieper – British cemetery Minty Farm 25/11 : 1 burial – indeed one identified officer is buried here, Lt Otto Hornschu, killed 5 October 1917 and served with 2 MGK from Infanterie Regiment 371
51 Sint Jan Ieper – British cemetery New Irish Farm 141/8 : 1 burial – it concerns Grenadier Georg Lentz, died 4 October 1916 and was serving with 8/2 GRR.
There are also several members buried here of the Chinese Labour Corps.
52 Vlamertinge – British cemetery 85/40 : 3 burials – no further information
53 Vlamertinge – British cemetery Brandhoek New Cemetery 96/36 : 28 burials – no further information
54 Vlamertinge – British cemetery New Cemetery 96/62 : 7 burials – no further information
One of them is Leutnant Johann Raddatz, who served with Flieger Abteilung 7, and died on 15 June 1917. He was born at Gnesen, on 29 August 1891
There’s one more from the same unit, Leutnant Friedrich Reichstein, Flieger Abteilung 7, died 15 June 1917, born at Brandenburg an der Havel on 13 August 1890. His family owned the Brennabor-Werke Gebr. Reichstein which constructed bicycles, cars, motorcycles and baby cars.
They were the crew of a DFW CV, Reichstein was the pilot and they ran apparently in 41 Squadron RFC and were shot down while flying for the German artillery near Sint Jan by Captain Stanley W. Taylor who was from South Africa. He shot 40 rounds from a distance of 50 yards into the plane which seems to have gone down immediately in a steep dive, crashing hard into the earth.
Flieger Abteilung 7 was the former Feldflieger Abteilung 7, which changed of name on 11 January 1917.
Another air force burial is Leutnant Erich Reiher, Jasta 6, died 24 June 1917. Reiher was born at Chemnitz, Sachsen on 20 September 1890 and was probably new in the unit when he was shot down by AA from the 12th Balloon Section in his Albatros DIII and killed immediately. He had one official victory. He had been attacking an observation balloon together with his commanding officer Eduard Dostler.
55 Vlamertinge – British cemetery Brandhoek 95/38 : 2 burials – no further information
56 Voormezele – British cemetery Ridge Wood 185/107 : 2 burials – Only one identified German burial, Kriegsfrewilliger Willy Gierke
57 Voormezele – British cemetery Enclosure III 182/109 : 1 burial – This seems to be Musketier Wilhelm Doh who died on 16 October 1918
58 Voormezele – British cemetery Enclosure I/II 183/40 : 6 burials – 4 identified German burials can be found here
59 Warneton – British cemetery Prowse Point 225/117 : 12 burials – there are 9 identified burials here, one of them is an officer, all casualties are from 10 and 11 April 1918, the start of the Kaiserschlacht
60 Westouter – British cemetery Churchyard Extension 106/80 : 3 burials – there are still 3 German graves, all are identified.
61 Westvleteren – British cemetery Dozinghem 79 : 65 burials – all these burials are still there and are all identified ones.
Olympic champion and Oberleutnant Bernhard von Gazen aka von Gaza is one of them
Born : 6th May 1881 in Usedom, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Died: 25th September 1917 in Langemark.
He was 36 years old when he died and was an Olympian rower, having won the Bronze in the men’s single sculls at London 1908.
Bernhard von Gazen, named von Gaza served as Oberleutnant in Infanterie-Regiment 185 when he went missing on 23 September 1917. The Germans were performing a raid and were caught by a British attack. He was later discovered to have died as a prisoner of war. He was officially called von Gazen, although people called him von Gaza.
There’s also buried an aircrew here from Flieger Abteilung 18 that died on 30 September 1917, Lt Karl Schumm who was the pilot and Hauptmann Hans Albert Speer who was the observer and gunner.
Flieger Abteilung 18 was a Lichtbild unit, a unit that was specifically busy with aerial photography. It was originally Feldflieger Abteilung 18 but changed ofname with the reorganisation of the German air force, on 11 January 1917
Schumm was born at Mülheim am Rhein on 28 June 1893 and Speer was born at Rastatt, Baden-Württemberg on 11 February 1888.
62 Wijtschate-Oosttaverne – British cemetery Wood 197/124 : 7 burials – no further information
63 Wijtschate – British cemetery Torreken Farm 201/125 : 14 burials – all are identified burials who are still there today. One of them is Obermatrose Gottlieb Arndt who served with the Marine Haubitzen Batterie 1 and died on 29 April 1918
64 Wijtschate – British cemetery 200/120 : 1 burial – no further information, no identified burial to be found
65 Wulvergem – British cemetery Pond Farm : 5 burials – and there remain five German burials here, all are identified, two are officers.
66 Ieper – British cemetery Town Extension 157/50 : 2 burials – no further information was found on these burials
67 Ieper – British cemetery Reservoir Extension 156/45 : 1 burial – no further information was found on this one
68 Ieper – British Cemetery Potijze Chateau I II and III 150/52-53-57 : 6 burials – Potijze burial ground 2, Potijze chateau 1, Potijze chateau lawn 3 – no further information
At the first one the two burials are identified, Donner and Sell, no information on the second one and on the third one all are idntified as well, one private, one NCO and one officer…
69 Ieper – British cemetery Oxford Road 144/56 : 2 burials – they are still there, it concerns Franz Berlin and Otto Heinze
70 Ieper – British cemetery Menin Road South 158/68 : 1 burial – no further information can be found on this one
71 Ieper – British cemetery Duhallow ADS 145/44 : 54 burials – There are 51 identified German war graves, no information on the other remaining three. Among them five members of Dragoner Regiment 2, as well as one from Dragoner Regiment 5 all from half October 1918. Also one Oberleutnant, Theodor Schredinger from 1 MGK of RIR 1
72 Zillebeke – British cemetery Large Wood RC (actually Larch Wood) 173/100 : 1 burial – It concerns Landsturmmann Christian Kasten who died on 22 September 1917 and served with 9/IR 395
73 Zillebeke – British cemetery Railway Dugouts Burial Ground 166/69 : 4 burials – , three are identified ones and still there plus one unknown.
Among them are two air force burials, it concerns Vizefeldwebel Gotthard Waldschmidt, Flieger Abteilung 3, died 4 March 1917 and Vizefeldwebel Peter Glasmacher, Jasta 8, died 4 May 1917
Flieger Abteilung 3 was stationed at Bissegem at the time and the Rumpler C plane was crewed by pilot Vfw. Gotthard Waldschmidt and his observer LtdR Waldemar von Gartzen and they were on a mission to Saint-Omer in France. They were most probably shot down by AA fire and crashed near Verbrande Molen Hamlet.
Other sources say that they were Edwin Stuart Travis Cole’s 2nd victory,but reality is that there are several good candidates for the claim.
Both men were apparently killed. FA 3 was also a Lichtbild unit. We know that Waldschmidt was born at Schrecksbach, Hessen on 26 January 1892. von Gartzen was born on 18 November 1896 at Kiel and was actually Leutnant der Reserve des Marine Infanterie-Regiments Nr. 1, but had been attached to FA 3. There’s no information on a known grave for him.
Glasmacher was born on 3 June 1893 at Köln (Cologne) and sources say he was killed near Sint-Elooi/Zillebeke See. He had claimed three victories, but only two were confirmed.
He ran with two comrades into five FE2d planes from 20 Squadron RFC that were on patrol to the Boezinge area near Ypres and was most probably shot down by Second Lieutenant Frank Ford Babbage and his observer First Class Air Mechanic Bernard Aldred who saw his plane catch fire, loose it’s tail and crash near Hill 60.
74 Zillebeke – British cemetery Bedford House Enclosure 2-4 171/91-93 : 2 burials, one on each enclosure –
One of them is Leutnant Walter Rode from Flieger Abteilung 3, died 20 August 1917. We already mentioned that this unit was specialised in aerial photography. Rode was the observer in the plane which probably was a Rumpler C or Albatros C type.
His plane crashed near Ten Brielen and was shot down by the Australian Gordon Taylor from 66 Squadron, who was flying in a Sopwith Pup.
It is not clear who his pilot was, but Unteroffizier Martin Ewald from the same unit died that day in the area of Poperinge. There’s a good chance that he was the pilot and was wounded, moved to a field hospital, where he died of his wounds.
75 Zillebeke – British cemetery Chester Farm 175/96 : 4 burials – no further information
76 Zillebeke – British cemetery Sanctuary Wood Farm 154/101 : 1 burial – It concerns a pilot, Hauptmann Hans Roser, killed in action on 25 July 1915, while serving with Feldflieger Abteilung 3 in service of the XV Armee Korps
Roser was born on 29 March 1893 at Marburg. Originally was in service with Feld Artillerie Regiment 36. He was shot down by the famous British ace Lanoe Hawker VC, who would later become a victim of Manfred von Richthofen. The plane from Roser was seen going down burning and smoking and it is not clear if Roser actually jumped or fell out of the plane at 1000 meters high. Chances are that he didn’t want to burn alive, and in that period not that many pilots were equipped with a pistol or revolver to end their own live in such a case.
His plane was shot down just east of Hill 62, at 1830 hours, which explains why he is buried here.
Roser was the observer of the plane, his pilot, Oberleutnant Alfred Übelacker was also killed. He has no known grave… It is most probably lost as this account tells us from the History of the 1/5th Sherwood Foresters coming from Steve Bramley :
‘We spent a further six days in Strong Posts in Sanctuary Wood and maple Copse, during which an enemy areoplane was brought down in flames. this was claimed by the Archies as a victim, but as the petrol tank was perforated in nine places by bullets their claim was disallowed.
It was an interesting sight for those who saw the event-the first burst of smoke, the observer throwing himself out, falling the greater part of the way like a partly deflated balloon (his trench coat held the air), the bump when he struck the ground, the sweep of the machine as it turned to land in the open by Maple Copse, and the perfect landing, from which it was obvious that the pilot was concious when the ground was reached. Within a fewseconds of landing, three enemy shells burst durectly over the plane, evidently intended for an anticipated rush of the curious.
The charred remains of the pilot were removed, when the fire had burned out, and buried, together with the remains of the observer, in the cemetery at the east of the wood. The light machine gun with which the plane was equipped was recovered and is now at Derby.’
Note that Maple Copse was a small wood at the time, so east of the wood, is west of the wood at Hill 62, which corresponds with the location of the cemetery.
How it could happen that his body was lost is actually made clear on the website from the CWGC in the history of the cemeteries in that area :
“Sanctuary Wood is one of the larger woods in the commune of Zillebeke. It was named in November 1914, when it was used to screen troops behind the front line. It was the scene of fighting in September 1915 and was the centre of the Battle of Mount Sorrel (2-13 June 1916) involving the 1st and 3rd Canadian Divisions. There were three Commonwealth cemeteries at Sanctuary Wood before June 1916, all made in May-August 1915. The first two were on the western end of the wood, the third in a clearing further east. All were practically obliterated in the Battle of Mount Sorrel, but traces of the second were found and it became the nucleus of the present Sanctuary Wood Cemetery.”
77 Zonnebeke – British cemetery Polygon Wood 239/54 : 1 burial – no further information
British cemeteries under German care
1 Wervicq-Nord 65 : 1 British burial – no further information
2 Zeebrugge 184 (see the West-Flanders page)
2 On French cemeteries :
1 Chatelet – French German mass grave on the communal cemetery : 71 German burials and 123 French ones (according to the 1925 Belgian register 73 German burials) – no further information
1 Bellefontaine – under German care Ehrenfriedhof 63 : 298 burials and 242 French – no further information
2 Maissin I – Ehrenfriedhof 236 : 229 burials and 91 French ones – no further information
3 Halanzy – Ehrenteil on the communal cemetery : 27 burials, 14 French ones and 5 Italians ? – no further information
4 Herbeumont – Ehrenfriedhof 225 : 9 burials and 4 French ones
Under German care :
5 Anloy-Bruyères – Ehrenfriedhof 116 : 642 burials and 411 French – no further information
6 Jehonville – Ehrenfriedhof 76 : 172 burials and 126 French ones
7 Virton Bellevue – Ehrenfriedhof 246 : 491 burials and 2427 French burials, but probably also Italian, Polish and American burials ??? – no further information
Under French care :
8 Maissin II National – Ehrenfriedhof 78 : 429 German burials and 300 French ones
9 Neufchateau-Malonne – Ehrenfriedhof 83 : 334 German burials and 280 French burials – no further information
10 Anloy-Bois – Ehrenfriedhof 83 : 117 German and 147 French burials
11 Bertrix-Bruyère – Ehrenfriedhof 74 ; 173 German and 255 French burials – no further information
12 Masson-Baranzy : Ehrenfriedhof 54 : 268 German burials and 391 burials (but also is mentioned 884 French burials) – no further information
13 Rossignol Plateau – Ehrenfriedhof ? : 140 German and 471 French burials – no further information
1 Tarcienne – Ehrenfriedhof 110 : 84 German burials, number of French burials not mentioned, according to the 1925 Belgian register 81 German burials – no further information
3 On Belgian cemeteries :
Lier – Ehrefriedhof : 217 German burials and no number of Belgians mentioned – no further information
Houthem – Sint Margriete – Ehrenfriedhof : 77 German burials – no further information
Dendermonde-Appels – Ehrenfriedhof 252 : 301 German burials – no further information
Copyright Johan Ryheul 2017-2018