Spangenberg, August Fr. (1898-1965)

Prepared by: 
Regina Ganter
Birth / Death: 

born 16 July 1898 Recklinghausen (Münster)

died 6 May 1965 Münster (age 67)

Spent ten years as Pallottine priest at Lombadina (1927-1937) overseeing a massive building programme.



August Spangenberg was the son of saddler Theodor Spangenberg in Recklinghausen. After completing Volksschule he entered the Pallottine residential gymnasium at Schönstatt in 1912, received his habit in 1920, made his first profession in 1922 and was ordained in 1926.


He departed on 23 August 1927 and arrived in the Kimberley in October 1927. During his first year he was on the mission boat Betty when it sank off Beagle Bay. Read more 1 (Newspaper articles found in Trove reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Australia)


During his period as mission superior at Lombadina he oversaw the construction of the church, presbytery and convent. One of the Lombadina residents wrote to Fr. Droste in 1929:


Every Sunday and feastdays we go on picnics, every sundays Fr August take us out sometimes we go hunting for kangaroos with Fr or for flying foxes. You wont know Lombadina it has changed a great deal, Fr Augustine has put up some new buildings .... The men are boring a new well in the farm, already they have the surface water, it is going to be called Saint Raphaels well.

your loving child Agnes Emble2


Having survived a shipwreck and a severe cyclone on a mission that was still not government funded, Fr. Spangenberg returned to Germany in 1937.


After a year in Germany and Vienna, part holiday and part acting as locum, he spent another twenty years in the mission field, departing in May 1938 to Queenstown, South Africa. He was stationed in Stutterheim, Cathcart, interned in ‘Andalusia’ in July 1940, released to Stutterheim in March 1941, later transferred to Butterworth and finally worked as German migrant priest in Durban and at the Addington hospital until his health collapsed. He pleaded for some small appropriate task in Germany, but was kept in South Africa for another year before he was transferred to a hospital in Münster, where two of his sisters were still alive. He died within a few days of his arrival, and was buried at Limburg. He was considered sociable and popular. 3


Fr. Spangenberg at Lombadina Fr. Spangenberg at Lombadina beach

Source: A0063 P1040890 Society of
the Catholic Apostolate (Australia)
Archives, Rossmoyne





1 News From The North." Northern Times (Carnarvon) 2 Jun 1928: 4. Web. 30 Sep 2013,

2 Agnes Emble to Droste, November 1929, in Droste, Wilhelm [P] P 1 Nr 17 ZAPP.

3 Pallottine Necrology, MS of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (Australia) Rossmoyne; and Nachruf in Spangenberg, August P. (P1 – not acquisitioned) ZAPP.