The Cemetery contains 3 soldiers of the Cheshire Regiment, who were taken prisoner during the Battalion's actions during 1914 and subsequently died whilst prisoners of war.



1st Battalion, The Cheshire Regiment
Officers, N.C.O.s and Men of the 1st Battalion, Buried in Cologne Southern Cemetery

©: G E Conway, 2009
Their name liveth for evermore
Private E J Conway (circa. 1905)
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Private 7211 Joseph BEARD

Date of Death:
16 April 1918        
Grave No:
VI. E. 24.
Unit:
'D' Company
Age:
34
Personal History:
Joseph was born in St Thomas' Parish, Stockport, Cheshire, on 21st July 1886, the son of Robert and Margaret Beard. However, no trace can be found of the family in any relevant Census.

He was a professional soldier who had served 16 years with the Regiment. Following his death his official next of kin was his married sister, Mrs Kinsey, 38 Canal Street, Waterloo, Stockport, suggesting that by then both parents had died.

Military History:
Joseph enlisted in the Cheshire Regiment at Stockport. Currently his Army records are unavailable. However, his Service Number suggests he enlisted in August 1903, probably 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 embarked with the Battalion at the outbreak of War and entered France on 16 August 1914. He was reported missing from the Battalion following the action at Audregnies on 24th August, where he fought on the right of the line under Captain Ernest Rae-Jones.

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This cemetery contains 2482 Commonwealth soldiers from the Great War buried or commemorated, including about 1,000 who died during the War itself. Cologne was entered by Commonwealth forces on 6 December 1918 and occupied under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles until January 1926.

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.  Cologne Southern was one of those chosen and in the following four years, about 1,500 graves were brought into the cemetery from 183 burial grounds in Hanover, Hesse, the Rhine and Westphalia.



Medal ribbon bar
All of the men named below were awarded the 1914 Star (with "clasps and roses"), the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Click on image to see full medal set
The three men buried here all fought at Audregnies and were taken prisoner on 24 August 1914. They subsequently died whilst prisoners of War.

Use the links on the left to read a little more about each man and see where he is buried.
 
Private 7730 Herbert HAMPTON (A.R.)

Date of Death:
8 November 1918
Grave No:
V.G.4.
Unit:
'C' Company
Age:
30
Personal History:
Herbert was born in Moulton, Northwich, Cheshire in the March quarter 1888, the son of James (Canal Labourer) and Jane Hampton. He had 4 older siblings, Lucy, Agnes, Mary and Stephen, and a younger sister, Fanny, and a younger brother, Fred.

In 1901 14 year old Herbert was working as a cattle man and lodging on the farm of Edward Gibson at Rose Cottage, Warmington, Cheshire. (Census RG 13/3353)

In the June quarter 1908 Herbert married Alice Thorley. Their son, James Thomas, was born in the September quarter 1908. The 1911 Census (RG 14/21747) shows them living at 57 Middlewick Road Sandbach, Cheshire and Herbert is working as a General Labourer.

Military History:
Herbert enlisted in the Cheshire Regiment at Crewe, Cheshire. Currently his Army records are unavailable. However, his Service Number suggests he enlisted in August/September 1904, on a 3 + 9 term of service (i.e. 3 years active service plus 9 years reserve). However, this would only make him 16 years old, although it was not uncommon for a young man to 'exaggerate' his age to escape from a poor background.

This being the case he would have left the Regular Army and entered the Reserve List about September 1907.

His Medal Index Card shows that as a Reservist he was recalled to the Battalion at the outbreak of War and entered France on 16 August 1914. He was reported missing from the Battalion following the action at Audregnies on 24th August, where he fought on the right of the line under Captain Dugmore.

Without his Service Records it is not possible to say where he was held, only that he died, possibly from the influenza, or allied illness, e.g. pneumonia, just 3 days before the Armistice.

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Pt Clarke's Medal Index Card
Cologne Southern Cemetery
Pt Riley's gravestone
His official next of kin was his married sister, Mrs Kinsey, 38 Canal Street, Waterloo, Stockport, and, in July 1918, she received notification from the War Office of the circumstances of Joseph's death as furnished by the German Government states: "The British prisoner of war, Joseph Beard, born on 21 July 1886, at Stockport, succumbed on 16 April to injuries received while making an attack on a sentry. Beard was engaged on the 15th at a work camp in unloading railway trucks. For some unexplained reason and notwithstanding repeated orders from the sentry, he refused to continue his work. On the sentry proceeding to enforce his order with his rifle, the prisoner threatened him with his shovel. Being attacked for the third time, the sentry warded off the shovel at the same time striking Beard with the butt end of his rifle on the head, causing such wounds as resulted in the death of the deceased on the following day."

The Stockport Advertiser, in its edition of 26th July 1918, comments "The above is, of course, the German official version of the unfortunate affair and cannot well be questioned. It seems strange, however, that Private Beard, who was always a quiet and gentlemanly soldier should meet such a fate after serving so long a term in the enemy's hands."

After the War, an official Committee on the Treatment of British Prisoners of War undertook a series of interviews and reports concerning over 7000 prisoners, but Joseph's case was not one of them and the facts of the incident are now lost to history, as is, it seems, where Joseph was being held at the time of the incident.


Lance Corporal 4409 John HARROP

Date of Death:
22 July 1918
Grave No:
XVI. A. 56.
Unit:
'C' Company
Age:
32


Personal History:
John was born in Warrington, Lancashire in 1886, possibly Son of James and Kate Harrop of Warrington, Lancs. If so he had 5 younger siblings, Clara, Ada, Annie, William and Pearlie.

There is no obvious record of John in subsequent Censuses.

Military History:
John enlisted in the Cheshire Regiment at Chester. Currently his Army records are unavailable, no doubt destroyed by World War 2 bombing.

Records published in 'The Oak Leaf' indicate that John was still a serving soldier at the outbreak of War and his Medal Index Card shows that he entered France on 16 August 1914. He was reported missing from the Battalion following the action at Audregnies on 24th August, where he fought on the right of the line under Captain Dugmore.

Without his Service Records it is not possible to say where he was held, only that he died, possibly from the influenza, or allied illness, e.g. pneumonia, just 4 months before the Armistice.


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Pt Clarke's Medal Index Card
Footnote:

Joseph's younger bother, Private 10103 John William Beard, was also in the 1st Battalion, 'D' Company. He enlisted in August 1914, within days of war being declared and he entered France on 7th October 1914 and was probably one of the 248 reinforcements to the Battalion days before the action at Voilaines. He was a stretcher and was killed when well behind the lines on 21st September 1916 and initially buried near to where he fell. His grave was subsequently lost and he is now commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

John had married Annie in the September quarter 1907. He lived with his wife and two children at 29 Richard Street, Stockport.


Their younger brother, Private 13397 Walter Beard, followed his two brothers into the Regiment, enlisting on 2nd September 1914. He originally joined the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion before entering France in March 1915. His time with the colours did not seem to have been too happy as he was under charge on numerous occasions mostly for being absent without leave or overstaying his leave periods. He died of wounds on 2nd November 1917 whilst serving with the 6th Battalion and his place of burial suggests being buried next to a military hospital facility (a Casualty Clearing Station). It cannot be known exactly when he was wounded, but soldiers did not spend long at a CCS.

Walter was married with three children and his wife received a pension of 1:6s:3d (1.31) per week for them, with effect from 15th August 1918.


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