Rheinberg War Cemetery
Historical Information (Source: CWGC)
The site of Rheinberg War Cemetery was chosen in April 1946 by the Army Graves Service for the assembly of Commonwealth graves recovered from numerous German cemeteries in the area.
The majority of those now buried in the cemetery were airmen, whose graves were brought in from Dusseldorf, Krefeld, Mönchengladbach, Essen, Aachen and Dortmund; 450 graves were from Cologne alone. The men of the other fighting services buried here mostly lost their lives during the battle of the Rhineland, or in the advance from the Rhine to the Elbe.
There are now 3,330 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried or commemorated at Rheinberg War Cemetery. 158 of the burials are unidentified. There are also nine war graves of other nationalities, most of them Polish.
1 VC is buried here:
PALMER, Squadron Leader, (Pilot), ROBERT ANTHONY MAURICE, 115772. V C, D F C and Bar. 109 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. 23 December 1944. Age 24. Son of Arthur Robert and Lillian Palmer, of Gravesend, Kent; brother of Douglas Palmer. The following is taken from the London Gazette of March 20th 1945 :- This officer had completed 110 bombing missions. Most of them involved deep penetration of heavily defended territory; many were low-level "marking" operations against vital targets; all were executed with tenacity, high courage and great accuracy, so that he was invariably selected for particularly important missions. The finest example of his courage and determination was on December 23rd 1944, when he led a formation of Lancasters to attack the marshalling yards at Cologne in daylight. Before the target was reached heavy anti-aircraft fire was encountered and two of his plane's engines were set on fire. Squadron Leader Palmer ignored the double risk of fire and explosion in his aircraft and kept on. He made a perfect approach and his bombs hit the target. His aircraft was last seen spiralling to the earth in flames. Squadron Leader Palmer was an outstanding pilot. He displayed conspicuous bravery. His record of prolonged and heroic endeavour is beyond praise.