Friedrich Selbach served as an Obergefreiter in the German Army during World War Two. An Obergefreiter is a rank similar to a Private First Class would have been in the Allied armies.
Selbach was born at Annagraben 33, Bonn, Germany on 16th April 1907. He died on 26th July 1945 aged 38 years old. The recorded place of death was Orangefield Military Hospital, Belfast, Co. Antrim.
Death in Northern Ireland
Selbach was a married man serving in the German Army when taken a prisoner of war. Detained in Northern Ireland, he was part of a transport of prisoners from Larne, Co. Antrim when a motor accident took place on 25th July 1945.
Another German prisoner, Edward Jouck who learned to speak English working on board English steamships before the war, gave evidence.
He was part of the same transport departing Larne railway station for a coal dump. There were fifteen prisoners and one 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. He was taken to the Orangefield Military Hospital in Belfast.
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.
Newspapers The Larne Times and The Ballymena Weekly Telegraph carried the story on 9th August 1945 and 10th August 1945 respectively.
Remembering Friedrich Selbach
A funeral and burial took place at Belfast City Cemetery, Belfast, Co. Antrim on 28th July 1945. His grave was in Glenalina Extension, Section CS, Grave 26.
Exhumation and repatriation took place on 18th July 1962. German authorities reinterred Selbach in Section 4, Row 3, Grave 31 of Cannock Chase, Staffordshire, England.