Royal Marine PoW buried Prague, 02.11.1942

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Pat Atkins, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. Pat Atkins

    Pat Atkins Patron Patron

    I'd be grateful for some help re EX/2029 Marine Sidney Albert Atkins who is buried in Prague War Cemetery. Apologies in advance for any stupid questions (I'm anticipating a doh! moment, frankly), this isn't an area I'm at all familiar with! Marine Atkins's d.o.d. is given by the CWGC as 2nd November 1942, and says he died a PoW, having served with MNBDO 1 (they have his d.o.d. as 2nd January 1942, however).

    Specifically, I have no idea why this man is buried in Prague, and I'd like to find out. I'm aware of Terezín/Theresienstadt but don't know much else about camps in then-Czechoslovakia. I gather elements of MNBDO 1 deployed to Crete, and he might well have been made PoW there. So - why Prague?

    Cheers, Pat
  2. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    from British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 database on ancestry:

    ATKINS, Sidney Albert. EX 2029
    Royal Marines,
    Rank: Marine
    Exmouth Division R.M.
    born 23.11.1917 Baddesley, Warwickshire
    died 2.1.1942
    died of Heart Failure after Diptheria while P.O.W.
    Place of Death: Prague

    I think this is where the d.o.d on naval-history came from, as its the Navy's official register of deaths.

    Grave concentration docs on CWGC state that he died 2.11.1941, pow number 96247, was reburied at Prague War Cemetery in 1947, having originaly lain at CHUMUTOV Cemetery, Czechoslovakia (GSGS 4346 1/250,000 Sht N 51 MR F 025220). The re-burials at Prague War Cemetery are from 73 cemeteries across Czechoslovakia.

  3. Pat Atkins

    Pat Atkins Patron Patron

    Thanks, Travers, that's very helpful; I'd wondered about grave concentration, but lack the necessary skills to check. I'm assuming he was in a "regular" PoW camp somewhere in the country.

  4. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Now realise I made a typo in post 2. It should read CHOMUTOV. Still inside Czechia & about 15 km from the German Border, a city of 50,000 people.

    This link has the grave concentration docs.
  5. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    Osborne2 likes this.
  6. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Link from 2005 where someone is researching his fathers time in a pow camp near Chomutov in the Sudetenland.
    POW camps Stalag IVA Chumotov - Axis History Forum

    An interesting study here of pows held in present day Czechia & its land bordering with Germany, and their treatment/working conditions. The camps were mostly in the border areas, which had a large germanic population, to prevent Czech citizens assisting escapees.
  7. Pat Atkins

    Pat Atkins Patron Patron

    Very interesting stuff, thank you both. I'm still no closer, really, to the nuts and bolts of Marine Atkins's story, but it's a new area for me, and I'm grateful for the help. Much obliged.

    Cheers, Pat
  8. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    He may have been at Stalag IVC at Wistritz (now Dobi) near Teplitz. This was 25 miles from Chomutov, and between these places just 10 miles from Chomutov was the Sudetenland Fuel Works at Most, where the germans were trying to make oil from coal. This project alone took 8,000 pows from the 20,000 plus registered at Stalag IVC. Almost all pows registered at IVC were at sub-camps to work at factories, farms etc.
    Stalag IV-C - Wikipedia

    I found this camp as it was one of the main ones that men of the Cyprus Regiment were sent to. The only two other men who seem to have been reintered from Chomutov with Atkins were both Cypriots & there are many other Cypriots in Prague War Cemetery.
    Cyprus Regiment - Wikipedia

    Realise this is not specific info on Atkins himself but may narrow down the camp he was in.

  9. Pat Atkins

    Pat Atkins Patron Patron

    That's very helpful, thanks. In the absence of anything conclusive, currently, it's certainly a plausible scenario, and does fit with a Czech burial. To put my initial query in context, I was looking up a possible relative and came across Marine Atkins by chance - he shares the same surname; the slightly odd grave location caught my interest. Now, as you do in these circumstances, I feel I ought to find out more about this young man's service and death if I can. Thank you for your help.

  10. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Hope it eventually leads you somewhere, its a shame the docs have conflicting dates and dont help with wether he was in hospital at Chumutov and/or working there. I can see how a roman numeral II could be read as eleven, maybe from the prison records or the original headstone.

    He shows on several online trees on ancestry which I am sure you are aware of.

  11. Pat Atkins

    Pat Atkins Patron Patron

    Actually, I wasn't aware of the Ancestry trees - thanks again, Travers.

    Cheers, Pat

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