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I have been working on my family tree and found a relative who was in the German army. His name is Eberhurd H Klapecke (b. 15.7.1887 Saxony d. 16.2.1916 in Belgium). I know nothing more on him and obviously would like to know more. Is there anywhere I can look on the web?

dg13
 

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I'm not an expert in the searching for war graves. If somebody finds the place and/or name of the cemetery this man is supposed to be buried I'll try to find him and search for someone who can make us a photo of the tombstone/massgrave. Those acquainted with searching for German WWI casualties could be of great help. BTW, the christian name probably is "Eberhard" with an "a". Please try to check this. (Eberhard means "Strong wild boar", as far as I know).
 

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I tried what I could with the German war graves comission: http://www.volksbund.de/graebersuche/

No luck, not with Eberhurd or Eberhard or Eberhart... Big Commander is right, it has to be Eberhard, not Eberhurd.

In the end I submitted a request for them to search their archives, they still have people archived who are as of now not in the digital archives. Digitalizing the entire archives of German war dead and missing in action is a huge job!

with both death date and birth date I'm pretty sure they should find him, but it may take a few days before I get an answer.

So, patience please. There should be an answer coming if not today.
 

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His name could be spelled Eberhard H Klaphecke. The family spells it that way now.

Thank all of you for your help.

dg13
 

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I tried a search on only the first four letters of the last name. Lots of "klap" out there, but no Eberhard. The only possible candidate I could find is this one. It is probably "close but no cigar", but there is a faint possibility this might be our man. Let me repeat that, the possibility is indeed faint.

You say his name was Eberhard H, could his middle name be Heinrich and could that be the name he normally used? My grandfather and his brothers were all known to us by their middle name, great trouble researching when the one census only shows the first name.

He is buried in Belgium which fits your information. Menen graveyard to boot, that is where Otto Zörb rests too for those who remember the older posts from the Heinrich Faber letters.

The death date is close, four days off, only. I've noted such discrepancies a few times before, I have the death card printed by the family, it shows one date, the volksbund records show a death date only a few days earlier. In those few cases there has been no doubt that it is the right man. What the cause of this may be I cannot say, could be anything from different records made in those days to typos made as this was typed in digitallly, beats me... Now Todes-/vermisstendatum means the date of death or the date he went missing in action. Could be that the volksbund have the date he was reported missing and that the date his body was retrieved became the "death date"? That is just a theory, though.

So, perhaps this is our man :confused:, just perhaps...




D0824960 Nachname:Klaphecke Vorname:Heinrich Dienstgrad:Unteroffizier Geburtsdatum: Geburtsort: Todes-/Vermisstendatum:12.02.1916 Todes-/Vermisstenort:

Heinrich Klaphecke ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Menen (Belgien) .
Endgrablage: Block O Grab 2029

Nähere Informationen zu diesem Friedhof erhalten Sie hier.
 

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My wifes great grandfather came over from England prior to WWI, we all knew him as James Albert Forse, turned out his birth name was Albert James, So I wouldn't rule out that possibility of him using his middle name.

Depending upon the source of dg13's research, it is possible that Hienrich was his first name and Eberhard was his middle.
 

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I definitely would not rule him out. He is actually the only Klaphecke listed as killed in WWI in the volksbund archives. The few others are all from WWII. But, I cannot give the definitive "Yes, that is our man", though my gut feeling says he might be.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
He is my relative there are many Heinrich (Henry) in my family.

Thank you so very much in helping me!! I had no idea I would find his grave!!!!!!!!!

Darrell Goss
 

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"Menen" is the Flemish name for "Menin" (French). If you desire so I can ask a local to take a picture of the grave (it may be a mass grave). Or better, my brother and me are going to make a tour, in a couple of months, in the landscape our father spent his youth. Finding your relative would add some salt to our lives. Your choice Darrell. Don't be shy!
 

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Sorry to correct you Big Commander; but Menin is Menen. (Vlaanderen)
Mons is Bergen. (Wallonie)
So, completely different part of the country, though both were faught over during WWI.
Don't want you to make the trip for nothing.

Best Regards,
A
 

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Discussion Starter #11
By all means Big Commander. I would love to have the picture if you can find it.

Darrell
 

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With the block letter and grave number (Block O Grab 2029) he should be fairly easy to locate, though menen is a huge graveyard with more than 47000 germans buried there. He is in an individual grave, not one of the many mass graves (Kameradengrab). His birthday will be on the headstone so then we will get final confirmation that he is really "our man".
 

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Sorry to correct you Big Commander; but Menin is Menen. (Vlaanderen)
Mons is Bergen. (Wallonie)
So, completely different part of the country, though both were faught over during WWI.
Don't want you to make the trip for nothing.

Best Regards,
A
Of course Andrey! My mistake ... Too many beers and too late at night I suppose? I corrected it.
 

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Santee copain !
Gaat ge naar de beurs in Bastogne 20 september?
Zier er goed uit ....

Saluu, A
 

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OK dg13, I'll ask to make a photo of the grave Bayonetcollector is speaking about, let's hope that it is the one of your relative. It will be posted here. Some patience please, looking out right now who shall be the "volunteer", with camera, to send to the vast graveyard ... with this weather he will need his boots ;).
To Andrey: No, I'm not going to Bastogne, the only gunshow I still like to attend is the annual show in Ostend. I'm not a collector but can't keep my mouth shut when I see/hear the fairy tales that grow with the years. This doesn't mean that there are no fairy tales in Ostend! :D.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
THANK YOU!!!!

Darrell
 

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I found somebody who will take a picture, the date is not sure yet but he promised: "certainly before the summer ends".
Also found an interesting link of a professional photographer, one of his subjects is the Menen cemetery. Just for Darrell's curiosity, don't expect to find the name you seek, here are just examples of his work.
http://www.hanslesage-raphtophoto.be/deutschersoldatenfriedhofmenenengels.html
 

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It took some time, my apologies for the delay, but here it is, the ninth name on the tombstone (so it is not an "individual" grave, he rests with his comrades). I have a second photo of the page of the "cemetery book" with the name of Heinrich Klaphecke printed. However the picture is to big in Kb's for the forum :confused:. dg13, if you give me an e-mail adress were I can send it too, you can have it. He belonged to: 7./RIR.234 ... somebody more knowledgeable as I could tell more about this man.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
7.RIR= 7th Reserve infantry regt. In 1916, they were part of the 121st Div. Thanks for your GREAT help!!!
dg13
 

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Very interesting thread! What great friends on this forum, to arrange to have pictures of the gravesite of a relative. Another reason I love Gunboards!

It is interesting to see that there are dates of death on this gravestone that cover a long period of time, some into early/mid 1915, some in mid 1916. It would seem as though Heinrich was buried with some men from his unit with which he fought and died on the same day.

My guess is that there were perhaps many individual graves across the countryside. At some point, many graves were relocated to this larger cemetery. So they perhaps just grouped these men into one mass grave since they arrived for re-burial from different locations on the same day at the cemetery.

I am about to finish In Flanders Fields, so this is all very interesting to me. I would very much like to visit the battlefields of France and Belgium someday.
 
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