On May 9th, 1941, the bodies of two German airmen were buried in Campsie burial ground in Lennoxtown. The airmen were members of a four man crew whose plane crashed into a neighbouring hillside after being attacked by a night fighter the previous week. The other two members of the crew survived, but were taken into custody.
On the day of the internment, large crowds gathered at the burial ground which had to be protected by local police. Later, at a meeting of the Stirlingshire Western No 3 (Campsie & Baldernock District Council), held Monday, May 12th 1941, the clerk was instructed to write to Sergeant Johnstone congratulating him on the excellence of his arrangements.
It was reported in the Kirkintilloch Herald, May 14th 1941, that a local R. C. priest aired his objection to the use of the Swastika during the Christian burial. He asked, "Why recognize a heathen cross? The Pope denounced it. The use of the Swastika at a Christian burial is a contradiction of the Christian spirit. Patriotism is all very well, but I don't see why we should recognize a pagan emblem as a patriotic emblem."
The two airmen were laid to rest, and their graves were marked by simple wooden crosses, besides which local children regularly placed flowers. The widow of one of the men became a frequent visitor to her husband's grave, which is now marked with a headstone bearing the following inscription:
German Air Force
Killed in Action
* 21. 9. 1914
+5. 5. 1941
Mrs. Hansmann had intended having her husband's remains reburied in Germany, but after the sense of calm. peace and beauty she said she experienced on her first visit, she wanted him to remain in Lennoxtown, and made arrangements for flowers to be placed on his grave once a year. Although she re-married, Mrs. Hansmann continued to visit for many years.
The second grave remains unmarked.
In January 1950, the bodies of two airmen of the No 1830 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service, were discovered on the Meikle Bin peak of the Campsie Fells, between Fintry and Lennoxtown.
The airmen, Lieutenant J. Arthur Robertson R.N.V.R., 13 Burnhead Road, Newlands Glasgow, a pilot, and Naval Airman, J Smith, 50, Bankfoot Road, Paisley, and their 2 seater Firefly aircraft had been reported missing shortly after taking off from Abbotsinch airport.
An all out search had been mounted by mountain rescue workers, gamekeepers, shepherds and police, and an appeal was broadcast by the B.B.C.
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