Harperley Prisoner of War Camp Database
Information about the 27 prisoners who died at the camp
Of the 250 men interned at the prisoner of war camp at Harperley, the only ones to die were these 27 men who died of Spanish Flu in November 1918. This database provides further information on them.
Franz Bernhard Blankefort
Karl Wilhelm Fink
Ernst Karl Friedrich Garling
Willy Claus August Horwege
Hermann Gustav Kaussmann
Ernst [Arthur] Kempe
Max Heinrich Krinn
John Alfred Karl Lange
Richard Paul Lehmann
Rudolf Max Heinrich Meier
Ernst Heinrich Merkle
Otto Karl Rosnick
Kurt Gustav Schneider
Ernest Friedrich Paul Sternberg
N.B. The umlauts have been omitted from the names
The parish records of Hamsterley St James church, held at Durham County Record Office, have provided information about the original burials of these men in the churchyard. There is also information about the disinterment of the men in June 1962 for their reburial at the Cannock Chase German Military Cemetery in Staffordshire. The website of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) has provided some information about these burials.
The other information provided in the database, such as the prisoners’ military service, movements as prisoners, and personal information, has come mainly from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) prisoner of war records. The German Casualty lists, available via Ancestry, have also helped with this.
Where the database says that a card has not been found, or there is an index card only, it relates to how the ICRC records are organised. The original cards are located at the Red Cross headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and have been available online since August 2014. For each prisoner there is an index card that acts as a cross reference to different records relating to that prisoner. Sometimes, the index card does not have any numbers on it, or the number does not lead anywhere. There are two reasons a card might not be found. Firstly, there may be many people of the same name, and there is not enough other information to correctly identify the man from Harperley camp. Secondly, the cards have not always been organised correctly so it just can not be found.
ICRC Record A39733 lists Balzke, Braunigen, Fink, Krinn, Merkle, Rudloff, Schink, and Wloczyk with the cause of death as influenza and broncho-pneumonia.
ICRC Record A40279 lists Braunigen, Meier, Krinn, and Kaula as being buried in Hamsterley Churchyard, Durham.
Author: Durham County Record Office
Contributed by Durham County Record Office