During their five years uninvited stay with us, it was inevitable that a number of Nazi Germany’s forces passed away. Natural causes accounted for many. There were drownings, accidents and the odd suicide and execution. In the latter months particularly, growing numbers died at the General Hospital after sustaining battle wounds in France or in the seas around the Channel Islands. Shortage of anaesthetic at that stage meant that many died badly.

The bodies were added to those who were prisoners of war here during WW1 but who passed away during their stay.

Most were interred at St Brelade’s churchyard. Below are then-and-now shots of the Rectory grounds. The first (thank you Peter Knight) was taken in 1947 and shows a number of marked graves. The wooden crosses replaced the original iron crosses. These graves were eventually moved across the road into the main churchyard. The second image is from much the same spot, taken today.

War graves St Brelade 1947DSCN0964

This is the main German cemetery in 1945, presumably after the Occupation (credit Jerripedia).

GermanCem1945

In 1961 the bodies were exhumed and re-interred at the military cemetery at Mont de Huisnes, St Malo, France.

DSCN0966