Relation with Lake (class): no. Former cemetery  
Total nr. of casualties buried here (TC): 28 end WW2, today 0. 
Lake casualties, initially, end WW2 (LC-I): 0
Unknown today: 5 (moved to Oldebroek) 
of which unknown from Lake (LC-U): 0
of which unknown from North Sea (NS-U): 5
Initial burial site in WW2: yes, not in area. 
Post war burial site for collection and reburial from other sites: no 
Cemetery with Lake casualties today: no


Rottumeroog is the sixth and last Dutch Frisian isle. On her left is Schiermonnikoog, on her right (east) is the first German Frisian island of Borkum. 'Rottum' is small and since 1965 no longer inhabited. Before and during WW2 the Dutch family Toxopeus lived on the island. In the last days of July 1940 thirteen French soldiers and sailors washed ashore here and were buried. They were casualties of the Dunkirk (Dunkerque) evacuation that was from May 26 until 3rd of June 1940. By the end of the war in total 28 Allied servicemen lay here. After the war they were moved to Oldebroek, a village near the Eastern banks of Lake IJsselmeer (Old Zuyder Sea).

Dutch name cemetery: Rottumeroog. 
Full name: Rottumeroog, community of Warffum.
Address (usable for car navigation):

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The island was occupied by German troops and part of the Atlantic Wall. The Germans buried washed ashore Allied soldiers in a small plot in the dunes that had a low wooden fence with a gate on either side. As on the rest of the island, there was hardly any vegetation. The cemetery was sandblasted by the wind and sea for years. Wooden crosses fell over or simply decomposed. After the war in May 1945 a civil servant from the mainland (Warffum) made an inventory, he found the grave site in a very poor condition. We know this thanks to the research of Mr. Willem de Jong. On his site on this page    are the original sketches and is more information and photos of Rottumeroog. 

Based on the very poor state and the general alarming situation on abandoned and sinking 'sandbank' Rottum isle, and based on the used grave numbers in Oldebroek, it appears that the British grave recovery team in 1947 decided to rapidly remove all war graves from the island including the 13 French soldiers to the mainland, to the tiny village of Oldebroek (of all places). The Oldebroek location is unlogical and alternative. The French might have caused a problem for a CWGC-assembly cemetery, as for example Jonkerbos in Nijmegen, which was the obvious choice at that time. The French central grave site in Kapelle was not opened yet (1949). We believe the British team itself was stationed at Oldebroek-Wezep (large Dutch Army base) and solution was found to bring the coffins back to their base for reburial on the local cemetery. The team knew this site, it was new and already had a war graves plot with free space. 

Of the 13 Frenchmen, 6 had a name (in the German- or community files on the mainland). It is possible the British team did not had this information available or could not wait for it, for they had to carry out a fast exhumation before it was too late. The names from the files are: David Jancu, Paul Zimmerman, Victor Hurtrez, Maurice Lovasseur, Lucien E. Barbory and Leon Jutard (see also scheme below). 

In 1949 all French war dead in the Netherlands were moved to Kapelle, the central French war cemetery in NL, or back to France. The 6 in Oldebroek that had a name (on file) are not in Kapelle. This indicates that they were repatriated to France. However, in Kapelle is a row (plot B, row 3) with 12 French NOT-IDENTIFIED soldiers originating from Rottumeroog. Probably the 7 not-identified French soldiers from Oldebroek are included in this 12. But did the the French grave recovery team find another 5 French war graves on Rottumeroog in 1949? Or are the men that originally had a name buried as non-identifié in this row?

INDEX ROTTUMEROOG                                                                   
We have studied the Warffum documents in an attempt to reconstruct the burials and the identification process on Rottum island. Thanks to this, we can exclude that the Airmen and the Unknown in Oldebroek are victims of a crash in Lake IJsselmeer.



                     Rottumeroog 1930

© ZZairwar (Zuyder Zee Air War)

The exhumed casualties Rottumeroog Island were transferred to Oldebroek:

File Oldebroek Cemetery: