Officers, N.C.O.s and Men of the 1st Battalion, Buried in Berlin, South-Western Cemetery
This cemetery contains 1,177 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 Footnote below) (1901 Census of Wales. RG 13/4937) The 1911 Census (RG 14/31849) lists two more younger brothers, William and Alfred, and although Alfred is only 1 year old, Elizabeth is now listed as a widow (Her husband, William, died in the March quarter 1910.).
16 year old Thomas John was working as a ‘Coal Hewer‘, no doubt at Tredegar pit (see photo on left). The family was 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 £1300 today – 2023).
She received a further £5 (£330 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 £65 today) Pension on behalf of Thomas, effective from 15th October 1917.
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.
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]
After over four years in captivity they both died in 1918, after the Armistice, probably as a result of the effects of 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 (née Burrows) Clarke. If so, in 1901 (Census RG 13/3426) he was living with his parents and younger brothers, Owen and Thomas, at Ct. 3/4, Baxter Street, Toxteth, Liverpool, working as a “Boiler Scaler“.
By the time of the 1911 Census Edward was living in the Regimental Barracks of 2nd Battalion Cheshire Regiment, The Ridge, Jubbulpore, India. He was unmarried. (RG 14/43980)
“The Register of Soldiers’ Effects” shows that in October 1919 Edward’s wife, Christina, received a total of £100 14s 9d (£100.74 – about £6,650 today – 2023). No record of this 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. “The Register” gives “Christina” a second initial, “C”, maybe Catherine?
Pension Records show that with effect from 8 September 1919 his widow (unnamed) was awarded a Pension of £1 0s 5d per week. [£1.02 i.e. about £65 per week today] Also named is a son, Michael Joseph Hyatt (“Born before wedlock“). At the time they were living at 1 Wharfedale Street, Garston, Liverpool.
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. However, “The Register of Soldiers’ Effects” shows that he died after the Armistice was signed, on 22nd November 1918 at “Chemnitz” p.o.w. Camp (left), which is a long way from Doberitz.
Pension Records show that Edward “Died of Influenza whilst a Prisoner of War“.
In 1924-25 graves were brought into Berlin South Western Cemetery from more than 140 burial grounds in eastern Germany.
Grave: XI.B..6.A Died : 18th November 1918 Age: 25
Personal: James was born on 16th January 1893 at Crewe, Cheshire, the son of Samuel (Moulder – LNWR) and Jane Elizabeth (née Beech) Ganner, later of 34 Grosvenor Street, Crewe. (1911 Census RG 14/21786) [LNWR Records show that as well as Samuel, his sons, George, James and William, all worked for the Company in the 1890s.]
James had 3 older siblings, George, Annie and William, (see Footnotes below) and 5 younger, Samuel, Ellen, Polly (died as a baby in 1902), Amy and Ernest. The 1911 Census shows 18 year Private James Ganner 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 34 Grosvenor Street, Crewe, Cheshire. The total amount was £140 7s 11d (£140.80) paid in 1920. [This would be equivalent to about £8500 today – 2023] She also received a War Gratuity of £25 [£1450 today].
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 in to Berlin S.W. Cemetery from more than 140 burial grounds in eastern Germany and James was probably re-buried there.
James’ older brother, Sgt. 8782 George Ganner, served throughout the War with the 1st Battalion (‘C’ Company). He went with the BEF to France as a serving soldier on 6 August 1914.
James’ older brother, Sgt. 8338 William Ganner, also served with the 1st Battalion. He was recalled from the Reserve and posted to France on 6 October 1914 and was discharged on 13 October 1915.