Officers, N.C.O.s and Men of the 1st Battalion, Buried in Berlin, South-Western Cemetery
This cemetery contains 1177 named Commonwealth burials.
In 1922-23 it was decided that the graves of Commonwealth servicemen who had died all over Germany should be brought together into four permanent cemeteries.
Berlin South-Western Cemetery was one of those chosen and in 1924-25, graves were brought into the cemetery from more than 140 burial grounds in eastern Germany.
The Cemetery contains 3 soldiers of the Cheshire Regiment, who were taken prisoner during the Battalion’s action at Audregnies on 24th August 1914.
Grave: VIII.G.4. Died of wounds: 10th November 1914 Age: 29
Personal: Thomas (John) was born in Tredegar, Monmouthshire, Wales, in the December quarter 1894, the eldest son of William (Coal miner) and Elizabeth Ann (née Morgan) Vaughan, of 59 High Street, Tredegar, Monmouthshire.
The 1901 Census shows that he had three younger siblings, Ellen, Rees and Lewis Henry (see below) (1901 Census of Wales. RG 13/4937) The 1911 Census (RG14/31849) lists two more younger brothers, William and Alfred, and although Alfred is only 1 year old, Elizabeth is now listed as a widow.
16 year old Thomas John is working as a ‘Coal Hewer‘, no doubt at Tredegar pit (see photo on left). The family is now living at 10 Lower Coronation Street, Tredegar. There is no record of Thomas marrying.
By 1915 Thomas’ mother, Elizabeth, received his effects totalling £9 18s (£9.90 – about £780 today – 2020).
She received a further £5 (£225 today) and by then she had re-married, James E. Jones, in the June quarter 1917. They were living at 59 High Street, Tredegar, when she received 15s. (75p – about £40 today) Pension on behalf of Thomas, effective from 15th October 1917.
Thomas’s younger brother, Pte. 11045 Lewis Henry Vaughan, was serving with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers when he died of “Pulmonary Tuberculosis” on 16th August 1915. [No C.W.G.C. Record found]
Military Service: Thomas enlisted in the Cheshire Regiment at Cardiff. Currently his Army records appear to have been destroyed by Second World War bombing. However, it is likely that he joined the Cheshire Regiment in 1912/13 when aged 18.
His Medal Index Card, however, shows that as a regular soldier he entered France on 16th August 1914. He was reported missing from the Battalion following the action at Audregnies on 24th August. He fought on the right of the line under Captain Dugmore.
Thomas was held at Doberitz prisoner of war camp, Brandenburg, until he died on 10th November 1914.
Records show that the cause of death was: “Inflammation of the lungs through wounds“. Thomas was initially buried at Doberitz P.o.W camp, but in 1922-23 38 burials from Doberitz were re-buried at Berlin.
The fact that both died late in the War, in 1918, might suggest they died from illness, possibly the ‘flu pandemic prevalent at that time.
Grave: II.F.6. Died: 22nd November 1918 Age: 32
Personal: The SDGW database states that Edward was born in Garston, Liverpool in 1886, probably the son of Thomas and Ellen Clarke. The 1911 Census shows him living in the Regimental Barracks of 2nd Battalion Cheshire Regiment, The Ridge, Jubbulpore, India, and that he was unmarried. (RG 14/43980)
The Register of Soldier’s Effects shows that in October 1919 his wife, Christina, received a total of £100 14s 9d (£100.74 – about £4500 today – 2020). No record of their marriage has been found, however, an Addendum to his Baptismal Certificate from St. Vincent de Paul Church, Liverpool, states that on 2nd August 1912 he married Catherine McBride.
Military Service: Edward enlisted in the 2nd Battalion the Cheshire Regiment at Cardiff. Currently his Army records are unavailable, undoubtedly destroyed by Second World War bombing. However, his Service Number suggests he enlisted in December 1904, probably aged 18, on a 7+5 term of service (i.e. 7 years active service plus 5 years reserve). He served in India at Jubbulpore, probably until 1911/12, before being transferred to the Reserve List.
Edward’s Medal Index Card shows that as a Reservist he was recalled to the 1st Battalion at the outbreak of War and entered France on 16th August 1914. He was reported missing from the Battalion following the action at Audregnies on 24th August. His ‘D’ Company fought on the right of the line under Captains E. Rae-Jones and W.S. Rich.
It is not known where Edward was held in Germany but others in the Battalion were at Doberitz prisoner of war camp, Brandenburg. He died after the Armistice was signed, on 22nd November 1918 and may have originally been buried at Doberitz. In 1924-25 graves were brought into Berlin South Western Cemetery from more than 140 burial grounds in eastern Germany and 38 burials from Doberitz were re-buried there.
Grave: XI.B..6.A Died : 18th November 1918 Age: 25
Personal: James was born in the first quarter of 1893 at Crewe, Cheshire, the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Ganner of 34 Grosvenor Street, Crewe.
He had four brothers, George, Samuel, Edward and William. The 1911 Census shows an 18 year Private James residing in Military accommodation in Chester Castle and Barracks. (RG 14/21870)
The “Register of Soldiers’ Effects” states that he left his estate to his mother, Elizabeth, living at 94 Grosvenor Street, Crewe, Cheshire. The total amount was £140 7s 11d (£140.80) paid in 1920. [This would be equivalent to about £5500 today = 2020] She also received a War Gratuity of £25 [£980 today].
James’ older brother, Sgt. 8782 George Ganner, served throughout the War as a regular soldier with the 1st Battalion (‘C’ Coy.).
Military Service: James enlisted in the 1st Battalion the Cheshire Regiment at Chester. Currently his Army records are unavailable, probably destroyed in Second World War bombing. However, his Service Number suggests he enlisted in 1911, aged 18, on a 3+9 term of service (i.e. 3 years active service plus 9 years reserve).
His Medal Index Card shows that as a regular soldier he entered France on 16th August 1914. He was reported missing from the Battalion following the action at Audregnies on 24th August where his Company fought under Captain W.E.L.R. Dugmore on the right of the line.
He died as a p.o.w. on 18th November 1918, just one week after the Armistice was signed. His “Register of Soldiers’ Effects” names “Dannenberg” as the place where he died and from his Pension Record he died from a “Disease“.
He may have originally been buried near to where he died, but in 1924-25 graves were brought into Berlin S.W. Cemetery from more than 140 burial grounds in eastern Germany and James might have been re-buried there.