British gravestones raised in Poland for Great War POWs

British gravestones raised in Poland for Great War POWs

With the 100th anniversary of the First World War nearing, tombstones have been raised in the Polish village of Markajmy for British Commonwealth soldiers who died at a German POW camp.

Tombstones are installed at the new British Commonwealth quarter of the war cemetery at Markajmy, north east Poland. Photo: PAP/Tomasz Waszczuk

Tombstones are installed at the new British Commonwealth quarter of the war cemetery at Markajmy, north east Poland. Photo: PAP/Tomasz Waszczuk

A separate British quarter with 39 headstones has been created at the war cemetery in north east Poland.

During the Great War, a POW camp was opened near the then German town of Heilsberg (today Lidzbark Warminski), yet over 2800 inmates died as a result of a typhus epidemic.

Besides British Commonwealth soldiers, Russian, Romanian, French, Belgian, Italian and Serbian POWs were also laid to rest at the site.

The Markajmy graveyard is the last war cemetery in Europe that has not had tombstones installed for British victims until now.

The headstones have been funded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which is responsible for the maintenance of 23,000 war cemeteries around the world.

Plans were set in motion for the Commonwealth quarter at Markajmy 95 years ago with details of 11 of the inscriptions prepared by family members. These were kept in archives in the town of Maidenhead, southern England.

Relatives of the deceased Commonwealth soldiers, including family members from the UK and Australia, are due to attend an official ceremony inaugurating the new quarter in 16 May. (nh)

Categories: News in English

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