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Remembered Today:

Accepatable behaviour in a CWGC cemetery?


Guest KevinEndon

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Guest KevinEndon

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Taken at Arras Memorial. I wonder what the French would say if this was to happen at N.D Lorette.

They were asked if they had any respect for those who fought and died but carried on taking photos.

Scumbags.

Kevin

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Absolutely unacceptable. I think I might have got myself arrested if I had been there.

To put this in context, personally I have no objection to the beautiful stonework of our cemeteries being used discreetly as a general back drop to wedding pictures but this is just horrible.

Kevin - whilst I appreciate your feelings, you might choose to modify the title of this thread. I am sure all our French friends will condemn this behaviour and these are just selfish people with no respect - they just happen to be French.

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well bad taste IMHO, but no litter or graffiti left and they are at least acknowledging the existance of the memorial so..................how wrong is it?

I remember a few years ago chatting (in Olney) to a local old fella who had mates on the memorial (from the second lot), the memorial is sat upon by local youths and the odd coke can and pizza box is left there - I asked him if he thought it disrespectful and he remembered that he and his mates had sat on the same memorial in the 1930s so his mates would probably look kindly on them if no deliberate damage was done

not trying to defend them, just put another point of view I guess

perhaps they were art students!

\Spoons

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typical young people today whatever nationality. no respect for anything or anybody including our glorious dead! Like ianw, I too would have been arrested!

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Having been there with Kevin, Doug and Roy while it was going on, I had no real problem with them taking wedding photographs at the memorial or even posing by the stone, as they were doing at first. However as the photoshoot progressed, some of the shots were starting to get what can only be described as "more than a little on the racy side", I was starting to feel a little uneasy. It was at the point they lay and stood on the stone as you see in the photograph, that I think they stepped way over the mark.

We were all at N.D. Lorette on a very, very busy Sunday. It was packed with French having a day out and paying their respects, if the four of us had tried anything similar there I have a feeling we may well have arrested, at the very least.

Stephen

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Hallo Kevin

Send your snap to the newspapers - I'm sure the Daily Mail would run with it!

The couple could be found, named and shamed.

The French equally dislike the disrespectful nature of the behaviour, I'm certain.

Something for them to ponder on their wedding anniversaries...

Kind regards

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Hmmm. Titles a bit strong there Kev. I do agree that it is very disrespectful but they never scrawled "rossbeff take your rotting rubbish away" or similar as that was written at Etaples? cemetery a while back. Now they were scumbags . "MO"

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It's happened before & will happen again.

This is a very popular foto spot after the ceremony.Theres another thread running talking of queues waiting for a place here!

I saw it once,'bout 18 months ago & asked politely the folks to come down as it was a 'stone of sacrifice',I think I said & that it would bring bad luck to the marriage,or some such nonsense.

They did,as it was said with a smile & a hearty congrats for their joining etc.etc.

I was a bit off with the photographer,as here,it will have been him calling the shots,& when he remonstrated(all this in hushed tones so as not to lower the morale of the newly weds)I asked him if his Hasselblad would fit better up his erse with or without the flash attached.

Does this foto disturb me?Damned right it does but....

It's not the totally folks fault.They just don't know & if any French folks in the 'know' had been there,my little tiff wouldn't have been necessary as they would have kept it in house.

Blame the photog & the enthusiasm of the kids (think back to Tyne Cott?)& not a whole feckin race!

I really take exception to 'French scumbags'*, & lack of language or not,you all could have stopped it if you'd wanted.

* think you all know why.

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Hmmm. Title is a bit strong there Kev. I do agree that it is very disrespectful but they never scrawled "rossbeff take your rotting rubbish away" or similar as that was written at Etaples? cemetery a while back. Now they were scumbags . "MO"

Yes Kev, I realise you feel strongly on this issue, but I have toned-down your thread title so as not give the type of offence to our many French friends that you feel is being demonstrated by the three people in your photo.

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We visited the Arras memorial on the afternoon of Saturday 18th October and we were very surprised to see a small wedding party arrive complete with a photographer. We left before they had completed their photography but up to that point they had adopted a subdued approach albeit with two boistrous children present but nevertheless we found it difficult to understand why any newly married French couple would wish to be photographed against the sombre background of a War Memorial. I would describe their behaviour whilst they were there as strange but not totally unacceptable whereas the behaviour of those photographed by Kevin is abhorent and we would have raised our strongest objections with them if we had witnessed it.

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I don't suppose we can expect any other behaviour these days from any nationality , ww1 is something far in the past for these people & I doubt they felt any sensitivity about the situation.

The draping of the bride over the stone sent my blood pressure up , reminded me of the fashion industry in general , can only hope the pigeons had left a few donations on the stone. I feel for those with relatives in the Arras Memorial ,albeit it might have been worse as we all know of other desecrations far more permanent.

Are there no regulations in these places of remembrance ?

Colin.

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we found it difficult to understand why any newly married French couple would wish to be photographed against the sombre background of a War Memorial.

It is very common, and not so odd when you consider that many wedding photos are taken in churchyards against a backdrop of gravestones. In the case of the CWGC cemeteries, it's a tribute to the beauty of the surroundings. The bride will often leave her bouquet on a grave or at the memorial.

As some have already said, on this occasion it is the photographer trying to be "arty" and different. It puts me in mind of the various fashion shoots I've come across here and there. I'm sure there was no intention to be disrespectful.

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typical young people today whatever nationality. no respect for anything or anybody including our glorious dead! Like ianw, I too would have been arrested!

Not sure i agree with you.

I'm 23 and whilst i find the behaviour unusual, it's totally unfair to suggest that 'typical young people' act in this manner, i asure you they do not. Young people can and do care .

Neil

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Kevin,

I appreciate your concern over this matter, but, do you remember a thread not so long ago concerning an English School trip to Tyne Cot where the delightful children were climbing all over the Cross of Sacrifice, shining up to nearly the top??? and their general behaviour giving rise to many complaints, seem to remember they even damaged the school bus???

Although I do not condone this behaviour in any way whatsoever we also have to look further afield. Not sure how many trips to the battlefields you take, but last year I witnessed a group of mature English battlefield visitors sitting on the wall surrounding Wancourt Cemetery, near Arras, after they had been walking the battlefield. They were drinking a few tins of beer and after a little rest, deposited their beer cans over the wall into the cemetery. One other forum member and myself went over and cleared the mess they had left.

Reprehensible behaviour in all cases and I might have joined Ian in the local nick for the night but look at a lot of the cemeteries, this is widespread and a general problem nowadays.

Andy

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Guest KevinEndon
I'm sure there was no intention to be disrespectful.

I asked the minder if he spoke Engish to which he replied yes. I then asked if they had any respect for those who had died and that they were standing all over an altar. He told the photograph in French what I had said and they carried on photographing so to say that they had no intention to be disrespectful is wrong. Once my concerns were raised they should have stopped.

Kate, I can see why you tonned it down but I call a spade a spade and these were scumbags, no other name for it them.

Kevin

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I think your thoughts were quite clear the first time round Kevin, there is no need to remind everyone, whether you call a spade a spade or not.

You have said all there is to say.

Do not restart this thread elsewhere.

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