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Schneidemuhl POW


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#1 Mania

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 02:15 AM

I do the research into the above topic. I'm trying to find out the fate of the British soldiers named on the black monument, stil existing in long forgotten cementary of POWs in outskirts of Pila, formerly Schneidemuhl (see link http://upload.wikime...3c/Leszkow3.jpg). Last year I visited local museum where I was shown pictures made by a Polish catholic priest, keen photographer, prisoner of war as well. Pictures have never been published so far, presenting British (Scottish) prisoners of war. Precious indeed!
My last visit to Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle was quite surprising- some of the soldiers who died at Schneidemuhl POW camp were described as "Died F and F". What happened to them from being taken prisoners in France to their death in Schneidemuhl ?!
Even though I live in Edinburgh now, I grew up in Pila, that is the reason why I would like to discover the fate of the black monument's soldiers fate.
...before the rain wipe off their names....

Mania

#2 MartinBennitt

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 05:14 PM

Hello Mania and welcome to the forum. Coincidentally there was a recent thread about this memorial here which

itself contains a link to another thread about prisoners at Schneidemühl. I guessed it was probably destroyed in World War II but it seems I was wrong (I often am). Hopefully someone more expert than I am can come up with some more

information.

cheers Martin B

#3 Doug Johnson

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 09:11 PM

Mania,

Do you have a full list of names which you can post here. From the other post there should be 40 names on it but they are not all on the view you posted. Since we know that by 1915 21 British had died from cholera and typhus a check of the CWGC against the full list would reveal dates of death of each of them and if the total of 21 of them had died by 1915 then we know why.

The CWGC page for Poznam is interesting;

After the First World War, the graves of Commonwealth servicemen who had died in Poland as prisoners of war were gathered together in this cemetery. There are now 174 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. One of the burials is unidentified. Special memorials commemorate one casualty known to have been buried in Czersk Prisoners of War Cemetery, 29 known to have been buried at Szczypiorno Prisoners of War Cemetery and 18 known to have been buried at Pila (formerly Schneidemuhl) Prisoners of War Cemetery, all of whose graves could not be identified. The majority of the 283 Second World War burials in the cemetery are those of airmen, many of whom died in bombing operations on Stettin (now Szeczin). Also buried here are those involved in the mass escape from Stalag Luft 3, Sagan (now Zagan), in March 1944, and others who died while prisoners of war during the German occupation, at Stalag VIIIC, Sagan, Stalag XXID at Poznan, Oflag XXIB (also known as Oflag 64) and Stalag XXIB, both at Schubin (now Szubin). There are also 19 war graves of other nationalities in the cemetery, most of them Polish. The cemetery also contains the POZNAN MEMORIAL commemorating five RNAS armoured car ratings who died near Brezazany in July 1917 and whose graves were never located.

Apparently not only the memorial remains but also the graves of eighteen British (and probably many of other nationalities).

The Poznam page is probably the fastest way to research the names on the memorial. A quick look suggests that the eighteen remaining there are early deaths and therefore the ones likely to have died of cholera and typhus.

Doug

#4 Dannemois

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 09:50 PM

Hi Mania

Thank you so much for posting the image of the monument; a relative of my wife, namely Pte William Oscar Davies, was the guy who actually enscribed the stone, he was a monumental mason and sculptor before enlisting and carried on with the family business on returing home after the war.

Roy



Mania,

Do you have a full list of names which you can post here. From the other post there should be 40 names on it but they are not all on the view you posted. Since we know that by 1915 21 British had died from cholera and typhus a check of the CWGC against the full list would reveal dates of death of each of them and if the total of 21 of them had died by 1915 then we know why.

The CWGC page for Poznam is interesting;

After the First World War, the graves of Commonwealth servicemen who had died in Poland as prisoners of war were gathered together in this cemetery. There are now 174 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. One of the burials is unidentified. Special memorials commemorate one casualty known to have been buried in Czersk Prisoners of War Cemetery, 29 known to have been buried at Szczypiorno Prisoners of War Cemetery and 18 known to have been buried at Pila (formerly Schneidemuhl) Prisoners of War Cemetery, all of whose graves could not be identified. The majority of the 283 Second World War burials in the cemetery are those of airmen, many of whom died in bombing operations on Stettin (now Szeczin). Also buried here are those involved in the mass escape from Stalag Luft 3, Sagan (now Zagan), in March 1944, and others who died while prisoners of war during the German occupation, at Stalag VIIIC, Sagan, Stalag XXID at Poznan, Oflag XXIB (also known as Oflag 64) and Stalag XXIB, both at Schubin (now Szubin). There are also 19 war graves of other nationalities in the cemetery, most of them Polish. The cemetery also contains the POZNAN MEMORIAL commemorating five RNAS armoured car ratings who died near Brezazany in July 1917 and whose graves were never located.

Apparently not only the memorial remains but also the graves of eighteen British (and probably many of other nationalities).

The Poznam page is probably the fastest way to research the names on the memorial. A quick look suggests that the eighteen remaining there are early deaths and therefore the ones likely to have died of cholera and typhus.

Doug



#5 Mania

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 10:47 PM

Hi there!
As for now: British soldiers from the "Black Monument" may have died from cholera and typhus ( except from the one died in Cologne from starvation, Pte. G. Banks), but still remains the question, why at Scottish National War Memorial there are notes, that they died "France and Flanders"?!
The Black Monument POWs were re-burried in 1925 from German Schneidemuhl to Polish Poznan cemetery. Only today I received pictures of their graves from Poznan. But eighteen burials still remains in Pila, I mean British, as there are much more graves (hundreds, hundreds...) of other nationalities, like Russians, Russian-Germans(!), Jews, Muslims, etc
The place , the cemetery is getting more and more neglected. It's time to do something about it.

Pows from Schneidemuhl Memorial, and the others you will find here:

http://www.alsbury.c...la/pila_men.htm

More detailed data about them :

http://www.cwgc.org....r.asp?menuid=14

...and finally. cemetery today (in Polish, but pictures can be seen...)

http://pl.wikipedia...._Pile-Leszkowie

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#6 Mania

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 07:28 PM

Hi Dannemois! Great news! Could you please add something more about pte Davies, maybe any pictures of him preserved in family albums?! I would apprieciate any info, where was he from, when did he die, etc. I expect very detailed pictures of the monument soon, so if it is of any importance for your family I will send pictures .

Mania

#7 Doug Johnson

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 09:02 PM

Mania,

Died France and Flanders is a common description for anyone who died whist serving on the western front, wherever they died. It is a bit of a lazy description but there is nothing odd about it.

Doug

#8 Mania

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 11:05 PM

Thanks Doug.
There's one thing that bothers me about the "Black monument" s sculptor...He was taken prisoner in 1917 whilst the monument was erected in July 1916, which is clearly seen on the monument....?

#9 Dannemois

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 12:12 PM

Hi Mania

I noted too the memorial etched erected in 1916. Pt Davies states in his correspondence to his commanding officer:

'I myself cut the names of Forty British Soldiers who died in captivity at Schneidemuhl, Germany on the Swedish Granite Monument erected by their comrades in the Lager Cemetery'.

It is possible the monument could have been erected in 1916 minus the names which were cut later on the arrival of a professional stone cutter (Pt Davies). My thoughts are what tools he used to cut the stone; as you know there are many incredible stories of prisoners exploits' but I'm sure his trade tools would have been left at home on call up.



Roy



#10 Doug Johnson

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 08:08 PM

The way Pt Davies describes the monument as erected by their comrades suggests he was not a party to its erection nor was he there when they died. Is it possible to confirm the number of names on the monument as it looks as though there are not 40 on it unless there are some on the other faces?

Stonemasons would be like wood carvers in that they probably made their own tools. Stonemasons were apparent in many camps and obviously were able to buy or acquire the tools they required. The monument at Gustrow was actually carved in the camp by a prisoner and was wonderful work and the black monument here is crude in comparison.

Doug

#11 Mania

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 11:34 PM

Well, there are 33 names on the monument. Except of the 23 on the front, there are following on the side:
Isac, R. South Wales borderers; died 6/5/1918
Kenny, W., North Cumberland Fusiliers; 9 bat.
Mounsey, J, Loyal North Lancashire, d.28/8/1918

Could be the others:

Prithard,D.C., Welch Reg.,
Reeves, L., King's Liverpool Reg., died 28/7.1918

As for the mistery of the "Black Monument"...
Please find the attached picture; don't you think it is "half- cut"?
A German sentry and British graves tell me it may have been the first of July 1916!
And Rev W Williams- the British Pastor!

In the camp there was a workshop where prisoners made up officially concrete crosses and grave stones for officers, who died ( mostly Russians). That is why British who was occupated with monument for the colleagues wasn't very unusual i think?

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#12 Mania

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 10:32 PM

Thanks to friends from Pila we have a full picture of the black monument ! You welcome to compare "now" and "than" here:

http://www.forum.daw...php?f=26&t=1408

Any suggestions welcome

Marek

#13 Dannemois

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 12:41 PM

Hi Marek

I clicked on the link but unfortunately its not in English, I also tried subscribing but when I ask for a translation to English the page keeps returning to the Polish page.

I wonder if you could post a picture of the black monument?



Thanks to friends from Pila we have a full picture of the black monument ! You welcome to compare "now" and "than" here:

http://www.forum.daw...php?f=26&t=1408

Any suggestions welcome

Marek



#14 Mania

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 09:16 PM

Hi, sorry, there's a problem to post the pictures, Iet me know if that works?

http://www.fotki.pil...djecie_6836.jpg
http://www.fotki.pil...djecie_6837.jpg
http://www.fotki.pil...djecie_6838.jpg
http://www.fotki.pil...djecie_6840.jpg
http://www.fotki.pil...djecie_6839.jpg
http://www.fotki.pil...djecie_6841.jpg

#15 Dannemois

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 07:54 AM

Unfortunately the links below do not work

Hi, sorry, there's a problem to post the pictures, Iet me know if that works?

http://www.fotki.pil...djecie_6836.jpg
http://www.fotki.pil...djecie_6837.jpg
http://www.fotki.pil...djecie_6838.jpg
http://www.fotki.pil...djecie_6840.jpg
http://www.fotki.pil...djecie_6839.jpg
http://www.fotki.pil...djecie_6841.jpg



#16 Dannemois

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 07:57 AM

Hi

Can someone please help with the name of the Salt Mines mentioned in the attached doc.

Cheers, Roy

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#17 Mania

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 06:10 PM

Hi, I'm so sorry that links don't work....I will try again, such beautiful pictures!

As for above letter: the salt mine was in town HOHENSALZA, today INOWROCLAW, in Poland, about 120 km south-east from Schneidemuhl (Pila). Pows must have been used by Germans to work for them, probably in Arbeit Kommandos. By the way, one of the POW's from the black monument, Pte Cantrill,9368, Welch Regiment died at Hohensalza, which is stated on the monument.

Here you will find link to city's website:

http://en.wikipedia....iki/Inowrocław

Right, now I will try with the pictures, in the meantime:

See my other post connected with POWs from Schneidemuhl:

http://1914-1918.inv...howtopic=173691

#18 Mania

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 06:26 PM

Another attempt:
The Black Monument from Schneidemuhl:

schneidemuhl 2005

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#19 Mania

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 06:32 PM

another one...

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#20 Mania

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 06:36 PM

one side view

...and back of the monument:

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#21 Dannemois

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 11:50 AM

Hi Mania

Thanks for the details on the salt mines and thanks for the black monument images.

Regards, Roy



Hi, I'm so sorry that links don't work....I will try again, such beautiful pictures!

As for above letter: the salt mine was in town HOHENSALZA, today INOWROCLAW, in Poland, about 120 km south-east from Schneidemuhl (Pila). Pows must have been used by Germans to work for them, probably in Arbeit Kommandos. By the way, one of the POW's from the black monument, Pte Cantrill,9368, Welch Regiment died at Hohensalza, which is stated on the monument.

Here you will find link to city's website:

http://en.wikipedia....Inowroc%C5%82aw

Right, now I will try with the pictures, in the meantime:

See my other post connected with POWs from Schneidemuhl:

http://1914-1918.inv...howtopic=173691



#22 Mania

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 06:06 PM

You're welcome, Roy.

Is is possible to introduce Pte Davies here? Could you please let me know a bit more about him, maybe there is a picture of him, where from and so on?
Thanks in advance,

I mentioned Pte Cantrell, who died in Hohensalza - note, that his name on the monument has a spelling mistake, should be CANTRELL not Cantrill.

Regards

m

#23 Dannemois

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 08:28 PM

Hi Mania
I am still researching William Davies and nothing new as developed since I mailed you about him; I don't have a photo of him but I have located his gravestone which you can view on www. billiongraves.com

Regards, Roy



You're welcome, Roy.

Is is possible to introduce Pte Davies here? Could you please let me know a bit more about him, maybe there is a picture of him, where from and so on?
Thanks in advance,

I mentioned Pte Cantrell, who died in Hohensalza - note, that his name on the monument has a spelling mistake, should be CANTRELL not Cantrill.

Regards

m



#24 David Sheehan

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 09:20 PM

Hallo Mania

Hopefully you will be able to understand my English well enough. I could communicate in French or possibly even German, if you would prefer. I presume you yourself are Polish, since you mention growing up in Piwa. I also know Edinburgh from visits to the summer festival in recent years. It is a beautiful city.

Thank you for your inquiry. The story of my grandfather is very dear to me. Interesting to hear of the photos made by the Polish Catholic priest. I know of the monument that you speak of. The regiment in which my grandfather served was the Scots Guards. Despite the name, many men who served in this regiment were (also) English. My grandfather was born in Halifax, county West Yorkshire in 1888. He had already served in the army for 4 years between 1906 and 1910. When he went to France and Belgium in 1914, he was a well-trained 26 year-old. As I think I mentioned on this site, he was captured after just short of two weeks of intense fighting (in October) at the First Battle of Ypres in Belgium. He spent the period from November 1914 to August 1918 at Piwa (then Schneidemuehl). He learned three new languages - Russian (Ukrainian), French and of course German. He played a great deal of football and rugby, made many friends (with Ukrainians from Odessa and Frenchmen from Paris and Lyon), even with a German officer, called Kunze, and spent many periods outside the camp on the so-called Arbeitskommandos. My impression of him is a person with an amazing inner strength, and an ability to adapt, sometimes with great physical courage too, to very negative and even harsh circumstances. I am proud to have him as my grandfather.

I suppose you must also know of the wartime diary of Piete Kuhr, which I have read in the English translation, a very moving story of the war, seen through the eyes of a teenage girl. If you do not know of it, it is weel worth reading.

Please feel free to react to this message. Perhaps it would even be worth my while to visit Piwa, if there is more material and documentation on the Great War period ? Perhaps we could discuss this connection further.

Kind regards

Dave Sheehan

I do the research into the above topic. I'm trying to find out the fate of the British soldiers named on the black monument, stil existing in long forgotten cementary of POWs in outskirts of Pila, formerly Schneidemuhl (see link http://upload.wikime...3c/Leszkow3.jpg). Last year I visited local museum where I was shown pictures made by a Polish catholic priest, keen photographer, prisoner of war as well. Pictures have never been published so far, presenting British (Scottish) prisoners of war. Precious indeed!
My last visit to Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle was quite surprising- some of the soldiers who died at Schneidemuhl POW camp were described as "Died F and F". What happened to them from being taken prisoners in France to their death in Schneidemuhl ?!
Even though I live in Edinburgh now, I grew up in Pila, that is the reason why I would like to discover the fate of the black monument's soldiers fate.
...before the rain wipe off their names....

Mania



#25 David Sheehan

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 09:51 PM

Dear Mania

In my grandfather's memoirs I can unfortunately find no mention of any of the men named on the Schneidemuehl monument. I do know that conditions in the camp in the winter of 14/15 were terrible. My grandfather and his comrades had to live in what were no more than holes in the ground during this winter. My grandfather almost died of typhus, but was nursed to health with bread soaked in milk to sustain him, by two Russian prisoners (forced by the Germans into service as orderlies). Indeed for someone as sensitive to others as my grandfather, the camp became a little 'League of Nations', in which it was possible to explore the common ground between men of different nations and cultures. He learned, for example, to love the singing of the Russian orthodox liturgy.

Perhaps you have other questions, to which I do have an answer ?

Regards

Dave Sheehan

I do the research into the above topic. I'm trying to find out the fate of the British soldiers named on the black monument, stil existing in long forgotten cementary of POWs in outskirts of Pila, formerly Schneidemuhl (see link http://upload.wikime...3c/Leszkow3.jpg). Last year I visited local museum where I was shown pictures made by a Polish catholic priest, keen photographer, prisoner of war as well. Pictures have never been published so far, presenting British (Scottish) prisoners of war. Precious indeed!
My last visit to Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle was quite surprising- some of the soldiers who died at Schneidemuhl POW camp were described as "Died F and F". What happened to them from being taken prisoners in France to their death in Schneidemuhl ?!
Even though I live in Edinburgh now, I grew up in Pila, that is the reason why I would like to discover the fate of the black monument's soldiers fate.
...before the rain wipe off their names....

Mania