Soumagne Communal Cemetery  

History Information (Source: CWGC)

The British Expeditionary Force was involved in the later stages of the defence of Belgium following the German invasion in May 1940, and suffered many casualties in covering the withdrawal to Dunkirk. Commonwealth forces did not return until September 1944, but in the intervening years, many airmen were shot down or crashed in raids on strategic objectives in Belgium, or while returning from missions over Germany.

 

Soumagne Communal Cemetery contains the grave of one airman of the Second World War.  The grave is located in the centre of the cemetery by the memorial.  Sergeant (Pilot) ROSE, PETER GARRATT - Service Number 748692, 1 Photographic Sqdn RAF Volunteer Reserve, Died 03/05/1941 - Aged 25, Son of John Frederick and Ida Gladys Rose, of Burton-on-Trent.

 

His epitapth reads: "This was a man" which comes from: William Shakespeare - Julius Caesar - Act 5 Scene 5 - ANTONY

This was the noblest Roman of them all. All the rest of the conspirators acted out of jealousy of great Caesar. Only he acted from honesty and for the general good. His life was gentle, and the elements mixed so well in him that Nature might stand up and say to all the world, “This was a man.”

His mission:

Saturday May 3rd, 1941 the Spitfire PRIII - R6805 of 1 Photographic Sqdn RAF Volunteer Reserve took off from RAF Benson, mission was a reconnaissance flight.  At 13.20 PM the plane crashes on land owned by Mr Spronck at Maireux-Soumagne, Belgium. The pilot is Peter Garratt Rose, Sergeant , 25 years. It is his second mission in this special squadron he returns from a photo recognition over the Ruhr. Sgt Rose baled out but a piece of wing strikes him and his parachute was damaged by the aircraft.

 

more info (in Dutch)  www.luchtvaartgeschiedenis.be/content/spitfire-r6805-bij-soumagne