Pte Charles Moore, 16 DLI, died as a POW, 12/5/44
Pte Charles Moore CWGC Headstone, 16 DLI
Pte Charles Moore 16 DLI

Pte Charles Moore was one of over 34 British and Commonwealth POWs who died on the 12/5/44 and who are buried in the Prague War Cemetery. Also buried in Prague is Pte Alan Jackson, also ex-16th Durham Light Infantry, and there is also a third DLI POW, ex 1st Battalion Pte James Spink, who was also killed that day.

The death of three DLI POWs on the same day has to be more than a coincidence and the deaths of over 30 other British and Commonwealth POWs on the same day only more so. This large loss of life can only have been the result of the large US air raids on the 12/5/44 on German oil industry targets in the Brux area. I suspect the men were in an air raid shelter that received a direct it. Does anyone reading this know anything more about this incident? If so please get in touch.

The website http://www.8thafhs.org/combat1944a.htm notes that on the 12/5/44 the following USAAF raid was mounted:

'295 B-17s are dispatched to Brux, Czechoslovakia (140 bomb) and Zwickau (74 bomb); 11 hit Chemnitz, 14 hit Gera marshalling yard, 15 hit Hof and 4 hit targets of opportunity; 41 B-17s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 162 damaged; 3 airmen are KIA, 8 WIA and 377 MIA.'

Zwickau and Brux both had large numbers of British and Commonwealth POWs in various work camps and at least one of these must have received a direct hit on a shelter.

The 12/5/44 POW fatalities were re-interred in Prague from various outlying locations after the war. In Prague War Cemetery there are a total of 34 identified Commonwealth casualties killed on 12/5/44 out of a total of 264 Allied serviceman buried there: a huge proportion.

Pte Moore was captured at Sedjenane, Tunisia on 27/2/43 and it’s probable that Pte Jackson, also of 16 DLI was captured in the same battle and was possibly also with him throughout their previous captivity in Italy and Germany. Further details requested.

All the images on this and the following page, are courtesy of Pte Moore's granddaughter, Mrs M Roberts. Mrs Roberts has also obtained Pte Moore’s death certificate and details of his POW history from the Red Cross in Geneva and has kindly passed on this information to me.

At top right is a portrait photograph of Pte Moore. His Army number, 4468724, indicates that he enlisted in the DLI sometime in early 1941. To see this number in the sequence of other known DLI recruits and POWs, click here.

At middle right is what seems to be the German funeral service for the 12/5/44 Allied casualties. And below that, bottom right is the original wooden burial cross of Pte Moore’s grave. This is listed as ‘Kgf Friedhof, Brux, Johnsdorferstrasse, Engl Abteilung, Grab Nr 102’ on his death certificate. His postwar Prague CGWC headstone can be seen below Click on the image for a larger version.

Wooden grave marker, Pte C Moore 16 DLI
Funeral 12/5/44 POW victims

CONTINUED, NEXT PAGE