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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Repatriated Remains


spoons

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I thought perhaps someone might like to see this example of repatriated remains - I know there were a few in the early days of the war.

Name: SCOTT

Initials: H J

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Cameron Highlanders

Unit Text: 4th Bn.

Date of Death: 29/09/1915

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: 15. F. 1.

Cemetery: ANNAN CEMETERY

Annan_Scott_1.jpg

Annan_Scott_2.jpg

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Thanks for posting this spoons, it's great to have such details on the grave. I wasn't aware that the repatriation of remains was still being done that late in 1915, come to think of it I'm not sure when the practice actually ended,

cheers, Jon

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Spoons, very interesting memorial. Thanks for posting.

One of the interesting things about this is the time scale. Wounded 25th, died 29th Sept and within a week he was repatriated and buried at home. Like Jon I had thought this practice ended quite early in the war without knowing a specific date.

I wonder if his parents carried some influence?

Regards

John

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The practice was banned from mid-1915 though a couple of repats are known from later in that year - including this one.

No doubt there was some 'fluidity' for a few months whilst the new rule bedded in and I suspect who was asking did count for a while.

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Dying in Rouen meant that his body could be put aboard transport and brought home without official involvement. Given the means, it was not a difficult task to perform. If he had died in or near Loos, it may not have been so easy to arrange. What really changed was the attitude. It very soon became the ' done thing' for all of the fallen to be buried close to where they fell. A family who wished to bring a body home then was not only circumventing some Army regulation, it was flying in the face of social convention. I suspect there are a few graves here and there on private estates where the son of the house was brought home, very discreetly and nothing said or known, outside the family and a few old retainers. If I am right, it is likely that this will never become known. In the main most families took a certain pride in the fact that their son lay with his men.

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To date I have traced 51 men who were repatriated from the Western Front to the UK. This does not include repatriations from the UK to Canada and other locations. These were more common.

The idea of surreptitious repatriations is theoretically possible but very unlikely in view of the various regulations and laws that would have to be circumvented. A few that tried were caught. Even the few that were surreptitiously returned to Canada from France came to light once they were back home.

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A few that tried were caught. Even the few that were surreptitiously returned to Canada from France came to light once they were back home.

Terry - what happened in the cases where remains were transported back to Canada? Were they allowed to remain there?

Thanks

Alan

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Yes they were.

The subject of Commonwealth repatriations has several aspects and my records are broken down into various sub-sections as below. It is section one that most people are interested in.

1) Repats to the UK from a war zone during and post war

2) Repats to other Empire countries from a war zone during and post-war

3) Repats from the UK to other countries

4) Repats from non war zones to UK and other countries

5) Repats between Canada & USA

6) Repats between African war zones and South Africa

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Here is a German counterpart. Not exactly repatriated, but the family erected a plaque in memory of their fallen son Leutnant Ibach.

Picture taken on civilian cemetery in Duesseldorf. There are several of this kind and I took this as an outstanding exemple:

it says " In memory of our only son Hermann Ibach, Leutnant d.Reserve in Infanterieregiment HessenHomburg 166, bearer of Iron Cross II, born 4 April 1987, kia 6 July 1918 near/in front of Ypres"

post-80-1233922762.jpg

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Leutnant Ibach was born in 1897. I sure hope Luftwaffe target analysts don't make that same mistake with grid coordinates! :o

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Egbert, thanks very much for posting Herman Ibach's memorial. Such graveyard memorials are very common here in Scotland being almost the norm. For comparison, the local war memorial has 26 names from the Great War and the local churchyard has 14 family commemorations for soldiers who died but are not buried there.

\Spoons

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