The Cemetery contains 2 soldiers of the Cheshire Regiment, who were taken prisoner during the Battalion's actions during 1914.



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

©: G E Conway, 2009
Their name liveth for evermore
Private E J Conway (circa. 1905)
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Private 7008 Frederick RILEY (A.R.)

Date of Death:
20 December 1914           
Grave No:
III.J.4.
Unit:
'D' Company
Age:
30
Personal History:
Frederick was born in July/August 1884 in All Saints Parish, Marple, Cheshire. In 1891, aged 7, he was living with his grandmother, Mrs Mary Riley at Stone Row, Marple, and as he has the same surname it can be assumed his mother, Margaret, was not married. (Fred's father is understood to have died and his mother had married a Mr Kennedy and moved to Bramall Moor Lane, Hazel Grove.) Ten years later he was living with his uncle and aunt, John (Road labourer) and Mary E. Davies, still at 20 Stone Row. Frederick was employed as a 'wood sawyer'.

At the time of his enlistment Frederick's stated occupation was 'Labourer'. He was 5' 5" tall (1.70 m.), weighed 116 lbs. (8 stone 4lbs) had a 'fresh' complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. His stated religion was Church of England.

After his Army Service (see below) he returned to live in the area and worked as labourer on the canal. There is no record of him marrying. His Service Records list a number of half-brothers and sisters, but names his mother, Mrs Margaret Kennedy, 4 Mount Pleasant, Hazel Grove, Stockport, as his next of kin.

Military History:
Frederick enlisted in the Cheshire Regiment at Stockport, Cheshire on 18th November 1902, aged 18 years and 3 months, on a 3+9 term of service (i.e. 3 years active service plus 9 years reserve). After an initial period at the Depot he joined the 2nd Battalion in Aldershot on 22nd January 1903 and served in India from 28th October 1904 until 1906, being transferred to the Reserve List in 3rd February 1906 after 3 years 81 days. His conduct was said to be "fair" and his musketry skills "1st Class". After discharge he was to live at 12 Market Street, Marple.
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This cemetery contains 1795 Commonwealth soldiers from the Great War buried or commemorated.

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. 

Niederzwehren was one of those chosen and in the following four years, more than 1,500 graves were brought into the cemetery from 190 burial grounds in Baden, Bavaria, Hanover, Hesse and Saxony.



The soldier of the 1st Battalion listed below did not die of wounds received in action. The records show that he was taken prisoner on 24th August 1914 and died late in the War, in 1918, from tuberculosis prevalent at that time and from an infection received whilst a prisoner-of-war.
Medal ribbon bar
Both 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 two 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 7550 Joseph J. DUDDY (A.R.)

Date of Death:
4 December 1917
Grave No:
V.E.13.
Unit:
'C' Company
Age:
29
Personal History:
Joseph was born in Marple, Cheshire on 20th May 1885. His parents are unknown and were recorded as "deceased" on his Army records. He did have a sister, Catherine (Kate on 1911 Census, born in 1880), who applied for his medals after his death. In 1914 she lived at Poplar Square, Marple. The 1901 Census shows him a pupil at Bishop Brown Memorial Industrial School For Catholic Boys, High Street, Stockport, Cheshire. At that time the School was run by Superintendent Sister Angela and 7 sisters of the Order of the Immaculate Conception.  The priest of St Joseph's Church acted as Chaplain. 

                     ..... about Industrial Schools

At the time of his enlistment he was employed as a Casual Labourer. When he joined the Cheshires he was 5' 3" tall (1.62 m.), weighed 121 lbs. (8 st. 9lbs.) had a 'fresh' complexion, grey eyes and sandy coloured hair. His religion was Roman Catholic.

(Although he did not officially leave the Army until  24 May 1911, a Joseph Duddy, same age, born in Lancashire, is listed as a 'Carpenter's Mate' at the Royal Navy Barracks, Chatham, Kent, at the time of the 1911 Census - 2nd April 1911.)
Military History:
Joseph enlisted in the Cheshire Regiment at Macclesfield, Cheshire on 28th May 1904 aged 18 years 0 month, although his d.o.b. above suggests he was 19. His original terms of service were 3 + 9 (i.e. 3 years active service + 9 years reserve). He was posted to Wellington Barracks, Lichfield until 15 February 1907 and on 22 January 1907 was permitted to extend his period of service to 7 years of active service (+ 5 yeas on Reserve). He was posted to India on 16 February 1907 where he stayed until 31 March 1911, serving in Madras, Bombay and Secunderabad. He transferred to the Army Reserve after 7 years on 24 May 1911.

His time in the service was not without some difficulties, in keeping it seems with many of his comrades. He was treated for gonorrhoea on 3 occasions, twice in Lichfield and again in India. Whilst at Secunderabad he was also treated for broncho-pneumonia. In February 1905 he was on a charge for being drunk (7 days CB) and again for being absent (8 days) and the following month was absent and drunk (10 days) - all whilst based at Lichfield. In January 1906, at Bulford, he received another 10 days each for absence and abusive language and later in month was absent from 'Divine Service'. In March and April he was absent and drunk again (three times) in each case receiving 10 days CB.
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Pt Clarke's Medal Index Card
Niederzwehren Cemetery
Pt Riley's gravestone
Pt Riley's Medal Index Card
Despite all this he was promoted to (paid) Lance Corporal on 9 October 1905, reverting to Private on 22 October 1909.

His Medal Index Card shows that as a reservist he was recalled to the Regiment at the outbreak of War and entered France on 16 August 1914. He was reported missing from the Battalion at Audregnies on 24th August, being taken prisoner. He regularly wrote home to his sister and had been well until earlier in 1917 when he developed a problem with his lungs. He was in hospital at Kriegsgefangenen Lazarett Meschede when he died of tuberculosis on 4th December 1917 at 11.00 p.m.  The War Office received notification on an official German List (Y85242) forwarded via the Swiss Red Cross on 22nd February 1918. (N.B. A 'Lazarett' was a p.o.w. camp specifically for wounded men.)

He was presumably initially buried at the camp where he died but 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.  Niederzwehren was one of those chosen and in the following four years, more than 1500 graves were brought into the cemetery from 190 burial grounds in Baden, Bavaria, Hanover, Hesse and Saxony.
Lazarett at Meschede
The Lazarett at Meschede where Pt. Duddy died
Almost from the start Frederick was in trouble with the authorities, being brought up on charges 10 times whilst in Chester and Aldershot, mostly for being late for parade, dirty on parade, drunk, abusive language or overstaying his furlough. The usual punishment was a few days CB (Confined to Barracks). Whilst stationed at Calicut he was charged on 7th November 1905 with "Being drunk and using obscene language in the Canteen" and "Resisting the escort", for which he received 48 hours Imprisonment at Hard Labour. Two weeks later, on the 21st, he broke out of barracks and received another 96 hours IHL.

After leaving the Regular Forces, but still a Reservist, he was arrested at Marple, Cheshire, on 1st May 1910 and sentenced to 14 days hard labour. His crime was stated as "Lodge out".

He was recalled to the Battalion at the outbreak of War and his Medal Index Card shows that as a reservist he entered France on 16 August 1914. He was reported wounded following the action at Audregnies on 24th August, shot in the ankle and spent time recovering in a French Hospital.

Frederick was wounded again and taken prisoner almost certainly during the fighting around La Bassée between 15th and 22nd October 1914. He died whilst at a prisoner of war camp hospital (Kriegsgefangener Lazarett, Limburg, Germany) on 20th December 1914 (N.B. A 'Lazarett' was a p.o.w. camp specifically for wounded men.) In all he had spent 12 years 33 days with the Regiment.

He was initially buried at the camp where he died but 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.  Niederzwehren was one of those chosen and in the following four years, more than 1500 graves were brought into the cemetery from 190 burial grounds in Baden, Bavaria, Hanover, Hesse and Saxony.