Service number mystery

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by vac, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. vac

    vac Member

    A certain POW, Private Wells 5382249, prisoner at Stalag VIII B/Lamsdorf 344, was killed in a US air attack on Blechammer where he was part of BAB 21. The report of his death to the Red Cross by the camp leader quotes private Wells' service number as P/JX209976. There were 27 other men killed in the same attack but his is the only entry to not bear his "ordinary" service number. What does this mean?
  2. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    It appears a simple error because P/JX 209976 is a Navy number it belongs to
    Able Seaman

    P.O.W. No.98577

    Royal Navy

    Service No. P/JX 209976

    He too was killed in the same attack.

    Thread about the incident here
    Possible Lamsdorf POW Funeral Photos

  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Service Number 5382249
    Died 02/12/1944
    Aged 26
    1st Bucks. Bn.
    Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
    Son of William Francis Wells and Alice Mabel Wells, of Bourne End, Buckinghamshire; husband of Violet Wells.

    Able Seaman
    Service Number P/JX209976
    Died 02/12/1944
    Aged 24
    H.M.S. Voltaire.
    Royal Navy
    Son of Robert and Elizabeth Seymour Alexander, of Saltcoats, Ayrshire.

    It is odd that a naval POW would be at Lamsdorf, it could be of course coincidence that he died on that particular day

  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    alieneyes and Mr Jinks like this.
  5. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Stalag 344

    This site has `three` serviceman named (erroneously) with the number P/JX 209976

    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  6. vac

    vac Member

    Thank-you Kyle, and others, such a simple explanation. Checking CWGC list for Krakow cemetery where Lamsdorf prisoners are buried Able Seaman Alexander is buried there and his DoD is 2/12/44 which is the date of the airstrike as also noted above.

    Double checking my source which is on the Pegasus-archive site I now see that AB Alexander is the first on the list of BAB21 casualties with correct service no. I missed this as my interest is in the Bucks Bn and had scrolled straight to Sharp and Wells to cross check info from other sources for a final confirmation that they had died in the strike. Under stressful times errors are understandable.
  7. vac

    vac Member

    Hello again,
    I followed the link above to the "possible POW Lamsdorf funeral photos". I'm pretty sure these are not Lamsdorf funeral photos. I have seen a copy of a photograph of a mass funeral taken at the time by Sydney Sherriff, camp leader. The copy is in the possession of the Lamsdorf museum and is probably the funeral of the men killed an earlier airstrike. The Sherriff photo is a much less grand affair with simple wooden coffins. Furthermore, at the time, the men were buried on site at Lamsdorf which is in the middle of nowhere, there is no church (as appears in the background) for miles.There seem to be a lot of photos around purporting to be POW funerals but I question their authenticity -- magnificent coffins (unaffordable to the average Brit I would have thought even today), massive wreaths and dozens of German soldiers in attendance?? all seems very unlikely to me. The real mystery however, is why so many of these photos turn up in ex POW memento boxes. I would have thought they would have known they were propaganda nonsense and discarded them. Thoughts much appreciated.
  8. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Double post. For some reason the OP has started a separate topic with an identical post here

    POW funeral photos
  9. vac

    vac Member

    Sorry,(if it is a problem that is) I replied here to the post above and then realised the conversation had strayed off topic from my original post here which was about service numbers. I had assumed that those with an interest in POWs might help me with my enquiry and may not be looking for topics titled service number mystery (which actually is about a POW incident if you read it, but thought I should put it here rather than under POW). Perhaps a little slack for those relatively new to managing the complexities of this site and what should go where might be kind.

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