Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

MM winner buried in a paupers grave


WASMAN

Recommended Posts

From that i assume there is no immediate family....

Is a crying shame... when they fought and shaped what we have today.

Rest in peace Robert.. we wont forget you

John

Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately this also happens to VC recipients. When I was growing up in NE Pensylvania in the 1950s, Captain Harold Auten, VC, DSC, RN who received his VC in a Q-ship action was a friend of my father. I met him a number of times and actually held his VC on one occasion. He had been employed as a RN Captain in New York harbor during WWII and after the war moved to Bushkill, Pennsylvania where he ran a playhouse and later a bar.

I left home for college in the late 1950s and Captain Auten died in October 1964 while I was serving in the US Army in Germany.

About six or seven years ago David Harvey who was at that time finishing a book on VCs contacted me and asked if I would take a photo of Auten's grave in Sand Hill cemetary in Bushkill the next time I was visiting my family in Pennsylvania. When I went to the cemetary I was unable to find his gravestone. My father-in-law eventually helped me to contact the man who managed the cemetary and I was shocked to find out that Auten had no gravestone. He had died penniless and a local Bushkill family, by the name of Steele, had allowed him to be buried in one of their plots but evidentally there was no money for a grave marker of any kind. With the assistance of the caretaker I was able to locate the location of his grave and I took a photo of his unmarked plot which I think eventually ended up in Harvey's book.

A couple of years ago, as a result of the publicity about his unmarked grave, a grave marker was placed there, almost 40 years after his death.

It is sad that we do not better remember our heroes. Regards. Dick Flory

Link to post
Share on other sites
Annette Burgoyne
It is sad that we do not better remember our heroes

You would think the state would give them a proper send off, seeing that they risked their lives above the call of duty for this country.

Annette

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Ian Bowbrick

Unfortunately the poem 'Tommy Atkins' by Rudyard Kipling is so true to life. About 9 years ago I was walking down the cut by Waterloo Station with my then Boss when a rough sleeper offered us his Gulf War Medal for £20. I felt sick to my stomach.

Ian

Link to post
Share on other sites

Truely sad treatment for our heroes, all though not WW1 a hero all the same, Pte David McKay VC. 93rd Southerland Highlanders made a stand with his comrades in the thin red line at Balaclava in 1854 Won his VC at Secundra Bagh on the 14th November 1857 where he captured the Indian rebel flag but recieved a musket ball in the lung during this event he was medically unfit so he returned to Scotland and settled in a small village Lesmahagow Lanarkshire still with the musket ball lodged in his lung. His battle wound finally claimed his life in 1880 and he was buried in a paupers grave beside his wife Mary ( the plot paper work reads David Mckay Mary Mckay and an unknown male transiant) Had it not been for the tireless work of a dear friend of mine Duncan Brown this hero would still lay forgotten in an unmarked grave. Duncans research found relations in South Africa and the family sent him family paperwork including a journal kept by David McKays oldest son which stated that his father had sold his Victoria Cross for the price of a couple of loafs of bread,

But the story has a nice ending Duncan sent all his findings to the Argyle and Southerland Highlanders Headquarters and in November 1999 David McKay was given a nice grave marker with the Victoria Cross on it along with the Regimental Badge and he recieved full military honours in a ceremony at Lesmahagow Cemetery. Regards to the Forum Rob.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...