Today my thoughts are with all the souls that have been lost during periods of war, which ever country they hailed from.
(I have written before that) I live four miles from Cannock Chase and the German Military Cemetery. It was opened to the public on 10th June 1967.
It is a hauntingly sad but a peaceful place.
When you enter the site at the Hall of Honour this is the etched glass map showing the plot numbers of the graves.
The undercover tomb represents 'The Fallen Warrior'
This stone tells that there are 2,143 WWI and 2,786 WWII German soldiers laid to rest here, amongst those are 5 unknown WWI and 90 unknown WWII soldiers, who all died on British territory, most died in prisoner of war camps. Others were airmen killed when their aircraft were brought down or crashed, sailors who died at sea and their bodies were washed ashore.
And a view from that stone to part of the cemetery.
Centre of the background is the huge cross that looks out over the site.
This stone explains that there is also amongst the graves four WWI Zeppelin crews buried here.
This is the final resting place of Zeppelin L32's crew. I was amazed to count 22 names. I didn't think they had such a large crew on board. The other three crews buried here were much smaller.
Wolfgang was a conscripted soldier who did not agree with the Nazi ideals, he had been transferred from a Prison camp in Devises after being wrongly classified after his capture by the British. There had been a prison break attempt from that camp and a group of prisoners including Wolfgang were transferred to Cultybraggen Camp. He arrived in the camp with thirty other prisoners on the 17th December 1944, but on the 22nd of December he was found dead, but it was far from natural causes. The full facts of the story are still held, locked by authorities, but details have been collected together....
(The camp was guarded by Polish soldiers, who's hatred of the Germans was natural enough after the Germans had totally destroyed their country in 1939. )
On his arrival in the prison camp Wolfgang was housed in barracks with about 80 die-hard fanatical Nazis. Now, weather he had been recruited by the British to spy, or just an innocent party is not yet officially confirmed, but the other inhabitants in the barrack taunted and bullied him. He asked the British officials to move him from the camp, but sadly this wasn't done. His body was found badly beaten up and hanging in a makeshift gallows. It is presumed that the other prisoners thought that he had been the one to inform the British of the attempted prison break - but that was not so. Whilst he was being beaten another anti-Nazi prisoner had called upon the Polish Guards to assist, but his pleas had been ignored. It was proved that Wolfgang had indeed died of his injuries from the beating before being hung, as though he had taken his own life...
Eight of the hard-core Nazis involved were taken to court, and of those two were cleared of all charges, one was given life imprisonment, and the rest were sentenced to death by hanging. This sentence was carried out at Pentonville Prison in the following October.
Another prisoner from the very same camp was also found hanged a month earlier, his name was s Oberleutnant Willy Thormann. It is not known if he committed suicide or not, but once again he was not a Nazi. They are buried together in the German Cemetery, here in Cannock Chase.
The program about this incident made me very sad, and so I decided to find their graves. Each year I visit and place a remembrance poppy on their grave.
Will the human race ever learn the uselessness of war I wonder?