Above/featured: Cemetery view facing west, from the shelter building to the Stone of Remembrance, Cross of Sacrifice, and Terrace in the distance (WCL-X70: 14/21mm).
There’s a presence from western Canada buried in eastern Germany.
In Vancouver, Canada, the H.Y. Louie family has long been a part of the Chinese-Canadian community and the overall merchant community. Their current business holdings include the London Drugs chain of stores and the IGA grocery-store chain; both are well recognized throughout greater Vancouver.
One member of the family is resting permanently 8000 kilometres away in Berlin, Germany. An important goal in my return to the German capital city is a visit to the cemetery where a member of the Louie family, Q.J. Louie, is buried. It’s never been a matter of if, but when I return to Berlin.
The Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery is a cemetery in the southwest corner of Berlin’s Westend (Bezirk/borough Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf). Established in 1945, the cemetery is about 4 hectares (10 acres) in size and home to over 3500 members of Commonwealth armed forces, about 400 of whom remain unidentified. This place is also known informally as the (Berlin) Commonwealth War Cemetery.
On my 1st full day in the German capital, my pilgrimage to the cemetery lasts about 90 minutes during which I’m mostly on my own.
As an excerpt from the official map, the main gate is on the cemetery’s north side which in the following image is towards the bottom, the nearest bus stop (BusH) “Scholzplatz” is 400 metres to the left/east, and the red filled circle marks the approximate location for Q.J. Louie’s grave in plot/section 5.
At the shelter building, one wall of the north space has two memorial plaques; whereas the south space has a “register box” containing a book with map, index, and names of those buried here. In the near distance is the 231-metre (758-foot) high red-and-white radio and television broadcast tower for Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB).
Stone of Remembrance
I’m late to the cemetery, but my travel itinerary makes my delayed visit inevitable. I’m visiting this cemetery a full 9 days after Remembrance Day, that is made obvious by a number of ceremonial wreathes at the bottom of the memorial. Remembrance Day is a holiday in Commonwealth countries, but not in Germany%. It’s a short walk to the Stone of Remembrance from the Shelter Building.
% In parts of Germany, 11 November is recognized as St. Martin’s Day, but also, 1111am on 11 November marks the beginning of Karneval season in Cologne.
Quan Jin Louie
Born in Vancouver, Canada, Quan Jil Louie served in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) as Flying Officer in the 420 “Snowy Owl” Squadron. He and five others perished on 16 January 1945 when their plane was shot down during an Allied bombing mission over northern Germany.
Just beyond the Stone of Remembrance to the right/north is section 5 of the cemetery. Halfway down row G, I see his name on the headstone. Like many, he died young; he was only 2 weeks from celebrating his 24th birthday. At the base of Q.J. Louie’s gravestone, I lay 3 ceremonial poppies brought with me from Vancouver.
Cross of Sacrifice
The naming for this section at the northwest corner of the cemetery is terse, but there are more faiths to be represented. Many from the Asian sub-continent are buried here; over two million people from British India volunteered for service in the British military during World War 2.
Final look, up front
Directions with public transport
• BVG U-Bahn U2 train, to station “Theodor-Heuss-Platz”, then hop on the M49 bus from stop “U Theodor-Heuss-Platz Nord” to stop “Scholzplatz”. Cross Heerstrasse to the south side of the street, walk west for about 400 metres on Heerstrasse to the signed cemetery entrance.
• S-Bahn Berlin S3 or S9 train, to station “Pichelsberg”, walk south for about 350 metres on Schirwindter Allee. Cross Heerstrasse to the south side of the street, walk west for about 400 metres on Heerstrasse to the signed cemetery entrance.
I made all photos above on 20 Nov 2021 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-lRg.