The Loss of Lancaster JA691

The burials

On the 18th August the Aabenraa Town Clerk (Herr Heydenreich) received a message from the German authorities that the bodies of seven English fliers were to be buried on Saturday 21st August 1943. At the same time, four coffins from the Ustrup crash (EE117) and one body from the Als crash (JA851) would be buried.

The handwritten note on the left hand side of the document (enlarged below)  is that of Herr Heydenreich, the Town Clerk, ordering a wreath from Frau Kraft who owned the flower shop across the road from the cemetery.

During the period 1940-1943 allied airmen were given a military funeral arranged by the local German authorities. These took place with the services of a German Chaplain.
The following images are from a funeral held in May 1942.

The coffins were laid to rest.

A salute was fired by a platoon of German soldiers.

The practice of the salute and wreath laying stopped at the end of 1943 and in August 1944 orders were received to bury crews where they crashed. After the war 65 such bodies were recovered in Denmark.

The Danish/German burial records show that only 5 of the 7 crew members were indentified. Information received after the war helped identify the remaining two. During re-burial, the crew of JA691 were split up and Sgt Buchanan was placed in a different row.

The flower shop later sent the Town Clerk a bill for Kr15 for the wreath they provided for the burials.

This is how the shop looked in 1943.

Kraft's flower shop now has new owners and a new front. The present owners call the business "Juhl's Blomster".