Chartham Military Hospital and Cemetery, Kent

Discussion in 'Non-Commemorated War Dead' started by KevinBattle, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    As many of you know, the CWGC database now includes German War Dead.
    It doesn't record 4 Luftwaffe airmen shot down in their Ju 88 on 21st August 1940 near King's Somborne in Hampshire. The Names of the Ju 88 crew are known, but it was reported they were loaded into an Army lorry and removed, although the local vicar had offered to have them buried in the Churchyard.
    That's the last known of them.

    On 22nd August, 4 Germans were buried in Grave O74 at Chartham cemetery, Kent, almost 200 miles away.

    Later, these were exhumed and buried as 4 Unknowns with a Date of Death of 22nd August 1940 in Block 9 Grave 48 at Cannock Chase.

    There appear to be no other unknown Luftwaffe deaths on either 21st or 22nd August, BUT obviously there is no link apart from the "coincidence" of 4 men killed on 21 August and 4 men buried 22nd August in Chartham.

    Why take 4 dead men to Chartham from Hampshire?

    Can anyone assist with knowledge as to whether the military hospital near Chartham or the cemetery were used for other German dead? The BoB was raging overhead so it may have been a convenient "collection point" for Luftwaffe casualties, but I need to find the link (if there is one) between King's Somborne Known Dead and Chartham Unknown ones.

    Any help appreciated. I know people expend a great deal of time and effort to identify previously Unknown burials, so I'm hopeful that some on here can provide the missing piece of the jigsaw.

  2. chrisharley9

    chrisharley9 Senior Member

    Hello Kevin,

    Strangely enough yes there was a named German airman buried there

    Casualty Details

    See registration doc attached to this link

    I know Terry Denham is carrying out some work on this case

  3. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Thanks Chris. So 4 RAF deaths, and Alfred Hoffman killed 15 September 1940 is now in Plot 1 Row 3 Grave 81.
    That indicates there must have been some RAF airfield close by, although 2 have Chartham addresses (Married Quarters?)
    He must have been exhumed at the same time as the 4 in Grave O74, but in an entirely different part of Cannock, perhaps unidentified were placed elsewhere awaiting identification?
    I tried looking at the Registration info with the other 12 remaining at Chartham, but none seems to have any other Luftwaffe burials mentioned.
    Yes, thanks to you, Terry and John I have managed to move this on some way, just need to find out why 4 identified airmen were taken from Hampshire and no more known of what became of them, then 4 unidentified Germans were buried the next day in Chartham. Where else could they have come from, when all the other German air losses are known for 21/22 August - but why go as far as Chartham?
    This may be IFTC first for Axis airmen.
  4. chrisharley9

    chrisharley9 Senior Member

    I do hope we do identify them. Will have to see what Terry turns up. Just why take them to Chartham baffles me.

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