CANNOCK CHASE GERMAN MILITARY CEMETERY

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1391922
Date first listed:
04-Apr-2006
Statutory Address:
CANNOCK CHASE GERMAN MILITARY CEMETERY

Map

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Location

Statutory Address:
CANNOCK CHASE GERMAN MILITARY CEMETERY

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:
Staffordshire
District:
Stafford (District Authority)
Parish:
Brocton
National Grid Reference:
SJ9861115759

Details

682/0/10012 04-APR-06

BRINDLEY HEATH Cannock Chase German Military Cemetery

II

Cemetery building, memorial courtyard and adjoining terrace. 1959-67 by Harold Doffman of Doffman and Leach of Stafford, for the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgraberfursorge (the German Association for the care of war graves). Grey buff brick, concrete, sandstone. PLAN: Rectangular central range with reception rooms; caretaker's accommodation to left, with a semi-enclosed terrace beyond; cloister link to square Hall of Honour, leading to cemetery and the Zeppelin Terrace beyond. EXTERIOR: unadorned entrance front with a single entrance with stone frame. Rectangular window openings to the inner ranges of the reception block and accommodation. To the left of the Hall of Honour is a grassed terrace, part-enclosed by low walls, overlooking the cemetery beyond. To the right, steps lead to the Zeppelin Terrace, an enclosed grassed area with low retaining walls, within which lie four stone slabs commemorating the four crews of Zeppelins, downed over England during the First World War. INTERIOR: main reception room has a back-lit plan of the cemetery on etched glass. Cloister link through with an arcade of rectangular steel posts carrying a timber roof. The square Hall of Honour is treated as a cloister in reverse, with a central folded plate concrete roof in nine sections, and the sides open to the skies. In the centre is a reclining bronze figure of a fallen shrouded warrior, signed by Johann Evangwimmer of Bavaria, placed on a plinth of sandstone. HISTORY: the Cannock Chase German Cemetery was opened in June 1967, following an agreement of 1959 between the British and Federal German Governments. This concentrated many (but not all) of the burials of German nationals who had died during the First and Second World Wars: 2,143 are buried here from WW1 and 2,797 from WW2; 1,307 are still buried elsewhere. The burials here include numerous civilian internees, many of whom died in the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918. The site adjoins the Cannock Chase National Park, and lies close to a Commonwealth War Grave cemetery, situated to the south-west. The outstanding landscaping of the shallow valley in which the cemetery was laid out, reminiscent of North German heathland, was designed by Diez Brandi (local consultants: Derek Lovejoy and Partners): it is included on the English Heritage Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. The cemetery is of considerable historic interest as the biggest single concentration of German military interments in the country. The building provides a subtle foil to the landscaping, and the Hall of Honour, with its very Teutonic sculpture (displaying the clear inspiration of the C16 painter Hans Grunewald in its anguished depiction of a corpse) and secular commemorative function, is in contrast to the more specifically religious chapels found at British and American military cemeteries. The architect Harold Doffman (1907-1998) was a Liverpool University-trained architect, much of whose career was spent in the public sector in the Midlands. This is his best-known work.

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Register. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 16 June 2017.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
501464
Legacy System:
LBS

Sources

Websites
War Memorials Register, accessed 16 June 2017 from http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/2808

Legal

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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