First German victims remembered


At Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery a total number of 212 known and 11 unknown Germans are to be found. Their headstones are shaped differently, being straight and flat instead of curved.  Most of the headstones have more than one name. This indicates collective graves with the mixed remains of a number of bodies. All Germans buried in Lijssenthoek cemetery died during captivity. All of them died in the field hospital near to the cemetery.     

Bruno Klügel and Friedrich Dröge rest in the rear of the cemetery in what is called ‘the German Plot', row A, numbers 29 and 57. Bruno died on the 19th of October 1918. Friedrich succumbed to his wounds a year earlier, on the 5th of October 1917. Friederich belonged to the Infantry Regiment 77. He was wounded the 4th of October, during fights at the Reutelhoek, a hamlet near Zonnebeke. The Vizefeldwebel (sergeant) and three of his comrades were captured and brought to Lijssenthoek. The comrades may be found in Plot 20, close to the main entrance of the cemetery. Friedrich's body is known to be buried in the cemetery but could not be retraced when the cemetery was laid out in the 1920's. Therefore his headstone is marked with "Zur Erinnerung" (Special Memorial).

The relatives of Klügel and Dröge did not know that the boys were buried in Lijssenthoek. The research team of the Gesamtschule Bergen Feld (Gelsenkirchen, Germany) contacted them. Vanessa Keller tells how she has found the Klügel family: "We did know that Bruno was from Sachsen, a place located in the east of Germany. I entered the family name into a virtual phonebook and I started calling. Finally, I had Volker on the phone, the grandson of Bruno. When I told him of the grave, he started crying. Volker and his wife were very eager to visit Lijssenthoek."

Photographs of Bruno Klügel and Friedrich Dröge may be found in our online database. Go to ‘appeal/research' and fill in their names in order to receive more details.