Saturday, January 22, 2011

Kelsien ? Kalnciens..more thoughts now. Reference to Ķīši also found

I've been looking at the maps again trying to locate "Kelsien" and I still feel Kalnciems might be a possible location for the camp where the British POWs were held from February 1917.

Kalnciems is located at the expected distance from Mitau ( it took the men a day to walk along the frozen River Aa (Lielupe)

The location near swamps/ lakes.

Close enough to the front line and the trenches (Machine gun hill the site of the Christmas battles)

Another location "Kisi" is mentioned in some reports  There is a town called Kisi near Jelgava.

I am really keen to find out more about the  Christmas Battles and the role of the Latvian Riflemen. There were huge numbers of casualties and I wonder if the "Russian" prisoners mentioned during the Debriefing reports were captured during these battles. There are so many websites it might take a while to find out.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Commonwealth War Graves Commission : Nikolai Cemetary, Jelgava

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
"Jelgava, better known as Mitau, was captured by German forces in the summer of 1915; and in 1919 it became part of the Republic of Latvia. The establishment of the Republic was followed by a successful struggle for national existence against Russian and unofficial German troops. To the right of the main path are the memorial and the graves of Latvian soldiers killed in the war of independence; to the left is the British plot, covering 299 square yards, and marked by a War Cross. Between the two plots is a memorial chapel with a belfry. The British plot contains 36 Commonwealth burials, 4 of which are unidentified. Most died as prisoners in 1917 on what is now Latvian territory. All the graves were brought in from other burial grounds after the Armistice; 17 came from MITAU RUSSIAN CEMETERY, 4 from MONIAK FARM CEMETERY (near the prison camp at Latschen), 3 from LIBAU NORTH CEMETERY, 3 from KLIWENHOF CHURCHYARD, and 9 from other places"

The site has plans of the cemetary here

and a photograph

The cemetary is 4km south east of Jelgava on the road to Mezciems.