Here is a list with the German WW I cemeteries that remain today.
Of course, best known are the cemeteries in West-Flanders, Hooglede, Langemark, Menen and Vladslo.
Zeebrugge is quite well known as well, but is under the care of the CWGC
It has almost become a legend that these are the only four remaining in Belgium, and according to others, the only four remaining in Flanders. This is wrong !
At Anloy-Heide in Luxemburg there are 1384 German and 592 French burials, although one of these last ones seems to be a Belgian. There’s also a nurse or Krankenschwester buried here, Marianne Ludwig, buried at grave number 599 who died on 7/10/1918
Concerning the German burials can be said that most of them come from Infanterie Regiment 83, 115 and 116 as well as Feld Artillerie Regiment 61. 4 burials are officers according to official sources, however there are more.
At Bellefontaine near Tintigny there are 502 German and 521 French burials. Most of them date from 22 August 1914 and were originally on 9 different cemeteries, concentrated here in 1957.
On 26 August 1914 a German reconnaissance plane crashed at Jamoigne.
It belonged to Feldflieger Abteilung 13 and was cewed by Oblt Karl Strieper and Oblt Robert Wenzel.
Strieper piloted the plane and was actually already a pilot before the war started, he got his license in the German series 238 on 18 June 1912. He was born on 27/7/1882 at Liegnitz.
Wenzel was born at Berlin on 19/9/1886 and was the observer in the plane. As his death is given two days later, this is or a mistake, or he may have died of his wounds.
1/85 and 86
Flieger Abtelung 13 was under the command of Hauptmann Alfred Steccius and Wilhelm Boelcke, the brother of Oswald was flying in this unit. Oswald joined the unit just weeks later.
Highest ranking burial is Major Wilhelm Jahn at grave no 186 who died on 22 August 1914.
There are a few members from nobility here as well, we mention
Hauptmann Müller von Klobuczinski who died on 27 August 1914 – 47
He came from Kühschmalz, Kreis Grottkau and served with the 6 Batterie of the Feldartillerie-Regiment 57
Leutnant Gottlieb von Schmettau died 22 August 1914 – 885
He was born at Schmettau, v. Gottfr. (Berlin) and was Bn commander of the 3rd Bn of the Füsilier Regiment 38
Hauptmann Freiherr Leopold von Troschke died 22 August 1914 – 121
He was with Infanterie Regiment 157 and served in the 12 Kompanie
His family name was mentioned for the first time in 1311, originally in Schlesien-Neumarken but later also in Pommern.
Was married to Marie Amalie Laura Bernhardine Pauline Margarete von Witzleben, born 21 August 1877 at Rastatt on 18 July 1912 at Baden Baden. She was from Baden Baden and they probably lived there after they were married as well.
Family history says he was killed in action at Rossignol.
From the Grenadier-Regiment König Friedrich Wilhelm II. (1. Schlesisches) Nr. 10
Hauptmann Friedrich Wörth von DOBSCHÜTZ born on 06.08.1876 Glogau killed in action on 22.08.1914 at Tintigny, served with the 7. Komp.
Actually his full name was Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Otto Wörth von Dobschütz, married on 1 July 1909 with Margarethe Liman at Potsdam. We do not known of any children, parents of Friedrich were Karl Julius Otto and Auguste von Spankeren.
Buried at 2/432
Bertrix Heide has also many burials from 22 August 1914. Originally there were two cemeteries in this area, the Heidefriedhof and the Waldfriedhof. During WW II it seems that the burials were all moved to the Heidefriedhof and more from the area as well in 19157.
There are now 254 German and 264 French burials.
We mention :
Oberleutnant Fritz von dem Borne, born 11 March 1882 and died on 22 August 1914 near Bertrix with the Infanterie Regiment 88 as Kompanieführer of the 3 Kompanie
Major Heinrich Freiherr von Keyserlingk, died 22 August 1914 with Füsilier Regiment 80 in which he was a Bn commander. Born on 12 August 1866 at Niederschönhausen, Kreis Brandenburg. It seems he was leading the 1st Bn when he was killed
A very old family, mentioned for the first time in 1300.
Hauptmann Arnd von Lettow-Vorbeck, born 10 March 1877, at Königsberg in Preussen died also on 22 August 1914 at Neufchateau as a Kompanie commander with Füsilier Regiment 80 of the 4 Kompanie.
22.8. Schlacht bei Maissin, Anloy Bertrix, Ochamps
22.-23.8. Schlacht bei Neufchateau
His father, Paul Karl von Lettow-Vorbeck (1832-1919) had been stationed at Saarlouis as a Hauptmann. He would rise to the rank of Generalleutnant.
His mother was Marie Eisenhart-Rothe
The most famous son was of course Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck, born in 1870.
Concerning the other brothers we know that Friedrich was suffering with his health (1872-1945), Gerd died of illness (1873-1904), and Arnd died at the Westfront (1877-1914).
Two brothers had died at birth as well.
The family name went back to the 13th century.
Unteroffizier Dr Leopold Oppenheimer, died 22 August 1914
He was from Schriesheim, Baden and a one year volunteer inInfanterie Regiment 81. He was originally listed as missing in 1914 and it was 1916 when his death was confirmed.
Hauptmann d.R. Dr Rudolf Pohle, died 22 August 1914
Not in the loss list
Leutnant Waldemar von Wittgenstein, born on 27 February 1890 at Schwiebus, Kreis Züllichau and died on 22 August 1914 near Bertrix with Infanterie Regiment 81 where he served in the 2 Kompanie
Brussel-Evere in the Brabant province (Flemish part) is one of the larger ones as it holds 1147 German burials. There are also parts on the cemetery with Belgian, French and Commonwealth burials. Special here is the fact that the cemetery holds several women. There are also twenty airmen buried here. Among them are Mathias Ludwig, luftschiffer who died on 27 October 1918 and Heinrich Bergrath, Flieger who died one day later on 28 October 1918 and who was with the Bayerisches Armee Flugpark 6 or AFP 6. Both men probably died of illness.
But here we probably also find the saddest burial on a military cemetery on the Western Front. In Block 4, grave 249 rests Ursula Bruckner, born in South Africa on 10 February 1910, died at Brussel on 28 May 1916. She was just 6 years old…
Eupen is the next cemetery, it as originally supposed to be moved to a larger cemetery as well, but the city of Eupen decided that they wanted to keep them here. As a result of this the 122 burials are still on the city cemetery.
Westerbegraafplaats. We mention this cemetery because it seems there still remain two German burials at the base of the German memorial for the crew of the LZ37 Zeppelin that was shot down by Sub Lt Reginald Warneford on 7 June 1915 over Sint-Amandsberg near Gent.
We know that in 1956 5 out of 7 burials were moved to Vladslo
It seems that today two burials remain, the ones of Leutnant Kurt Ackermann and Otto Van der Haegen who was in command of the zeppelin.
The memorial was constructed in 1916 and inaugurated on 5 January 1917. It was designed by Prof Kreis and construction was under the command of Oblt. Langen of the Militärbauambt Gent. Today the memorial is the property of the German Embassy in Belgium.
Memorial for LZ 37 (Source Wikipedia)
The smallest surviving cemetery is to be found at Halanzy. It has 44 German and 22 French burials.
We have to mention the story of a member of the Feldartillerie.-Regt. Nr. 4, Magdeburg who died of illness and who is buried here. The regiment was part of the 7. Feldartillerie-Brigade – 7. Infanterie-Division – IV. Armee-Korps of the German 1. Armee
It concerns Kanonier Hugo Lorek, who died on 2.9.14 at the Kriegslazarett Halanzy and who was buried at the cemetery here in the village.
As his unit was no longer in the area on that moment it is most probably that he got ill in the second half of August. That also tells us that in early September 1914 there was already a field hospital in this village.
Today you won’t find the name of Hugo Lorek on the cemetery. He is buried as an unknown as nobody was certain anymore which grave he had.
Hautrage in the province Hainaut is the next one, 537 German burials and 235 Commonwealth ones. It is the CWGC that is looking after it. Most of the German graves were moved to this location in 1936. 353 German burials are unknown, however it seems that 195 men who were originally known have been buried here accidently as unknown. Their names are known to the Volksbund.
Among the burials is Feldwebelleutnant Otto Riese who was killed on 23 August 1914 while serving with 1 Komp. Grenadier Regiment 12
Source of the photo : Wikipedia
Herstal in the Liege province is also a very small cemetery, 95 burials and a memorial that says : Per aspera ad astra – dem Gedenken der beim Sturm auf Lüttich am 6.8.14 hier gefallenen Mecklenburgern. Jedes Heldengrab ist heilige Erde. Alle starben, dass uns Friede werde. Grossherzoglich Mecklenburgisches Füssilier Regiment Nr. 90.
Most of the burials are indeed from this regiment and from the Grenadier Regiment 89.
Among the burials we mention :
Major Oskar von Arnim, GR89 who died on 6 August 1914 and was with the staff of the 3rd Bn.
Born 4 March 1864 killed at Herstal in street fighting
Leutnant Christian Graf von Bernstorff GR89, idem, born at Schwerin, 26 June 1896, served with the Leibkompanie, died at Herstal
The family name seems to be mentioned for the first time in the year 1300.
Oberleutnant Hans Baron von Fircks, GR89, idem, born at Goldinga or Goldingen in 1881, Rußland, served in the 10 Kompanie, killed in action at Herstal
Mother was Eva Marie Baronesse von der Ropp and he had two brothers, Kurt and Magnus who were also born at Goldingen in 1880 and 1886 respectively.
Leutnant Sergius Hundt von Hafften, FR90, idem, born at Govanstown, Baltimore, served with the 11 Kompanie
Major Lefevre, FR90, idem, not found in the loss list
Oberleutnant Richard von Rohr, GR89, idem, genannt von Wahlen Jurgass, served in the 6 Kompanie, killed at herstal as well
Hauptmann von Schultz, FR90, idem
We found nobody of this name in the loss list
There are very few officers burried on the cemetary, as most of them seem to have been repatriated.
Not all casualties that fell at Hooglede have yet been found. During the last days of the war, RIR 30 suffered some losses to the west of the village, and the graves of some of these men were never found back
Among the burials are a nurse, Marie Joppig, and a 16 year old boy Karl Rose.
Here lie 44.304 German soldiers burried, from which 24.917 are unknown and more then 11.000 were students according to many sources.
However the mass grave contains approximately 24917 men and women of which about 8000 are unknown according to some sources. This seems to be correct.
Some sources think that the bronze plates are actually the names of all those buried in the mass grave. Which is not correct.
For example the famous ace Werner Voss is mentioned on them but he is still where he crashed at Frezenberg, his grave was never found back.
Confusing ? Yes it is… In the burial register were a couple of years ago 32791 names.
868 of them are officers, 5 are colonels, 6 lieutenant-colonels. This smashes again the legend that no high ranking officers are buried on the German cemeteries in Flanders…
This number will probably be no longer exact when this is published as this is the only German cemetery in West Flanders were burials still happen.
There area also three female burials in the mass grave, coming from Belgrade – Namur. It concerns Helferin Hilgenberg Else, Helferin Ditzer Margarete and Helferin Burkhardt Auguste, who all died on the same day, 28 October 1918, not from illness as has been mentioned in a number of sources, but in an unnamed deadly accident.
Two brothers, and they are not the only ones here, buried under the same grave stone are Erwin and Karl Ottenbacher, who died on 22 September 1915
They can be found at B17813 and B17814
Both served with 12/RIR 248 and were killed in the fighting at Hooge-Bellewaarde on that day. It is most probably due to an explosion of a shell as both were killed on the same moment at a location that has been described as Arret Hooge, which refers to the former tramway halt at Hooge.
Three days later the British started a very costly diversion in the area that would cost them some 4000 casualties. As this happened earlier, it may have been so, that the area was already shelled regularly.
At the entrance are two two chapels, one covered with the names of the students who fell at Langemark. Under the oak trees lies the ‘Alter Friedhof’, next to the entrance is the ‘Kameradengrab’, a mass-grave (bodies of small cemetaries brought together).
This mass grave was constructed in the 1950’s and 126 burials were moved from identified soldiers to the B part (new part) of the cemetery, behind the pill boxes.
Behind 3 bunkers who were part of the Wilhelm Stellung, is the ‘Einbettungsfriedhof Nord’ also named ‘Studentenfriedhof’. They were restorated probably in 1930.
Some still say that they were new constructions, which is wrong.
The pill boxes and the blocks with the names of the regiments etc on them are approximately at the same location of the German lines during the Winter of 1914-1915 and where on 22 April 1915 started the gas attack. As the defence lines moved up closer to Ypres this would become the Wilhelm Stellung or line where also pill boxes were constructed.
On the cemetary stands a group of four statues, made by Emil Krieger of Munchen.
I have to give some comment on this matter. I’ve been reading that the 4 persons did stand for the infantry, cavalry, air an seaforces and a number of variants on this.
In reality it is most probable that Krieger has been inspired by a photo of the Rheinischen Infanterieregimentes 258 which was made at the grave of one of their comrades at Bouillonville in 1918
Luettich-Robermont is a larger one, and lays just next to the civilian cemetery, it has 795 burials.
Lommel in Limburg province is very well known for WW II, but let’s not forget that also 542 WW I burials who seem to come mostly from the former cemetery at Leopoldsburg.
Source of the photo : Wikepedia
Maissin-National cemetery is close to the city of Bouillon, originally there were five cemeteries in this area, three of them at Maissin, and today the one originally known as the Rundbaufriedhof remains, the others were all brought to this one. 513 burials and 283 French ones, mostly from the battles of 22 and 23 August 1914.
One of these is Wolfram Freiherr v.Richthofen who died on 11 August 1914. He was born on 24/2/1890 at Schmellwitz and died at Grand-Rosière as a lieutenant. Buried at 595
It is said that he was killed by a sniper
However, the location where he was killed can not be right. Fighting at Grand-Rosière did not start until 16 August and this village is in Brabant. It seems more probable that he was killed at Rosière-le-Grand and Rosière-le-Petit. He served with the 8 Dragoner Regiment, 5 Eskadron. In German Dragoner-Regiment König Friedrich III (2. Schlesisches) Nr.8
It was part of the 5. Kavallerie-Division.
He was killed in the early morning of the 11th August 1914 at Rosières-le-Grand at 0500 hours when he left the house where he was sleeping, to take a bit of fresh air, as mentioned earlier, possibly by a sniper. It is also said by a Belgian franc-tireur…
He is mentioned in the bio of Manfred and in the letters from Lothar. He was their cousin.
Manfred von Richthofen, the famous Red Baron – although he got that nick name after the war – also talked about his cousin in his memoirs.
“My objective had been reached in the afternoon. It was on that moment that I heard the news that my one and only Richthofen cousin had been killed in this same region of Arlon, some three days earlier.”
His brother Lothar also wrote about what had happened to his mother
Source of the photo : Wikipedia
Today there are 328 burials of German soldiers, of which 98 are unidentified ones.
59 Commonwealth burials, 10 of them are unknown, and there are also 27 French burials from the Great War.
This cemetery is under the care of the CWGC
Among the burials we noticed :
Feldhilfsarzt Karl Heinrich Spitzbarth died 6 November 1918 and was with the Grenadier Regiment 4
He is not mentioned in Sanitätsbericht über das Deutsche Heer (Deutsches Feld- und Besatzungsheer im Weltkriege 1914/1918 (Deutscher Kriegssanitätsbericht 1914/18). Bearbeitet in der Heeres-Sanitätsinspektion des Reichskriegsministeriums, Berlin 1935
Which is the main resource for basic information on doctors that died in the Great War on the German side.
Rittmeister Friedrich von Winterfeld born 9 September 1883 and died on 31 October 1918 at the Kriegslazarett Charleroi as a Bataillonsführer with IR 445 (Kürassier Regiment 8) from gas poisoning.
Menen Wald is the largest German military cemetery from the Great War in Belgium. There are 48049 burials here. And 47864 according to the plate at the entrance.
Among them are a very large amount of Lt-Colonels, doctors and women.
There’s even a relative from actor Peter Ustinov buried here and very exceptional on German military cemeteries, a chaplain and a few Russians
Musson-Baranzy concentrated fallen from 1914 in this area to 1916 and 1917 as well. Today there are buried 511 Germans and 431 Frenchmen.
The French also did some concentration of their war graves in the area, but it is not known when exactly.
On the German side this happened in 1957.
There’s an unlucky part of an air crew resting here. Lt Janson Erich was flying with the Feldflieger Abteilung 22, and was born on 30 June 1889 at Bremen. He was originally an officer with the Infanterie Regiment 78.
FFA22 was operating on that moment under the direct orders of AOK 3
It was 22 August 1914. He was piloting the plane, while Oblt Eduard von Stietencron or Stietenkorn, a Husar, was his observer.
Although somes sources claim that they were shot down by artillery it is clear that this was not the case, actually flying at an altitude of only 500 meters, they came under fire from French infantry. It is said that they crashed in the area of Sedan/Dinant.
While Janson was killed immediately, his observer was wounded but would survive and he died in 1952.
He had a very lucky escape as he was found by French infantry who treated him very bad, but as they were convinced he had died aswell, they left him alone and he was found by German troops some time later. A witness from this seems to have been General von Hausen, who said that the exact location was near Palliseul.
Janson is not the only aviation related burial here. There are actually a few more to be found on this cemetery.
Neufchateau-Malonne in Luxemburg province has 340 German and 289 French burials that were found in the area and gathered here from the fighting in 1914.
Among the burials, Aribert von Tempsky was a Lt who died on 22 August 1918 at 186 and Rittmeister Max Freiherr von Riedesel zu Eisenbach who died on the same day and buried at 211
The remainder of the cemeteries in Belgium is certainly completely forgotten although Saint Symphorien near Mons in Hainaut province may be exception if we mention it. There are 513 burials there as well.
But, it has to be said, this is officially a CWGC cemetery, not one of the German Volksbund
Sankt Vith is one of the very small ones again and has 74 German burials on the communal cemetery. It seems that only in the Interbellum a number of graves from the area were moved to this cemetery.
Tarcienne cemetery was constructed after the fighting at Charleroi. It was made in 1914 and has 178 German burials (and 312 French ones). A piece of wood from the chapel was found during repairs on it, with the names of the soldiers who constructed the burial ground.
The most famous grave of this cemetery seems to be :
Grab Prinz Friedrich:
Zum Gedächtnis an seine Hoheit Prinz Friedrich von Sachsen-Meiningen Generalleutnant gefallen für sein Vaterland bei Tarcienne am 23. August 1914
However this is not a grave but a remembrance stone.
There is actually only one officer buried here on the cemetery and that is Leutnant Friedrich Pistor who was killed on 24 August 1914. He was born at Cham, Oberpfalz and served with the 5 Kompanie of the Infanterie Regiment 78. Probably killed in the fighting vor Hanzinne-Hanzinelle the previous day, or on the 24th for Walcourt all not far away from Tarcienne, which is a few km to the west.
The regimental commander was Oberst Winkelhausen, who was in command of the regiment since 30 September 1913 and who was killed in action on 4 September 1914 at Verneuil near the Marne river.
The full name of the unit was the Infanterie-Regiment Herzog Friedrich Wilhelm von Braunschweig (Ostfriesisches) Nr. 78. The regiment existed since 1813 but was named after the Herzog or Duke in 1889 in honour of the man who was killed in the Battle of Quatre Bras against the troops of emperor Napoleon in 1815.
Co until 24 August was Oberst Thilo von Hanstein and from the next day on Oberstlt. Karl Winkelmann.
Part of the 19 Infanterie Division that was fighting for Namur on 23 and 24 August 1914 under the command of Generalleutnant Max Hofmann
A very special one is the cemetery of Virton-Bellevue on the road towards Bastogne. It has been a concentration cemetery from around 1957 and has today 1288 German burials but also 288 French ones, 28 Austrians, 29 Italians and 17 Russians. It is said that there’s also a French mass grave with 2139 non identified French soldiers. So for those of you who were thinking that there were only Italians buried at the Belgian cemetery of Houthulst, this may be a surprise ! The Italians were of course POW’s who seem to have been brought here by the Austrians, to do labour and were part of the KuK KgfArbKp 1391 – Kriegsgefangenen-Arbeits-Kompanie 1391. Virton had an Etappenlazarett at the Collège Saint Joseph and also a Genesenen-Anstalt. The Italian prisoners who are buried here are :
Getare Carrenti + 06.10.1918
Cestano Panzo + 27.09.1918
Luigi Boichio + 27.03.1918
Bernhardino Pichione +14.10.1918
Guiseppe Ruocco +08.10.1918
Margiotto Pietro +30.09.1918
Guiseppe Franchi +16.07.1918
Emmanuelle Ruffinato +15.10.1918
Bello Huett +08.11.1918
Luigi Boichio +27.03.1918
Augusto Bachi +4.11.1918
Biago Castaro +02.10.1918
Luigi Benax +19.10.1918
Vincenzi Campanile +20.07.1918
Pompea Zucheri +20.10.1918
Giffordea Pagliai +09.10.1918
Guiseppe Bernadini +11.10.1918
Guiseppe Paolino +06.10.1918
Antonio Pala-Noe +03.10.1918
Vincenzo Peschevola +22.07.1918
Pietro Witanze +07.10.1918
Marziano de Felice +04.10.1918
Filipo Capobianko +05.10.1918
Senatiana Natale +05.10.1918
Bartoloma Chresto +27.05.1918
Emile Ranaudin Oddone Piva +12.04.1918
Vonzenzo Pastroni +16.04.1918
Piacentino Lattanzi +23.04.1918
The Russian POW’s buried here are :
Pawel Borodin + 13.10.1918
Alexander Sergejew +14.10.1918
Alexander Wachmin +14.10.1918
Abraham Makarow +15.10.1918
Nicola Olwetto +16.10.1918
Dimitri Kluschin +17.10.1918
Oresto Senefe +18.10.1918
Feodor Poteka +18.10.1918
Michael Dmorak Valentin Narozny Norsow +08.11.1918
Pawel Lizowano +15.08.1918
Jefim Awerjano +09.11.1918
Lukas Mikolajezak Pawel Ribakow +13.10.1918
Nikolai Gatemejew +11.10.1918
Igor Schwarzow + 20.10.1918
The Austrian burials here are :
Dros Peter + 15.10.1918 – 1./KuK FA schw.HaubR
Schneckl Josef 07.11.1918 – 1./KuK FJägBtl 7
Breneci Vinko 26.10.1918 – 1./KuK Sappeur Btl 1
Langle Anton 30.09.1918 – 12./KuK Ldst.IR 25
Hofbauer Johann 11.10.1918 – 2./KuK FJägBtl 17
Pero James 08.11.1918 – 2./KuK IR 112
Fröhlich Jakob 10.11.1918 – 2./Ldst. PiKp VIII A.K
Schulz Otto 06.11.1918 – 2./Ldst. PiKp VIII A.K
Vystreil Johann 02.10.1918 – 3./KuK FAR 1
Sofosnik Stephan 18.08.1918 – 3./KuK GebAAbt 1
Carkie Sajer 13.08.1918 – 3./KuK GebAR 1
Kavcic Franz 15.06.1918 – 3./KuK GebAR 1
Soulon Stefan 16.10.1918 – 4./KuK IR 61
Knille ? 08.11.1918 – 4./KuK schw.FAR 1
Mach Josef 08.11.1918 – 5./KuK schw.FAR 1
Pfeimayer Lajos 13.08.1918 – 8./KuK IR 5
Diewell Felix 25.10.1918 – Et.Kw.Kol 58
Bratina Franz 10.11.1918 – II. KuK FAR 1
Moranetzky Johann 22.0.1918 – KuK BauKp 3./49
Petrzilaka Wenzel 04.11.1918 – KuK Feldspital 907
Jasitza Karl 07.10.1918 – KuK IR 112/SturmBtl
Deuhar Ferdinand 30.07.1918 – KuK IR 61/StbAbt 928
Ruxietka Szedlak 08.11.1918 – KuK IR 71
Pichione Bernhardino 14.10.1918 – KuK KgfArbKp 1391
Horak Johann 16.10.1918 – KuK Ldst IR 25
Egger Peter 05.11.1918 – Stb/KuK AR 1
Bossi Peter 14.10.1918 – Techn/KuK IR 112
Fiskutyan ? 10.11.1918 – Techn/KuK IR 61
Among the special burials as well we note Oblt. Wolfskeel-Reichenberg, Hans-Karl von who flew with Jasta 34B – Born 27.03.1892 at Reichenberg + 19.02.1918 over Verdun, it is said indeed that he was shot down over Verdun in an airfight with Spads and crashed in the area of the Mort Homme or Töter Man Höhe. Which makes it curious that he is buried in Belgium.
And there’s also a German nurse buried here, from Kriegslazarett Abteilung 26, in Bloc 1 grave 989, Krankenschwester Aquina Wehowska, who died on 2 October 1918
This cemetery is very well known thanks to the moving sculpture ‘The mourning parents’ of Käthe Kollwitz, who was an important German Expressionist artist, whose son Peter, who was 18 years old, is also buried here. This is the last resting place of 25.644 soldiers and officers.
They lay surrounded by the peaceful wood ‘Praetbos’, once a Waldlager or forest camp for the German Army
Originally and until 1956 there were 3233 German soldiers buried over here.
It is one of the cemeteries that touches everybody, not only by the number of buried men, but also by the sculptures and the peaceful impression of this place. In Koekelare (nearby) you can also find the Käthe Kolwitz tower (see Koekelare)
Originally these sculptures were on the the Esen-Roggeveld Cemetary, but were moved together with the German graves over there to Vladslo in 1957-1958.
The grave of Peter Kollwitz can be found just before the sculptures and reads : Peter Kollwitz – Musketier – +23.10.1914
There are two generals buried here, an admiral, many women, tank crews, brothers, son and father, artists, air aces, etc.
In October 2018 I was able to reconstruct the largest part of the 10 blocks at Vladslo and the origin of each of them. It is not 100% exact, but it is pretty close to this. So any corrections are always welcome. I am convinced this will be a real help for everyone studying who was buried at the original cemeteries. Do note that some grave numbers remained empty at Vladslo.
This is the list :
Block 1 :
completely Praetbos nr 7
Block 2 :
1-1350 Oostende Stene
1351-2210 Brugge Steenbrugge
2211-2670 Vladslo Praetbos nr 7
2671-2880 Tournai Sud
Block 3 :
1-840 and 880-900 and 940-960 Esen Roogeveld
841-880 and 961- 2880 Oostende Stene
Block 4 :
1131-1200 and 1211-1260 and 1281-1320 Melle
1201-1210 and 1261-1280 and 1321-1370 Sint-Niklaas
1371-1380 and 1431-2010 Antwerpen Schoonselhof
2321-2340 Grimbergen Verbrande Brug
2351-2880 Ramegnies Chin
Block 5 :
Block 6 :
2228-2230 Kortrijk – 1 Loker – 1 Wervik-Kruiseke
Block 7 :
1-500 Tournai Sud
2601-2760 Chatelet Wasserturm
Block 8 :
1-400 and 461-480 Aartrijke-Wijnendale
421-460 and 481-2190 and 2601-2610 Leffinge
2191-2580 and 2611-2640Middelkerke
2581-2600 and 2641-2760 Vladslo Praetbos Nr 7
Block 9 :
721-960 Champion Jette Fooz
1111-1200 St Margriete Houtem
1201-1470 Orgéo – Biourge
1671-1690 Liège – Saint Walburge
2481-2580 Châtelet Wasserturm
2651-2696 Huy La Sarte
2701-2730 : 22 from unknown origin who died in October and November 1918
Block 10 :
1391-1590 Aiseau Belle-Motte
2251-2269 Biesme – Braunschweig Memorial
30 Commonwealth service men are buried here. 17 of them are said to be unknown which is not correct.
When you enter the cemetery you will see on the left the Torpedo Boats S15 & S20 Mass Grave. Highest ranking officer in this plot is Leutnant zur See Werner Worms who died on 5 June 1917
“DEN KAMERADEN S.M. TORPEDOBOOTE S.15 UND S.20 GEFALLEN AM 5. JUNI 1917 AN DER FLANDRISCHEN KÜSTE”
Note that we have several hundreds of stories about the men and women buried on these cemeteries, that can not be included in this website.
To be continued…
Copyright 2017-2018 Johan R. Ryheul