Possible Lamsdorf POW Funeral Photos

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Tullybrone, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    I originally posted this message on Page 3 of England Phil's Krakow Rakowicki Cemetery thread of a couple of weeks ago.
    I was surfing the site and found mention on that thread of a mass burial of British POW's killed in an American bombing raid in December 1944. Copy reports from RSM Sherriff to ICRC are linked to the thread.

    The attached photographs originated with Guardsman 2695279 Patrick Francis Devlin, Left Flank Company, 1st Scots Guards who was wounded in action and captured at Mo I Rana, Norway 17th May 1940 and was POW at Lamsdorf.
    I was wondering if they were linked to the incident mentioned by RSM Sherriff albeit there appear to be other nationalities buried as I can see French and possibly Dutch national flags in addition to the Union Jack.

    Hope someone out there can interpret them and perhaps confirm when/where they were taken.

    Appears to be a formal event - possibly filmed for propaganda purposes as there are German stills/film cameramen in some of the shots.


    Steve Y.

    Attached Files:

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  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Just bumping this one.

    In transition appears to have lost a number of the 9 photo's I posted on the old site? I will see if they reappear and if not I will repost the missing images.

    Steve Y
  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Found this also


    "As a result of a bombing raid by American aircraft on 23 Dec 1944 on the POW Camp Stalag XII, near Diez an der Lahn, 81 Americans were killed and over 100 wounded."
  4. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Thanks Diane.

    I am sure there were numerous casualties from allied bombing raids. I dug out a POW questionnaire from my Dad's mate (captured together) who was in a Lamsdorf working camp E711 and his complaint was that Germans would not let them go to air raid shelters until it was too late with the inevitable consequences casualty wise.

    I don't think these casualties are from Stalag XII as there were no "stars and stripes" on the coffins. I could make out Union Jack, French tricolour etc.


    Steve Y
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  5. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Just bumping this one again.

  6. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    All these men were killed on the 2nd December 1944 and buried at KRAKOW RAKOWICKI CEMETERY
    Johnson , Goring and Hopkins' Royal Artillery casualty cards confirm that they were killed "Following air action" (Johnson's states "Enemy air action", Goring, "Killed during an air-raid")

    001 ALEXANDER JS P/JX209976 HMS VOLTAIRE 02/12/1944 ROYAL NAVY 5. B. 2.
    002 ALLSOPP H 1888333 4 FIELD SQN 02/12/1944 ROYAL ENGINEERS 5. C. 9.
    004 BLOUNT J 4539549 170 TUNNELLING COY 02/12/1944 ROYAL ENGINEERS 5. B. 7.
    005 BOYD RT 3601364 4TH BN 02/12/1944 BORDER REGIMENT 5. B. 8.
    006 DOCHERTY E 2750501 - 02/12/1944 BLACK WATCH (ROYAL HIGHLANDERS) 5. B. 9.
    007 DOUGLAS H 3601111 4TH BN 02/12/1944 BORDER REGIMENT 5. B. 10.
    008 DUNN JC 4268129 7TH BN 02/12/1944 ROYAL NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS 5. A. 8.
    009 GORING J 2043413 1 BTY, 1 SEARCHLIGHT REGT 02/12/1944 ROYAL ARTILLERY 5. A. 10.
    010 GRANT M 4454381 9TH BN 02/12/1944 DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY 5. A. 13.
    011 GREGORY FE 5674884 2/5TH BN 02/12/1944 THE QUEEN'S ROYAL REGIMENT 5. C. 2.
    012 GROEGER GT 6347934 6TH BN 02/12/1944 Royal West Kent Regiment 5. C. 3.
    013 HALLARD H 3660951 2ND BN 02/12/1944 HIGHLAND LIGHT INFANTRY 5. C. 11.
    014 HOPKINS CF 1530681 151 BTY, 51 HAA REGT 02/12/1944 ROYAL ARTILLERY 5. C. 5.
    015 JOHNSON CF 875184 43 BTY, 101 LT AA/A-T REGT 02/12/1944 ROYAL ARTILLERY 5. C. 8.
    016 LANGTON W 4459315 11TH BN 02/12/1944 DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY 5. C. 10.
    017 LOUGHNAN W 1895204 26 FIELD COY 02/12/1944 ROYAL ENGINEERS 5. D. 1.
    018 LUDLAM A 4752584 - 02/12/1944 ROYAL CORPS OF SIGNALS 5. B. 3.
    019 MCKELLEN C 7891750 1ST/2ND LOTHIANS AND BORDER HORSE 02/12/1944 R.A.C. 5. B. 4.
    020 MILLER BC 4859352 1/5TH BN 02/12/1944 LEICESTERSHIRE REGIMENT 5. B. 6.
    021 MITCHELL J 2758635 1ST BN 02/12/1944 BLACK WATCH (ROYAL HIGHLANDERS) 2. D. 4.
    022 MOORE AV 6913650 - 02/12/1944 PIONEER CORPS 5. C. 4.
    023 O'NEILL D 2190103 - 02/12/1944 PIONEER CORPS 5. C. 7.
    024 PRICE D 4197242 1ST BN 02/12/1944 WORCESTERSHIRE REGIMENT 5. B. 11.
    025 SHARP JA 5383556 1ST BUCKS BN 02/12/1944 OX AND BUCKS LIGHT INFANTRY 5. B. 12.
    026 SMITH WA 4445140 1ST BN 02/12/1944 RIFLE BRIGADE 5. B. 13.
    027 SPEAK JT 2188987 - 02/12/1944 PIONEER CORPS 5. C. 6.
    028 SPRIGGS JE 6348023 7TH BN Royal West Kent Regiment 02/12/1944 5. A. 9.
    029 VEREY LH 1866557 9 FIELD COY 02/12/1944 ROYAL ENGINEERS 5. A. 11.
    030 WELLS HJW 5382249 1ST BUCKS BN 02/12/1944 OX AND BUCKS LIGHT INFANTRY 5. A. 12.
    031 WELLS RP 6846326 2ND BN 02/12/1944 KING'S ROYAL RIFLE CORPS 5. C. 1.

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  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    From - http://www.canadianbattlefieldtours.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Lamsdorf-Tour-2017-Info.pdf

    Stalag 344 Germany 7th December 1944
    Dear Sirs,
    It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that 30 British prisoners of war,
    details of whom are shown on the attached list, were killed during an air attack on
    Saturday 2nd December, 1944, at Working Party E/793 (formerly Bau u. Arbeits Batt.21)
    and Working Party E/3 Blechhammer, O/S.
    Yours Sincerely,
    S. Sherriff, R.S.M.
    Camp Leader.

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  8. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Guy & TD,

    Thanks for the information and links. It fills in the gaps I mentioned in my first post.

    The only contradictory issue that has arisen since my initial post is that when I obtained my relatives ICRC papers earlier this year it said he was transferred from Stalag 344 to Stalag IV C in January 1944 but that’s not to say that he didn’t obtain the funeral photos when he came into contact with someone who had been at Teschen at the time of the funeral. I’ll research the concentration reports further and see if I can find the original burial location as the eastern style church is a good landmark.

    It may be wishful thinking but I think I can make out E 793 written in chalk on a coffin in the first image? Does anyone agree?

    Thanks again for both your help.


  9. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Here is a more detailed report on the deaths and burial at Ehrenforst from the Pegasus Archive.

    Stalag 344

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  10. Alucard

    Alucard Member

    In reference to the deaths of the POW's at BAB 21 on 2nd December 1944.

    My fathers notes state that 30 POW's ( There are 31 names in the above list. ) were killed when a bomb landed in a slit trench that they were in. It is also noted that 50 POW's were wounded.

    He does not give a specific date, but is relating to the month of December in 1944, and is referring to a camp nearby to BAB 20 at Reigersfeld.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  11. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Part of War Crimes file WO 311/187 (National Archives) on BAB 20 and BAB 21 which refers to the bombing raid on 2 December 44 on E3, adjacent to BAB 21.


    Attached Files:

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  12. Alucard

    Alucard Member

    In the first of the attached files WO 311 187 p. 1.A.jpg. In the paragraph with the heading number 2. Where it is stated ' that by early 1944 the following work camps had been constructed -- etc '

    A suggestion that this could be a typing error, and perhaps ought to say ' early 1942.' As for instance. BAB 20 at Reigersfeld was in existence in March 1942. This can be seen in National Archives WO30912240 ( 598478 ) the documentation of the shooting of Private Joseph Gribben, which happened on 27th March 1942.

    Or perhaps it is meant that by that time of early 1944 they had all come to be in existence.
  13. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    I'm no expert at all on these camps. I just happened to do a translation job on this document for a team of Italianswho were researching forced labour in German-run POW camps. I'll have a look through the rest of the file sometime and reply properly.

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  14. Pat Atkins

    Pat Atkins Patron Patron

    Subject to the same wishful thinking caveat, I think it could be - the last digit looks very like a '3'; the first digit is possibly a 7 (with horizontal cross-through), and the second digit possibly a 9.

    Fascinating thread, folks, keep it up. Cheers, Pat.
  15. Alucard

    Alucard Member

    Ok, Vitellino that would be good.

    This may be of interest to you from the Italian aspect. This is from my fathers writings when at BAB 20. I will give the full paragraph.

    ' We saw Czechoslovakian and Polish girls, whose job was unloading sharp stones that were to be used for packing under railway sleepers. Their feet were bleeding and raw as they were made to work in their bare feet. We gave them some shoes and socks that we had got from our looting. These were confiscated by the Germans, and they had to continue working in bare feet. We used to see the Germans throwing people off scaffoldings and from off buildings. These were mainly Jewish. Others committed suicide by jumping from heights, these were mainly Italians that did this, as the Germans were treating them rough. '

    Hope this may be of interest.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  16. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Thanks very much for this snippet. The project I was translating for is more or less finished, but it has been granted an extension. The researchers were particularly interested in Slovenes and Croats and also British servicemen sent to German camps before the Armistice. There were three groups of British and Commonwealth sent In July '43 from PG 73, PG 82 and from PG 53. The complete lists can be found on www.campifascisti.it under the section Documenti

    The Italians did not enjoy any protection under the Geneva convention as they were not regarded as prisoners of war. They had mostly been shipped off to these camps immediately following the armistice. Some were military but others were civilians.
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  17. Hi All,
    I am interested if anyone has any further info. My Great Grandfather was Michael Grant and was one of the 30 men that died during an air raid on 2/12/1944.
    I am just starting to research and we know very little about him. I would absolutely love to find some photo's of him!
  18. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Name: Michael Grant . Date of Birth: 17/10/1914 . Age: [30]. Place of Birth:... | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 416/146/351
    Name: Michael Grant.
    Date of Birth: 17/10/1914.
    Age: [30].
    Place of Birth: Gateshead.
    Service: British Army.
    Rank: Private.
    Regiment/Unit/Squadron: The Durham Light Infantry.
    Service Number: 4454381.
    Date of Capture: 09 June 1940.
    Theatre of Capture: Rouen, France.
    Camp Name/Number: Stalag 344 Lamsdorf.
    PoW number: 1852.
    Date of Death: 2/12/1944.
    Number of Photographs: 0.
    Number of Fingerprints: 0.
    Number of X-rays: 0.
    Number of Cards: 6.
    Date: [1939-1945]
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
    Access conditions: Open on Transfer
    Record opening date: 03 December 2014


    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: Michael Grant
    Given Initials: M
    Rank: Private
    Death Date: 2 Dec 1944
    Number: 4454381
    Birth Place: Gateshead
    Residence: Gateshead
    Regiment at Enlistment: Durham Light Infantry
    Branch at Enlistment: Infantry
    Theatre of War: France and Belgium Campaign, 1939/40
    Regiment at Death: Durham Light Infantry
    Branch at Death: Infantry

    UK, Commonwealth War Graves, 1914-1921 and 1939-1947
    Name: Michael Grant
    Age: 30
    Birth Date: abt 1914
    Death Date: 2 Dec 1944
    Cemetery: Cracow Military Cemetery Pol. 1
    Regimental Number: 4454381
    Region or Memorial: Poland, U.S.S.R.

    Global, Find A Grave Index for Burials at Sea and other Select Burial Locations, 1300s-Current
    Name: Private Michael Grant
    Death Date: 2 Dec 1944
    Cemetery: Rakowicki Cemetery
    Burial or Cremation Place: MAłopolskie, Poland
    Has Bio?: N
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  19. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Welcome to the forum.

    Your best bet might be to start a new thread with your great grandfather’s name and Regiment, Battalion details in the topic title as there are several DLI experts on the forum who may not come across your post in this topic. They have access to DLI Museum Archives.

    You could consider applying to MOD for his service papers via this link -

    Get a copy of military service records

    You could also consider applying to Red Cross in Switzerland for details from their archives via this link -

    Requests for information about people held during Spanish Civil War or the Second World War: Quarterly limit reached

    You’ll need to be quick off the mark on 20th May. I’d suggest you check the website 8am U.K. time and look for the drop down application form that will pop up. If it’s not there check the site every 30 minutes until you see the form and complete it ASAP as the application window will close after 2 or 3 hours as the quarterly limit is quickly reached.

    It’s a free service and you get a written reply from ICRC through the post after about 4 months.

    Good Luck.

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  20. Steve,
    Thank you for the welcome and thank you for taking the time to reply. I will explore the avenues you have suggested I would love to have some correspondence with some of the DLI experts on this forum.

    Thanks again :)


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