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AliceF

The Volksbund’s member journal is an interesting source regarding different aspects. Thus I accidently found a list over British cemeteries with German burials in France in the first issue from 1930 (after I had compiled the one based on the CWGC website in the post above).

Well, now I could compare the figures and was surprised about the similarity of the data. I suppose the Volksbund got the numbers from British authorities. So the Volksbund was well informed already in 1930. With the help of the list from 1930 I could find information on about 10 more cemeteries with unidentified German soldiers on the CWGC web-site, which I added in an update of the table. I also added those named in 1930, but where I could not find any information today on the CWGC website.

Christine

British cemeteries with German graves in France_2.docx

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trajan

The Volksbund’s member journal is an interesting source regarding different aspects. ...

I never knew such a journal existed - hardly surprising, yes, as not my line of interest. But that comparison shows just how good a job of work you are doing there!

Julian

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AliceF

Well, I did not know that these journals were available in digital form until the end of last year.
But since then I have explored them from time to time.

I am sure the CWGC has all the actual figures nicely put together; just I do not know where they are published.

But this gives me a bit of a background why Gustav Gehrt is buried in a British cemetery - that he is far from being the only one, but compared to all the Germans buried in France, they are not many buried in British cemeteries.

Christine

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AliceF

About a year ago -well not entirely but soon - I wrote to the CWGC and asked if there would be some kind of possibility to commemorate Gustav in  Fins New British Cemetery. I am not expecting anything on his grave. I see that this might be seen as too vague. His name on a plate within the cemetery or so -  I thought. Have not got any answer yet. Is this amount of time common or do you think my question was lost?

 

The Volksbund said 1.5 years ago or so that they discuss the issue (in general) with the CWGC. 

Maybe I should write to them again. Would be nice to have something in place 2018......

Christine

 

 

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AliceF

Meanwhile I was able to acquire a postcard of the cemetery in Fins.

I think in the background you can see the crosses of the German graves.

Christine

IMG_0345.JPG

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Martin Feledziak

2018 Approaches - Are you thinking of a pilgrimage to Fins ?

Fins.jpg

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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AliceF

Finally. 99 years and 14 days after Gustav's death at least some relative managed to get to Fins (Somme), where I believe he is buried.

 

A work trip to Belgium made it possible to get there. I had less than a day in France, but could spend 2 hours in Fins. 

Strange to see all the names I only know from maps on the road signs.

Even if time was short, I am very happy I was there.

 

The cemetery is so well kept; I am really grateful, that the CWGC is so well taking care of all graves.

The photo shows the 9th grave to the right of the grave of Otto Fernand, who had the German grave reference 460 (Plot 6, row C, grave1). Gustav's grave might be here.

 

Maybe time to contact CWGC and VDK again and hear if there is a possibility with some kind of commemoration for Gustav. I have still not got any answer after 1.5 years.

 

Christine

Fins_5.jpg

Edited by AliceF

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Martin Feledziak

Well Done Christine.

 

That is wonderful that you made that pilgrimage -

Fantastic that he is remembered with a stone- even if it does not have his name on it.

I am sure he rests there. There is no reason why he would have been moved.

 

From your original post you had Plot 469

He was known because he was a hospital case and there was time to give him a respectful burial.

 

I am so pleased for you.

 

Martin

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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Fattyowls

Christine, as a long time admirer of your meticulous research I am so glad that you have been to visit Gustav. That he is not forgotten is what matters, you have done him proud.

 

Pete.

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Martin Feledziak

I have sent this memo to the project, I will report back if there are any developments.

 

IFTC.jpg.eb46c1c28099c4142fca0baaf45a8d74.jpg

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AliceF

Thank you for your kind comments!

And thank you for the message on the cold project, Martin, I did not know bout it!

 

Without this forum I would have never got there, not without the crucial information from Jan and not without all the encouragement I got here!!!

 

Christine

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Martin Feledziak

Greetings Christine

 

I do not know if you have seen the below data files.

There are 187 records for German Soldiers at rest at Fins.

 

We know that Gustav GEHRT is not officially listed but there is much interesting data relating to the records of the known.

 

https://www.cwgc.org/find/find-war-dead/results/?cemetery=FINS+NEW+BRITISH+CEMETERY%2c+SOREL-LE-GRAND&tab=wardead&fq_servedwithliteral=German

 

The below CSV file works with Excel and holds unit information for the known German soldiers at Fins

Fins.csv

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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AliceF

Martin,

 

I never found this information on the CWGC website. Great, thank you very much for this!

I got information about units via the TWGPP. Often I could read the units on the photos of the grave stone, sometimes not.

So I photographed all the German headstones in Fins (I think I did at least) while I was there, to get this information....

 

Sent you also a pm!

 

Christine

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ph0ebus

Fantastic results, all!!!

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AliceF

Tried with two photo comparisons (the only old photos I have seen from Fins cemetery so far) when I was there.

Source for the photo with the cross of R. P. Knowles: http://www.ww1cemeteries.com/fins-new-british-cemetery.html

 

Christine

 

 

Fins_comp.jpg

Knowles_RP.jpg

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Martin Feledziak

Those work very well.

The first two images are a very good match.

 

As for the wooden cross, I wonder who made it, it looks like a German design, and what could 289 mean ?

 

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trajan
On 9/13/2017 at 20:09, AliceF said:

Finally. 99 years and 14 days after Gustav's death at least some relative managed to get to Fins (Somme), where I believe he is buried.

 

Oh well done Christine! A long journey for you to trace everything about him and I share - as with others here - joy at the result!

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AliceF

Thanks, Julian!

 

On ‎2017‎-‎09‎-‎18 at 22:56, Martin Feledziak said:

As for the wooden cross, I wonder who made it, it looks like a German design, and what could 289 mean ?

 

No idea what the 289 means. Could be a British grave number? This grave has headstone number 294, so quite close. At that time the cemetery was used by British forces, so not likely that it is a German grave number.

 

Before I went to Fins I did not know how the "special memorial" would look like (for soldiers buried in this cemetery, but where the grave location was unknown). I was surprised to find 44 headstones with the name of German soldiers: 22 to the right, 22 to the left and in the middle 10 headstones of soldiers of the British army. When I look at the cemetery plan I do not think I see these German headstones?

 

The VdK database translated the grave location of these soldiers with "Gruppengrab"  (collective grave). I do not really get this. If I had entered the cemetery I would have thought the soldiers were buried there. But underneath these headstones there are no buried soldiers - did I get this right? So then I would assume that these 44 soldiers also have a headstone as unknown German soldier within the cemetery. Would that be correct? Then there would be not 89 unknown German soldiers in Fins, but 45 unknown, and 44 known, but without unknown grave location  (special memorial).

 

I post the plan and two photos with headstones near the great cross.

 

Christine

 

 

Fins_spec_mem.jpg

Fins_special_cross_2.jpg

Fins_special_cross_1.jpg

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Martin Feledziak

That is a nicely maintained cemetery and a fitting tribute to all those that rest there.

 

You have posed difficult questions. 

I too did not expect that the special memorials would take the form of actual grave stones.

I suppose it is possible that there could be duplicate stones present.

 

I have seen in other war cemeteries stones for soldiers named and who were known at the time of burial in other locations but lost as a result of later battles.

So even though the stones were present those soldiers were never actually buried there but just remembered there. 

 

The below is an example from Caberet Rouge cemetery.

example.JPG

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AliceF

Martin, I agree with you: it is a very well kept cemetery, with all the headstones in very good condition and all inscriptions well readable. And not to forget to mention all the nice plantings, with flower beds that flower in different seasons. I would have expected a plate like you posted, something that well visible was not there. Maybe I missed  a plate. I mean many things were explained in an information plate at the entrance and there was a visitor book and  a list of buried soldiers in place.

 

In post #11 we could read that one of the field hospitals was located in the church in Fins. So I went there , too. Not sure how much damaged the church was during the war. Post an old photo as well  (found it on delcampe probably tow years ago and did not save the link at that time). Recently I also found this card called Fins-carte-allemande-ambulans 1916 (source: http://www.delcampe.net/page/item/id,395161838,var,Fins-carte-allemande-Ambulance1916,language,E.html). Unfortunately the selling time had gone out a year before (how could I miss it?) - so, sorry about the red line - would rather have liked to provide the original. In the description of the card  "chateau" is named. I was not aware of a chateau in Fins. There is a chateau de Fins near Bourges, but that can be ruled in this context. I did not find the building from the card and was unsure were the chateau could be, but I found a Rue de chateau in Fins and saw buildings with a similar building style.

 

Checking once more connections between field hospitals and burials at the cemetery in Fins :

Maybe I have managed before: soldiers that died in field hospitals in 1916 in Fins were buried in Sorel-le-Grand (German cemetery) and are often reburied in Maissemy. For soldiers, who died in 1918 in field hospitals in Fins, the cemetery for burial  is given as Fins  - and where this is mentioned, for example in Verlustenlisten of regimental histories - these soldiers can often (but not always) be found in Fins New British Cemetery today.

 

Christine

 

 

 

 

Fins_church_old1.jpg

153.JPG

Fins_ambul.jpg

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Martin Feledziak

Great Photographs Christine.

 

so if I remember how to use Excel correctly, these are the 44 names on the special memorial stones.

perhaps they will match the photographs you have taken ?

 

44.jpg.7b3c22ea98d90f8c2c5173df88877449.jpg

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Martin Feledziak

Looking at the Google earth image.

 

I have marked what looks like the plot for Otto FERNAND, Plot 6 row C grave 1 ( German Grave 460 )

so working logically we think German Grave 469 is the 9th grave to the right.

There then appears to be four other graves to complete the row.

 

Are there any names on theses stones or are they marked as German Unknown soldiers ?

 

460-469.jpg.c5ec46905a843e2329ccd55b523d35a7.jpg

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AliceF
14 hours ago, Martin Feledziak said:

so if I remember how to use Excel correctly, these are the 44 names on the special memorial stones.

perhaps they will match the photographs you have taken ?

Yes, that is correct. I post a photo as example.

 

1 hour ago, Martin Feledziak said:

Are there any names on theses stones or are they marked as German Unknown soldiers ?

Yes, I attach a map: in red graves with unidentified soldiers.

So basically rows 5C,D and & 6B,C,D are graves with unidentified soldiers.

The grave of Otto Fernand is an exception - and I have some speculations why (German headstone?).

The graves with unidentified soldiers origin both from spring and summer 1918, so it is not only the period in August 1918.

 

Christine

 

Fins_spec_mem_2.jpg

Fins_map_unknown2.jpg

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Martin Feledziak

Ok - Understood. Do you have a photograph for the plot of Otto FERNAND, Plot 6 row C grave 1 ( German Grave 460 ).

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mva
9 minutes ago, Martin Feledziak said:

Ok - Understood. Do you have a photograph for the plot of Otto FERNAND, Plot 6 row C grave 1 ( German Grave 460 ).

 

As I live about 60 km from Fins, I could go there and take pictures

I am planning a photo tour (to take pictures of graves in the region), so it would not be a problem !

kind regards from the Somme, martine

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