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German South West Africa War Graves


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I have done three trips to Namibia in the last two years and have taken over 1300 photos of both British, South African and German war graves. There are a lot more that I have not been able to get to, to photograph yet, but hope to do those in the future.

My aim is to add a section onto my website that will cover the German war graves as the British and South African graves seem to be well covered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and The War Graves Photographic Project.

I am sure that most German family members have never had the opportunity to travel to Namibia to visit the graves of their ancestors and they will be able to view them on my website.

I would like to add in a brief history of the different campaigns in the German South West Africa, any information as to how the soldier was killed or what disease he died from, photos of the soldiers, and any old photos of the graves, possibly taken at the time of the burial.

My request is to anyone who may be able to help with photos or information, to please contact me.

I have attached two photos of the Gibeon Station Cemetary, where there are both German and South African WWI graves, one old photo and a recently taken photo from the same angle.

Kind regards

James D.N. MacKenzie

SAM - Southern Africa Militaria

http://southernafricamilitaria.com

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James,

I have access to the Militär Wochenblatt for 1905 which contain casualty lists and would be happy to provide them if they would assist in your efforts.

Andy

Hi Andy

That sounds great, thank you so much. Could you scan then for me and email them? Any photos of the casualties?

I am not sure how it works, am I allowed to enclose my email address in these letters? If not, please go to my website, below my name, and my email address is on there,

Best wishes

James D.N. MacKenzie

SAM - Southern Africa Militaria

http://southernafricamilitaria.com

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there are also 10 graves of German U-Boat crew in Indonesia, in a remote place called Rancadomas (far from the sea!)..

Hi Kapten Windu, thanks for that info, but I can only do the graves that are within driving distance for me, and Namibia is already a day's drive away.

Out of interest sake, would you be able to email me some photos of the grave stones some time? My email address is on my website.

Many thanks

James

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Hear, hear!

Hi Peter

Many thanks for that. Lots of work, but I have enjoyed the research so much, as well as hunting down the gravesites in Namibia. They are not all in cemeteries, unfortunately, some are on farms, private land, some far out in the bush - and I don't have an off road car. One town I went to, that I knew there were German graves in, far off the national road, nobody could tell me where the graves were. After driving around this small town, and spending about an hour or so going through the cemetery, I gave up, only to find out, when I returned home to Cape Town, that I had a photo of the graves, out in the bush close to the town, but not looked after and none of the towns people I spoke to knew about it.

Another town, Gibeon, not Gibeon Station, I drove around for hours, also spent over an hour in their cemetery, but could not find the German grave. As I was about to give up a chap came past in his van and I stopped him to ask him. He took me to the German cemetery, way off into the bush, no signs marking the place at all, only to find that every gravestone had been removed. I know there are seven war graves there, and can see where the graves are, but don't know which is which, and which are civilians. Very sad, and I am told that the German Government pays the Namibia to look after the German graves!!

Best wishes

James

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Guest Darrell

James, good going. This looks to be a great and admirable project.

That now and then picture is amazing. Little has changed. Not only have all trees and power poles not be altered, the trees are almost exactly the same size ...uncanny :cheers:

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James, good going. This looks to be a great and admirable project.

That now and then picture is amazing. Little has changed. Not only have all trees and power poles not be altered, the trees are almost exactly the same size ...uncanny :cheers:

Hi Darrell

I agree, I like those type of photos, like history is standing still. It is really very hot there at Gibeon, don't think they get much rain at all, so the trees and bushes don't grow much. All that seems to grow are the weeds and a long brown grass. Sometimes I have to use my machete to cut the weeds and grass that grow right through the grave, to get a better photo of the gravestone. Sometimes there are thick bushes or small trees, even aloe plants, growing through the grave, covering the gravestone. I don't know how far I can go with the clearing of the site before I get blamed for damage or desecration of the grave. If the plants keep growing like that the graves will be seriously damaged.

The attached photo is one of the graves in Windhoek.

Cheers

James

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