Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Ghosts and Monsters of the German Cemetery



One of the less frequently mentioned facts about local history is that Cannock Chase was widely utilized by the British military during both World War 1 and World War 2. In 1914 a decision made by the governments War Office led to the construction of two huge training camps that soon changed the peaceful landscape forever. Over the following years a quarter of a million troops passed through the Chase on their way to fight on the front-line. The structures contained manufactured shooting ranges, railways, bombing ranges, power stations and even shops, which provides a good indication to their vastness.

Alongside this, a camp was constructed nearby that held many German prisoners of war. By 1917, enemy pilots shot down over the U.K were forced to live and work at the location under British military supervision. This must have been a rather odd thing for the people of Cannock to get their heads around, not least because the prisoners were often forced to work in the community, helping out on local farms etc. This practice, although dropped at the end of WW1, was revitalised when the Chase was re-utilized for the fight against Hitler.

Cannock Chase played such a prominent role in wartime England that on October 16th 1959, a deal was struck between Britain and the Federal Republic of Germany, which saw 5000 German and Austrian corpses transported to the area from the farthermost corners of the British Isles. The government's agreed that it would be considerably more compassionate for any visiting relatives, if all their countrymen’s graves were in the same, easily locatable place, so work on the site began.


By June 1967 the cemetery was complete and open to the public. Undoubtedly this had a very positive impact on Anglo-German relations, and so we should consider it a good thing. That said, I would imagine moving 5000 bodies from their resting places can create a whole wealth of supernatural disturbances, and that indeed seems to be the case.




Even to this very day, many people report witnessing ghosts in military uniform in and around the cemetery, sitting on gravestones or standing silently in full attire. A lady contacted me recently who claimed that, whilst walking near to the burial ground, she witnessed a group of soldiers in 1940's uniforms casually strolling. Apparently the “Phantom Brigade” instantly disappeared when she blinked. Stories of this nature are certainly not uncommon, however some of the other reports definitely are.

In 2007 the local press began reporting on a series of potential Bigfoot/werewolf sightings in the area, inspiring many paranormal groups to investigate. Numerous stories came in from members of the public, postmen and even a scout-leader, which surly makes the sightings interesting at the very least. Oddly, after a year or two, the reports seemed to stop, but was this just the corporate controlled media getting bored? Do the sightings continue?

Well, as you know, I am currently just finishing my book about Cannock Chase so I feel able to answer that question plainly and simply – Yes, the sightings continue, in fact I have dedicated an entire chapter to them, so if you're interested and want to know more, watch this space.

You can also check out Nick Redfern's latest article on the German Cemetery HERE

Until we meet again.........

Peace Out!

Written by Lee Brickley 2013

Mentioned on http://www.naturalplane.blogspot.co.uk/

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