Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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A58170   Flight Sergeant Herbert Lisser
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Dated added: 09/08/2020   Last updated: 22/08/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: Geman Air Force (German Air Force)
Died: 22/03/1945 (Died of Wounds)
Age: 21
Summary      
Herbert Lisser was born in Bremen, Germany about 1924. Obergefreiter Herbert Lisser served in the Luftwaffe during World War Two. He became a prisoner of war and found himself in a camp in Northern Ireland. It is believed he was in the Monrush Camp in Cookstown. It is believed he was shot whilst attempting to escape on the night of Monday 20th March 1945. He was badly injured. Obergefreiter Herbert Lisser died from cardiac arrest, a consequence of his wounds, on 22nd March 1945 in a Belfast hospital.
Further Information
Herbert Lisser was born at 51 Richthofenstrasse, Bremen, Germany about 1924.
Obergefreiter Herbert Lisser served in the Luftwaffe during World War Two. The rank of Obergefreiter in the Nazi Air Force was similar to a Flight Sergeant in the Royal Air Force.
Obergefreiter Herbert Lisser became a prisoner of war and was given the P.O.W. number A58170.
Herbert Lisser found himself in a prisoner of war camp in Northern Ireland.
It is believed he was in the Monrush Camp in Cookstown.
Cartoon from page 47 of Mid Ulster Local History Journal Volume 6
It is believed 21 year old Herbert Lisser attempted to escape on the night of Monday 20th March 1945. He was fired on by the military guard and received five bullet wounds.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 24th March 1945: Escaping Prisoner Shot
Newspaper report
While attempting to escape from the prisoner of war camp near Cookstown on Monday (20th March) night, a German prisoner of war, aged 21, was fired on by the military guard and received five bullet wounds. He was attended to by two German doctors and later taken to Dungannon Hospital, where he was attended to by Dr J G Bell. Subsequently he was removed to a military hospital in Belfast, in a serious condition. It is stated that the German had got clear of the heavy barbed wire entanglements when spotted, and as he refused to halt, the sentry opened fire. He received four bullet wounds in the right arm and a fifth in the chest. The right arm was badly shattered and Dr Bell gave a blood transfusion.
The German had got clear of the heavy barbed wire entanglements when he was spotted. He refused to halt and the sentry opened fire. He received four bullet wounds in the right arm and a fifth in the chest. His right arm was badly shattered.
He was attended to by two German doctors and later taken to Dungannon Hospital, where he was attended to by Dr J G Bell. Dr Bell gave a blood transfusion.
Subsequently he was removed to a military hospital in Belfast in a serious condition. He received treatment at No. 24 British General Hospital, Campbell College, Belfast.
Obergefreiter Herbert Lisser died of cardiac arrest caused by war wounds on 22nd March 1945 in Belfast.
From the Belfast Telegraph dated Saturday 24th March 1945: (Although Lisser is not named in the article, the dates and places are consistent with his death and burial.)
‘The Nazi salute was given by more than 100 German soldiers and airmen who stood on the steps of a hospital at a Northern Ireland prisoner of war camp today, and watched the funeral of one of their comrades, an army corporal who was fatally wounded when attempting to escape from a camp.
The coffin, draped with a Swastika flag was carried by six members of the Luftwaffe. Included in the small party who walked behind the coffin were two German nursing sisters who, with a number of others, were taken prisoner in a Brussels hospital. At Belfast City Cemetery, where the interment took place, a brief service was conducted by a German chaplain.
The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. Wilton, Rosewood Buildings, Crumlin Road, Belfast.’
Herbert Lisser was initially buried on 24th March 1945 in Glenalina Section AS, Grave 159, Belfast City Cemetery, Belfast
On 26th February 1948, he was reinterred in Glenalina Section ES, Grave 207
Obergefreiter Herbert Lisser remains were reinterred in Germany on 18th July 1962.
Many thanks to the Wartime NI website, from which most of this information comes (see below).
There must be still some doubt that the Mid Ulster Mail report refers to Herbert Lister. However, the age, the dates, the shot escaping, the seriously injured and moved to Belfast, all seem to fit the narrative put together here.
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References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 Wartime NI Obergefreiter Herbert Lisser
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2021