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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

C.W.G.C. Records and Red Cross records


andrew pugh
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Good Evening All.

I wonder if anyone can help me on this. Ive been researching my Gt Uncle now for about 8 years,He was killed in the German Offensive 24/3/1918, At this time I suspect through a certain amount of research he lies in an unmarked grave in Bancourt (Unknown Royal Fusilier City of London Reg).

Some time ago I contacted the C.W.G.C and gave them the Cemetery,Row and Grave number, and asked them if they had any records as to what was found on the remains from this grave, and where the body was found,I was in luck, they told me what was found on the body, and was given a map reference regarding where it was found. What I would like to ask is this, Now the Red Cross have these newly found records regarding WW1 casualties and P.O.Ws (British)If they were given the date, soldiers name,rank,unit and the map reference where the remains were found, would the info they have,if any, possiby give a similar map location as to the one I was given,or suggest the same area where the body was found,thats assuming they have any information on this fella. Its been suggested that he was buried by the Germans and found in 1919 by British,and then reinterned in Bancourt Cemetery.Hope this makes sense, We just need this last peice of info to confirm our research is correct an put a case together for the M.O.D. and the C.W.G.C. Hope someone can advise.

Best Regards Andy

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Andy, I wish you well in your quest and it sounds as if you have built a good case to get an answer.

I keep hearing about all these Red Cross records yet very little as to what they contain and what is likely to be done with them.

Surely they must contain the details of prisoners and casualties provided from German records? Thus if Private Smith was seen to fall in the German trenches as his mates fell back, he would first be recorded as perhaps wounded then Missing and at some stage once the Red Cross had been informed, confimation that he was either wounded and a prisoner or that Private Smith of the Blankshires had been buried at such and such a location.

After the War had ended and battlefield burials were being concentrated, these remains may have been found but although the location was known, the identity may not have been, so at the time he was buried as "Unknown". Had the Red Cross records been available, many such "Unknowns" might have been identified.

Does anyone know whether the CWGC records show where the original burial was, and what else was found with the body that might help with identification, such as Regiment, rank and personal effects? It sounds from this case that such additional evidence does exist, but still in a limbo without the Red Cross/German corroboration that the burial site matches.

They must have many "final pieces" that could be cross matched with CWGC records.

For a humanitarian organisation they seem very unaware of the effect not releasing this information has on surviving families.

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