Wilrijk, Schoonselhof

 

 

 

 

Fortunately the cemetery is accessible by car as the military honorary park of WW1 is 3/4 mile from the main entrance.

The cemetery, with its 187 acres, is the largest municipal cemetery in Belgium.

 

783 heroes of WW1 that died during the defense of Antwerpen in 1914 or died after the war in the various Antwerpen hospitals, after the field hospitals closed, find their last resting place here.

 

22 heroes have an unidentified grave.

 

 

 

 

There are also honorary parks for war victims of the Commonwealth and for French and Italian casualties. It is sometimes forgotten that Italy fought on the side of the Allied forces in World War 1.

 

During a recent visit to the civil cemetery of Schelle near Antwerpen I  noticed a duality.

 

On Schoonselhof I found the remains of Karel-Louis Marchelin, born in Opdorp, in tomb L18-09. But great was my astonishment when I also found a grave for him at the cemetery of Schelle. Here he was buried under his middle name Louis, along with 18 local heroes. The militia list in Opdorp show only one Marchelin.

 

How do these mistakes come about? Or rather are these all mistakes?

 

Rumors go that it was not unusual that an hero was "clandestinely" excavated somewhere, and then "reburied" on another cemetery. For reasons to reduce the "relocation" expenses and avoid the administrative process.

 

That can of course only be the case when there are two different cemeteries involved in the “relocation”, as in this case, or as with Mattheusen (Oeren-Adinkerke). Not that we are going to say that in both cases clandestine excavations are concerned, but so goes the rumor...

 

In the Mattheusen case the objection can be made that it makes little sense to excavate in one military cemetery clandestinely, to rebury in another military cemetery.

 

 

     

 

 

 

 

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