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Lidzbark Warminski War Cemetery

British First World War graves reinstated in northern Poland

15 May 2014

The graves of 39 British soldiers who died during the First World War at the Heilsberg Prisoner of War Camp have been reinstated at Lidzbark Warminski War Cemetery in northern Poland by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).

The servicemen were commemorated at Lidzbark Warminski after the First World War, but the site became inaccessible during and after the Second World War and by 1960, the CWGC had little option but to commemorate the men on a memorial at Malbork Commonwealth War Cemetery, some 75 miles away.  Following a joint initiative between the local community and the CWGC, a war graves plot has been established within the cemetery. 

The work, which started in March 2014, was carried out by a six man team from the CWGC's operations in Belgium and means each man now has his own individual headstone.  The CWGC's Vice Chairman, Air Chief Marshal Sir Joe French, and nephews of Pte William Gordon Jones, Gordon and Wyn Jones, will attend a rededication ceremony on 16 May at the cemetery.

Gordon Jones was put in touch with the CWGC by amateur historian Pauline Page-Jones, after she saw the CWGC's website appeal for families of the men to come forward. He will be attending with his brother Wyn. The brothers come from Llanfyllin, a small village in Wales, where Pte Jones also lived at the time. 

Gordon Jones said: "We were delighted when we heard the news from the Commission as we had on many occasions considered trying to locate our uncle's grave.  Thanks to the CWGC, we will now have a chance to attend the ceremony and to pay our respect to our father's brother."

Sir Joe French commented: "The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is delighted that these graves are restored - a task that would have been impossible without the generous support of the local authorities and community.

"It is extremely gratifying that the CWGC Lidzbark Warminski War Cemetery will once more become a fitting tribute to the men whose sacrifice is honoured here."

The rededication ceremony will be followed by the unveiling of interactive CWGC Visitor Information Panels. The panels at Lidzbark Warminski are among 500 to be installed at CWGC locations worldwide and feature information about the site of the cemetery and a QR (Quick Response) code.  When scanned with a smartphone, the QR Code provides access for further information including the personal stories of some of the casualties buried or commemorated there.

Click here to access the dedicated Lidzbark Warminski War Cemetery micro-site.

Click here to read the full media release.