Obergefreiter or Corporal Wilhelm Jungclaus served in the Kriegsmarine or German Navy during the Second World War. He was born in Germany on 28th June 1903.
Before the outbreak of the Second World War, Jungclaus was married and worked as a farmer. In the course of the conflict, he became a prisoner of war, given the number A81180, and found himself Elmfield Prisoner of War Camp, Gilford, Co. Down. On 26th May 1945, he was part of a prisoner transport involved in an incident between Portadown, Co. Armagh and Gilford, Co. Down.
A British Army lorry driven by Private Alec Twyman of the Royal Army Service Corps overturned at Knock Road, Portadown, Co. Armagh while taking prisoners back to Elmfield Camp, Gilford, Co. Down. The vehicle skidded while rounding a bend and overturned on a dangerous section of the road.
The 42-year-old German became trapped beneath the lorry along with other prisoners. Local residents and workers rushed to help the injured parties, comforting them until medical help arrived. Jungclaus had sustained serious head injuries, a broken right collarbone as well as fractured ribs.
An inquest into the death took place on Monday 28th May 1945 overseen by Captain WA Coote DI. A Hungarian Staff Sergeant acted as an interpreter although witness Günther Dieckmann spoke English. Private PH Crowther was in another lorry further ahead in the convoy. He gave evidence that the overturned vehicle was traveling “quite normally”. Lance Corporal S Gentry corroborated the evidence, estimating the speed of the lorry to be around 25mph before the incident. Head Constable McCutcheon of Armagh PSV Department suggested the occupants of the lorry may have swayed as the vehicle took the bend, causing it to overturn. Coroner Dr. George Dougan MP returned a verdict of accidental death.
Corporal Wilhelm Jungclaus’ grave is in Block 4, Row 1, Grave 10 of Cannock Chase German Military Cemetery, Penkridge Bank, Staffordshire. He was first buried on 30th May 1945 in Glenalina Section ES, Grave 183, Belfast City Cemetery, Belfast. He was repatriated on 16th July 1962.