Today 100 years ago the Russian Andrey Cherepov died, being the last allied prisoner of war who died in the Netherlands as a result of World War One. Andrey Mikhailovich Cherepov was born in Kromy in Oryol Governorate in South-West Russia, and served as a soldier in the 144th Kashirskiy Infantry Regiment.
He was taken prisoner at the beginning of the war on 29 August 1914 in Allenstein, during the Battle of Tannenberg, which was lost by Russia and at which occasion 95,000 Russians became prisoners of war. Even though Russia entered the war on the side of Serbia, its first offensives were fought in East Prussia.
Andrey spent almost 5 years in captivity, which he spent, inter alia, in the PoW-camp in Soltau and the Munsterlager on the Lüneburg Heath. He reached neutral Netherlands in 1918 or early 1919. The last camp where he stayed was Oldebroek. When the camp was evacuated – with the aim to repatriate the last Russian PoWs – he remained in the camp. He was probably too weak to be transported. He died in Oldebroek on 31 May 1919, and was buried in Epe. After World War Two, when the Soviet War graves in Netherlands were concentrated, Cherepov’s remains were moved to the Soviet Field of Honor in Leusden, near Amersfoort.
His grave is the only marked Russian WWI grave in the Netherland. Recent attempts in his home town to trace possible relatives or descendants have been unsuccessful.