The Heilsberg 39: The Dedication of the new Commonwealth War Cemetery at Lidzbark Warminski, Poland.

A soldier of the 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers has been commemorated in a new Commonwealth War Cemetery. A full report, video and slide show can be seen here: The Heilsberg 39.

Private John Ernest Partridge was born in London in 1899. He enlisted on 21 March 1917, aged 17, and was one of the large draft of men from The London Regiment that joined the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion, Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers) on 6 April 1918. He was captured less than a week later on 12 April 1918 in the actions between Wulverghem and Kemmel.

Reported wounded, Private Partridge died of ‘general weakness’ at Heilsberg Prisoner of War Camp in East Prussia on 27 October 1918, aged 19. He was one of thirty-nine British soldiers who were buried in Heilsberg Prisoner of War Cemetery. Heilsberg, then a small town in East Prussia, is now Lidzbark Warmiński, Poland. The graves of these men, among a number of mass graves, could not be maintained and the men were commemorated on the Malbork Memorial, in Malbork Commonwealth War Cemetery. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has now erected headstones in a new Commonwealth War Cemetery at Lidzbark Warmiński, which was dedicated on 16 May 2014.

4 thoughts on “The Heilsberg 39: The Dedication of the new Commonwealth War Cemetery at Lidzbark Warminski, Poland.

  1. David Irwin

    My maternal great uncle was Joseph Shall, who is one of the Heilsberg 39. It is such a comfort to see his grave finally respected in this quiet place.

    Reply
    1. Nick Metcalfe Post author

      I agree. This was a most worthy project by the CWGC. You may know that the CWGC has now placed online the burial records of all of the WW1 casualties. The entry for Joseph Shall shows that he was buried amongst graves 2331-2356 with four other British soldiers.

      Reply
      1. David Irwin

        Hello Nick – thanks for the reply. I have downloaded the five documents. Great information; what is the significance of the numbers 2331-2356? I assume it is a grave marker/register number, but does this mean that Joseph Shall was known to the other four soldiers with the same entry? Do you have any other information regarding either these soldiers, or the POW camp itself?

        I have not located any documentation from the regiment as I believe no records remain. There is a lasting question as to how he became a POW at all in this location.

        I think the ‘Heilsberg 39’ is a fascinating story and one that could yield an interesting and timely story.

        Reply
        1. Nick Metcalfe Post author

          Drop me an email (there’s a contact form on the About Nick page) & I’ll answer your questions & do some digging.
          Nick

          Reply

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