Obergefreiter or Private First Class Friedrich Selbach served in the German Wehrmacht during World War Two. He was born in Annagraben 33, Bonn, Germany on 16th April 1907.
In 1945, he came to Larne, Co. Antrim as a prisoner of war. On 25th July 1945, Selbach was part of a prisoner transport involved in a road traffic collision on the outskirts of Larne. He died the following day on 26th July 1945 aged 38 years old. The recorded place of death was Orangefield Military Hospital, Belfast, Co. Antrim.
A German prisoner, Edward Jouck who learned to speak English working on board English steamships before the war, gave evidence. The 2 men were part of the same transport departing Larne Railway Station for a coal dump somewhere in Northern Ireland. There were 15 prisoners and 1 escort from the British Army on board.
While travelling at approximately 25mph, the lorry struck the kerb at the side of the narrow street. The jolt saw Friedrich Selbach crushed between a telegraph pole and the iron support of the lorry’s hood.
The escort was Gunner W Thompson of the Royal Artillery. His evidence corroborated that of Edward Jouck. Belfast City Coroner, Dr. HP Lowe returned an open verdict after considering the evidence. The Larne Times and The Ballymena Weekly Telegraph carried the story on 9th August 1945 and 10th August 1945.
Friedrich Selbach’s grave is in Section 4, Row 3, Grave 31 of Cannock Chase German Military Cemetery, Penkridge Bank, Staffordshire, England. He was first buried on 28th July 1945 in Glenalina Extension, Section CS, Grave 26 of Belfast City Cemetery, Belfast, Co. Antrim. He was repatriated on 18th July 1962.