Cologne was entered by Commonwealth forces on 6 December 1918 and occupied under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles until January 1926. COLOGNE SOUTHERN CEMETERY was used during the war for the burial of more than 1,000 Allied prisoners, as well as German servicemen. After the Armistice it was used by the occupying garrison.
In 1922 it was decided that the graves of Commonwealth servicemen who had died all over Germany should be brought together into four permanent cemeteries. Cologne Southern was one of those chosen and the following year, graves were brought in from 183 burial grounds in Hanover, Hesse, the Rhine and Westphalia. There are now 2,482 First World War servicemen buried or commemorated in the Commonwealth plots at Cologne. The total includes special memorials to a number of casualties buried in other cemeteries in Germany whose graves could not be found.
The Commonwealth section of the cemetery also contains 132 Second World War graves, mostly those of servicemen who died with the occupying forces. There are, in addition, 676 non-war graves and 29 burials of other nationalities.
|1||CWGC Commemoration: THORBURN, William Henry (1919)|
William died of Pneumonia whilst serving in the 4th Squadron, Australian Flying Corps.