Fricourt German war cemetery
Fricourt German war cemetery is near the village of Fricourt
Fricourt is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.-Geography:Fricourt is situated on the D147 and D64 junction, some northeast of Amiens.-History:...

, near Albert
Albert, Somme
Albert is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.It is located about halfway between Amiens and Bapaume.-History:Albert was founded as a Roman outpost called Encre, in about 54 BC...

, in the French département of the Somme
Somme is a department of France, located in the north of the country and named after the Somme river. It is part of the Picardy region of France....

. Most of the fallen were members of the Imperial German 2nd Army. Of the 17,000 burials, about 1,000 of died in the autumn of 1914 and the ensuing trench warfare; about 10,000 during the Battle of the Somme (July-November 1916); and the final 6,000 in the Spring Offensive
Spring Offensive
The 1918 Spring Offensive or Kaiserschlacht , also known as the Ludendorff Offensive, was a series of German attacks along the Western Front during World War I, beginning on 21 March 1918, which marked the deepest advances by either side since 1914...

 and the Allied counter-attack, Hundred Days
Canada's Hundred Days
Canada’s Hundred Days was a series of attacks made along the Western Front by the Canadian Corps during the Hundred Days Offensive of World War I...

, that followed it, in 1918.


The cemetery was established by the French military authorities in 1920 and concentrates burials from "some 79 communes in the regions around Bapaume, Albert, Combles, the Ancre valley and Villers-Bretonneux". About 5,000 of the burials are mostly in shared double graves; the remainder lie in four communal graves.

Among those buried there at one time was the famous German fighter pilot Manfred von Richthofen
Manfred von Richthofen
Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen , also widely known as the Red Baron, was a German fighter pilot with the Imperial German Army Air Service during World War I...

, the Red Baron, who was killed on April 21 1918 in aerial combat and buried with military honours by the British. Later his remains were transferred first to Fricourt, then to the Invalidenfriedhof Cemetery
Invalidenfriedhof Cemetery
The Invalids' Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Berlin. It was the traditional resting place of the Prussian Army, and is regarded as particularly important as a memorial to the German Wars of Liberation of 1813-15.-History:...

 in Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, and finally to a family plot in Wiesbaden
Wiesbaden is a city in southwest Germany and the capital of the federal state of Hesse. It has about 275,400 inhabitants, plus approximately 10,000 United States citizens...


The German War Graves Commission
German War Graves Commission
The German War Graves Commission is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of German war graves in Europe and North Africa...

 started landscaping the cemetery from 1929, at the time were working on the German military grave registration service. At this point the cemetery received a new entrance with stairs and wrought-iron gate and trees and bushes was planted. The community graves got a verge made of natural stone and a planting with game roses. A wooden high cross served as central mark; however the problem remained of a durable marking for the graves due to foreign exchange shortage. In 1939 the eruption of the Second World War saw a suspension of the work.

After the conclusion of the French-German war grave agreement from 19 July 1966 the German War Graves Commission could begin German military grave registration service with the final organization of the German military cemeteries in France from the time of the First World War. Starting from 1977 the provisional wood grave markers were exchanged with those made of metal with raised names and dates, where possible. The German Federal Armed Forces took over the construction of the concrete foundations necessary for setting up the metal crosses, which were shifted mostly by participants in youth camps.

Some 5,057 are buried in single graves, with 114 remaining unknown. Four communal graves contain 11,970 burials.
There are also 14 graves for Jewish soldiers, marked with a headstone instead of a cross. The Hebrew characters mean "XXX rests buried" and "their soul may be enwoven into the circle of the living persons."

In the late 1960s / early 1970s a fundamental change in the landscape-gardening took place, which extended to the renewal of the hedge and the bricked edge of the community graves. New trees and shrubs were planted and the existing existence of a thorough revision was submitted. The wooden high cross was replaced with one of forged steel.

Sources and references

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