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| YOU ARE VIEWING ARTICLE - ID:20140411004 |
|Title:||The Heilsberg 39|
|Subtitle:||A New British First World War Cemetery in Poland|
|Author:||The Western Front Association |
|ID & Publication:||20140411004 ~ The-Villager.co.uk |
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has today announced the opening of a new British cemetery to commemorate 39 soldiers who died in the Great War. These men were taken prisoner by the Germans and their deaths occurred between August and December 1918.
WFA member David Tattersfield has extensively researched one of those to be commemorated in the new cemetery.
Private Frank Bower, aged 19 at the time of his death, was from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. He was a railway clerk before becoming a soldier. Frank was called up and joined the British Army in April 1917, enlisting into the Northumberland Fusiliers.
Frank was in hospital with a stomach ailment when he was captured. A major German attack (known later as the Battle of the Lys) in the Spring of 1918 over-ran his hospital and he and many others were taken prisoner.
At first, Frank's parents received official news that he was missing. Only later did they hear that he had been in hospital. Not until June did they hear directly from him, when Frank sent home a postcard letting them know he was imprisoned in Germany.
Frank sent further cards to let them know he was ‘in the pink’. In late October he was moved to Heilsberg POW camp, near Danzig (now Gdansk, Poland).
Frank died in captivity on 29 October 1918 and he was buried at the nearby military cemetery.
You can read more about the background to the cemetery, Frank's military service, and see his photograph and his paybook will by which he left everything to his mother. Please follow the reference link below:
Further information about WFA
The Western Front Association (WFA) was formed by eminent Great War historian John Giles in 1980. Our primary aim is furthering interest in The Great War of 1914-1918. We also aim to perpetuate the memory, courage and comradeship of all those on all sides who served their countries in France and Flanders and in other countries during The Great War.
The WFA, a registered charity, has now grown to some 6,500 members worldwide, with over 50 regional branches around the world. [The Association does not seek to justify or glorify war. We are not a re-enactment society, nor are we commercially motivated. We are entirely non-political. The object of the Association is to educate the public in the history of The Great War with particular reference to the Western Front.]
Applications for membership are warmly welcomed from anyone of a like mind.
• The WFA produces an eminent journal (Stand To!) and a members' Bulletin six times a year.
• Some five years ago, the WFA saved the Great War Medal Index Cards from destruction and has since made them available online via Ancestry.
• The WFA has preserved an archive of 6.5m Great War Pension Record Cards from potential destruction and plans to make them available digitally for the Centenary.
• The WFA bought the Butte de Warlencourt, a major feature on the Somme Battlefield, in order to prevent its destruction and to preserve it as a memorial.
• The WFA holds its own ceremony at the Cenotaph on Armistice Day - 11 November - every year (except Remembrance Sunday).
• The WFA has digitised large numbers of Great War maps held by the Imperial War Museum. The WFA has contributed resources to digitise Oral History tapes held by the Imperial War Museum.
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