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No known grave but D.O.W.


Guest KevinEndon
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Guest KevinEndon

Pray tell how a man is down as Died of Wounds (mic) but has no known grave and is remembered on the Helles Memorial. Surely if he died of wounds then he would have been either in a C.C.S. or a hospital and therefore buried away from the front line and not in a battlefield grave, could his mic be wrong and he was K.I.A.

Many thanks for your input in resolving this puzzle

Kevin

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Could be many reasons, such as a fellow soldier reporting seeing him wounded and still alive, but he died later on battlefield and not found. Alternatively, he DoW and was buried on battlefield and grave lost.

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The Helles Memorial also bears the names of men lost/buried at sea during the campaign - many of them wounded and died en route to hospitals in Egypt/Malta etc.

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Having visited Gallipoli twice I know that many of the British graveyards lost their grave markers after the evacuation this accounts for many of the British no known graves

Chris

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I recall that , when we've previously discussed when a man stops being recorded as KIA and becomes DoW, we've concluded that it's when he received formal medical treatment. So, in such circumstances, you'd have your DoW if the man died whilst at the Regimental Aid Post and, certainly, if he died at a dressing station, before reaching the CCS at Helles.

Chris also puts his finger on a major reason for "lost graves".

John

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In the Birmingham Daily Post there was a Missing Soldiers' Bureau from 1916 with appeals from relatives who often repeated what they told - wounded and missing. 9 months to a year later the War Office would acknowledge a death on the day quoted by the relative and the name appears on a memorial to the missing although Soldiers Died will say died of wounds.

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It also happened in France and Flanders. I have had a case with the MoD (about 2 years so far!).

My man was wounded some 200 yards from Essex Farm but he ended up with a medical unit not from the Brigade. By the time he was buried it was in an 'unknown' Notts and Derby grave and he is listed on the Menin Gate.

In Essex farm there are three named N&D men, then the unknown and then three more N&D men in the row.

I presume that his medical tag was lost or removed before burial and so he became 'unknown'.

steve m

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I have a similar problem with a Great Uncle:

Cpl Richard CALLF 2btn Kings Shropshire Light Infantry reg. no. 9167 Died 30 April 1915 somewhere I picked up that he had died of wounds but he is commemorated on the Menin Gate. Final insult is that his name is misspelled on the memorial!

I assume he was wounded, received some treatment; died and was buried but that the grave/body was subsequently destroyed by enemy or friendly fire.

David

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David

Have you tried to have the name corrected? CWGC have been helpful in many cases, and with the right evidence may be willing and able to put this right, even if it means waiting until a panel has to be replaced.

D

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Hi Daggers and Terry

No I haven't tried to have it changed and I'm not sure it is worth it. Great Uncle was not married so there are no direct descendants.

The CWGC records are correct; it's only the Memorial that is wrong.

I wonder what other members think: would you try to get the name changed?

If, as I suspect, there are limited funds I think I'd prefer them to be directed to trying to save present-day ex-service personnel from being homeless and living rough...

David

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You need do nothing.

If the CWGC database is correct, the memorial will be amended next time that panel is replaced. It may be a while but it will eventually be corrected.

The money used has nothing to do with looking after ex-service personnel which is a government responsibility (and other organisations). CWGC is not part of the UK government but an international body which obtains its funds from its six member countries. Their money can only be used for grave/memorial maintenance.

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