Sunday, October 24, 2010

German WW2 graves, North Cotes, Lincolnshire





Top: CWGC Burial Plot, St Nicholas' Churchyard,
North Cotes, Lincolnshire

Middle: Stuart, who maintains the North Cotes plot for the CWGC

Bottom: Headstone of one of the WW2 German casualties at North Cotes


For additional information click on 'Comments' below

1 Comments:

Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

The German Luftwaffe service casualties buried at North Cotes

Among the Allied servicemen buried in the Commonwealth War Graves at St Nicholas' Churchyard, North Cotes, Lincolnshire are 3 German Luftwaffe casualties of the Second World War. They are buried side by side with some of their former adversaries. One might be forgiven for thinking it is “... a small piece of England that will be forever Germany".

Below are the details of the 3 German Luftwaffe crew buried in the CWGC plot at St Nicholas' Churchyard, North Cotes, Lincolnshire. This section is mainly based on the CWGC information board at the churchyard.

1. Oberfeldwebel GUSTAV BORKOWSKI, Luftwaffe
who died aged 28 on 2 February 1942
(Grave No 23)
Additional information:
From Bargensken, Germany
His body was found in the sea near North Cotes. He was flying a Dornier 217

2. Feldwebel HELMUTH KRESS, Luftwaffe
who died aged 22 on 2 October 1940
(Grave No 7)
Additional information:
From Stuttgart, Germany
He was caught in anti-aircraft fire near North Somercotes, Lincolnshire
Prisoner at North Coates Fittes Camp
He was with a Heinkel Fighter Squadron

3. Leutenant FERDINAND RECHBERGER, Luftwaffe
who died aged 21 on 23 August 1943
(Grave No 38)
Additional information:
From Wien (Vienna) Austria
Leutenant Rechberger was shot down by a Beaufort operating from RAF North Coates and his body was later found on the sea shore.
He was serving with a Heinkel Fighter Squadron.

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According to the headstone of Feldwebel Helmuth Kress he died on 2 October 1940 when he was 22 years old. According to the CWGC information board at North Cotes churchyard, at the time of his death Feldwebel Kress was a prisoner at the North Coates Fittes camp and was caught in anti-aircraft fire. Also according to the headstone Feldwebel Kress was born on 14 June 1918.

From time to time relatives of the WW2 German casualties visit the graves and leave floral tributes. At the time the above photographs were taken (October 2010) there was a floral tribute on the grave of Feldwebel Kress – presumably placed there on the 70th anniversary of his death.

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This small corner of a Lincolnshire churchyard is the final resting place for some whose homes lay far away across the sea. In addition to the 3 German graves at North Cotes - one of which is actually Austrian - the CWGC plot at North Cotes includes war casualties from Britain, Canada, Newfoundland, U.S.A. Australia and New Zealand. One can see the true cost of a World War. So many young lives ruined before their time because of war.

Death is the great leveller. In at least one respect this is a place of sadness. It is, nevertheless, a relatively peaceful place where former foes lie side by side. From time to time the sound of silence is broken by the sound of song birds in the trees of the churchyard or the cheery laughter of children playing in the schoolyard of the village school across the road. So perhaps this is also a place of some comfort for the families of the fallen - even the German families.

All the graves, Allied and German, are tended once a week in summer and once a month in winter by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission gardener, Stuart. Although the CWGC plot at North Cotes is relatively small compared to many of the cemeteries near the former battlefields of WW1 and WW2, it is maintained to the same high standard found on the European mainland.
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Monday, 25 October, 2010  

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