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stephen p nunn

Amazing finds

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PBI
This is the correct link to the RBL newsletter.

http://www.rblsomme.org/The_Somme_Bugle_Ne...ME%20BUGLE6.pdf

Norman

Morning Seadog, i am getting some severe feelings of Deja Vu here after looking at the Post regarding the Interment at Flat Iron Copse.Looking at the Photographs i cant really see very many of the members of the Public attending.I also note that these events were not reported in the English Media,and that the CWGC/MOD did not bother to inform us of these recent Interments until well after the events,and then it was only a couple of lines in their Newsletter..I wonder what is going to happen regarding the 15 recently discovered at Beaucamps Ligny ?..maybe the CWGC/MOD are hoping that they will be quietly forgotten about,and then speedily and quietly buried without any attempts at ID being made ?.

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Seadog

PBI, I hope that Sarah (Post 21) will inform us all of the circumstances of the discovery of the one set of remains and the location that they were found at. We all have an interest in such discoveries and to have a report from the person who was involved in the finding of one of our countrymen after such a passage of time would be very good.

Regards

Norman

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KevinBattle

PBI and seadog make the point that not much publicity is given to the finding, identification and interment of remains.

I do think the CWGC are not pro active enough to ensure they are not criticised as doing only a perfunctory minimum when remains are discovered.

sarah h makes the point that at Flat Iron Copse, along with the remains were

some nice buttons and fabric pieces

Surely, with the expertise on here it would be possible for the CWGC to privately contact the Moderators saying x sets of remains have been found at y location. That could then be posted without giving the precise location away so that potential units and casualties might be identified, especially if conservators were able to privately provide information as to unit, personal items etc. There must be a number of pals who have minutely researched various units or battlefields who could speedily eliminate or include potential candidates for identifying any remains, whatever their nationality.

I realise that to publicly give the precise locations could cause the site to be robbed, but surely we could find a way to work in harmony to ensure the best possible skills are used to try and identify him, maybe if only his unit alone. If sarah h found buttons and fabric that in itself could provide clues as to what type of unit he may have been part of, then a dating might be possible and perhaps his Name would be known again.

I do hope people who find "things" realise that they may have the clue for the identification of any remains which may either have already been found but not identified, or that may subsequently be found near that spot. After all, they were once part of a mans uniform, not the contents of a regimental tailors junk box!

Perhaps as a start, the CWGC could be invited to have access to this site for early posting of any discoveries so that the acknowledged experts here could then be included in researching identities. The subsequent interment details could then be posted for a wider audience, so they are not buried with only a few in attendance.

It's so blindingly obvious that I do hope something of this nature already exists, but i see little evidence of this at present.

I don't like to criticise the CWGC but they are their own worst enemy by appearing not to give sufficiently early warning of interments.

Straying slightly I am aware that the remains of some of the crew of a Lancaster lost in 1945 have recently been located with recovery scheduled for the spring. Relatives from Canada, Australia and America need to be contacted so they can plan travel arrangements. The British Embassy have been contacted as has the Squadron Association to ensure these men are laid to rest with their crew mates with family and friends in attendance.

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PBI

I totally agree with you 100% to your last Post Kevin.I also find it somewhat odd that "Sarah" has not posted any Photographs of Her "Discovery",i dont ask her to do this out of a Morbid sense of interest,it is just that with the wealth of expertise available on this Forum,maybe some further information about the Mans regiment,or nationality could have been gleaned from a Photo.What happened to the "Nice Buttons and Fabric Pieces"...I really do not like all this ridiculous secrecy and cloak and dagger stuff that now seems to accompany the discovery and eventual burial of the remains of britsh and commonwealth soldiers from WW1 and WW2.As previously stated by Kevin the CWGC and the MOD are their own worse enemies.There must be more Transparency and openess.

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Seadog

Thank you Kevin and PBI for your considered and interesting posts. I have of course no intention of having a go at anybody who posts to this excellent forum, but if no verifiable response is forthcoming from "Sarah" as to the detailed circumstances of the discovery of the remains then we will be forced to draw our own conclusions. I too am disturbed by the description of the buttons and fabric.

Regards

Norman

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KIRKY

Perhaps there is a reluctance in disclosing locations as we have all heard stories of locations being robbed as soon as the word is out? There are people from all nations who will do anything to get hands on fresh relics, I was stunned to hear how items were stolen from the trenches in Thiepval and badges stolen off the trees here.

After any remains have been investigated and removed is the only time to disclose, not in a bar that night!!

Tony

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Seadog

Agreed Tony but these remains were interred on the 14th October 2009. Surely that is a decent time period to have passed before details of the discovery is divulged to the interested public (i.e us).

Regards

Norman

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KIRKY

That is more than long enough.When I visited Somme in March a body was recovered from beside the recently uncovered dug out at Hardecourt, try as I have, I cannot find any mention of what happened to him? I believe he was German? complete silence from those who may know.

Tony

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iain mchenry
Perhaps there is a reluctance in disclosing locations as we have all heard stories of locations being robbed as soon as the word is out? There are people from all nations who will do anything to get hands on fresh relics, I was stunned to hear how items were stolen from the trenches in Thiepval and badges stolen off the trees here.

After any remains have been investigated and removed is the only time to disclose, not in a bar that night!!

Tony

Hi Tony,

Sometimes the relics that scum will steal is not battlefield debris. Unfortunatly that happened to me last year. I was guiding an Aussie couple, the husband of which was related to one of Australias WW1 aces, Cecil Molle Feez. They also had family who fought and died at "Mucky Farm". We stopped at the small memorial that overlooks the farm and they paid their respects and laid 2 small poppy crosses that had two small replica cap badges glued onto the top. We then headed up to the Thiepval memorial and had just arrived at the visitors centre when the hubby mentioned he had forgotten to place a leaf he had brought from Australia at the Mucky farm memorial. We went straight back. I would estimate there would have been a 10 minute gap between our visit and return. We were shocked and very peeved to discover that the two badges had been stolen off the poppy crosses they had laid not 10 minutes before. If we had not returned we would never have noticed. Whilst we were there initially, a Dutch plated car with 4 men slowed right down as they passed us taking an interest in what we were doing. A French tractor also passed us. Who it was we will never know. I was very embarrassed and angry as you can imagine. The air was full of ideas on what we would do to the perpertrator(s) if we caught them!

I also vaugley remember that the wreaths laid by HRH Prince of Wales and HRH Princess Anne were stolen within 24 hours of their laying at locations on the Somme at the 90th anniversary in 2006.

Regards

Iain

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Seadog

We should not have these concerns Tony, all soldiers’ remains deserve the same investigation and respect which is accorded to our current losses in Afghanistan etc and such information as there is should be freely available. In the case of the two sets of remains interred at Flatiron Copse the situation is even worse as they were found in April 2008:

From the CWGC:Thank you for your e-mail dated 26/11/2009 regarding the interments of unknown British Soldiers on the 14th October 2009. I can confirm you, that two sets of remains were buried at Flatiron Copse Cemetery , Mametz during a service attended by Captain Stonor, Military Attaché from the British Embassy. The remains were found in April 2008 near Contalmaison.

Regards

Norman

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PBI

Well Norman,i see from the communication from the CWGC that they are providing their usual high level of detailed information.Dealing with these people can be very,very,frustrating as they all seem to be reading from the same script...Interestingly though some Forum Members who seem to have the ear of the CWGC have been very conspicious by their Abscene/Silence,it would be illuminating to hear their opinions on the CWGC Stance on the lack of transparency regarding the discovery and burial of remains.Seems to myself that an agenda of secrecy,deliberate lack of information,and deceit is in place..WHY..i havent got any idea whatsover,why the big cover up ?.

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J Banning
I also vaugley remember that the wreaths laid by HRH Prince of Wales and HRH Princess Anne were stolen within 24 hours of their laying at locations on the Somme at the 90th anniversary in 2006.

Digressing slightly from the topic but I know that the ‘In Remembrance’ card signed by Harry Patch attached to a wreath that he laid at the Menin Gate in 2007 was stolen within minutes of the ceremony ending. You know this Iain, as when I took Harry back to the Menin Gate in September 2008 we ensured that the card he signed was replaced by one saying the same thing but minus his signature – I just wrote his name on it instead. I recall you kindly did the ‘swap’ for us upon the ceremony ending. The original was given to the Last Post Committee for their archive.

There are many lovely people out there but sadly some who think nothing of doing things like this.

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auchonvillerssomme

Is there a possibility that the expression human remains actually means a bone or a tooth. Just how much would need to be remaining to require a full blown military funeral? Given the circumstances of many of the deaths, disruption of body parts was more than likely than not and the subsequent ploughing would mean that you would find a complete set in only special circumstances.Walk around inside some cemeteries, Redan Ridge No3 or Regina Trench for example and you will find teeth and bones following a heavy rain. Best leave them for the gardeners to deal with.

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Seadog

In respect of the interments on the 14th Oct 2009, we will never know what remains were found as there seems to be a complete embargo on divulging any information whatsoever. Mind you the person who found one set of these remains "Sarah" may share the details with us eventually plus the photo (s) as mentioned in post 21.

Regards

Norman

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trenchtrotter

Knew this thread would get way of what the original theme was. Not to say I dont disagree but surely if we want to discuss reinternment / CWGC policies / remains start again?

And yes I too have found human remains and dealt with them with respect, conacted relevant authorities and let them do what they do. When I found bones and german buttons and belt buckle no one was interested, not enough to say a whole body was there and all the bones and insignia I buried again way below where the plough would disturb including his personal bracelet.

If persons want to judge or expand please start a new thread?

Kind regards

TT

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Seadog

No problem, I for one will not be posting on this particular topic again, I am just awaiting a response from “Sarah” Post 21 who prompted this diversion by mentioning her involvement in the discovery of a so-called “find” of human remains. Any further postings on this topic can of course be added to this thread which is more relevant to the issues raised.

Relevant Thread:

Regards

Norman

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sarah h

No problem, I for one will not be posting on this particular topic again, I am just awaiting a response from "Sarah" Post 21 who prompted this diversion by mentioning her involvement in the discovery of a so-called "find" of human remains. Any further postings on this topic can of course be added to this thread which is more relevant to the issues raised.

Relevant Thread:

Regards

Norman

I have read all these posts with much interest. Yes we recovered human bones from a ploughed field and the remains were buried with due respect and ceremony thanks to the CWGC. I had no idea so many people would be interested as I assumed this happens quite often. Sadly our soldier had no identifying button/badges. I did take some photos during the digging process( with CWGC approval) but don't really think sharing these photos of the poor chap very respectful.Sarah

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jdajd
Hi Tony,

Sometimes the relics that scum will steal is not battlefield debris. Unfortunatly that happened to me last year. I was guiding an Aussie couple, the husband of which was related to one of Australias WW1 aces, Cecil Molle Feez. They also had family who fought and died at "Mucky Farm". We stopped at the small memorial that overlooks the farm and they paid their respects and laid 2 small poppy crosses that had two small replica cap badges glued onto the top. We then headed up to the Thiepval memorial and had just arrived at the visitors centre when the hubby mentioned he had forgotten to place a leaf he had brought from Australia at the Mucky farm memorial. We went straight back. I would estimate there would have been a 10 minute gap between our visit and return. We were shocked and very peeved to discover that the two badges had been stolen off the poppy crosses they had laid not 10 minutes before. If we had not returned we would never have noticed. Whilst we were there initially, a Dutch plated car with 4 men slowed right down as they passed us taking an interest in what we were doing. A French tractor also passed us. Who it was we will never know. I was very embarrassed and angry as you can imagine. The air was full of ideas on what we would do to the perpertrator(s) if we caught them!

I also vaugley remember that the wreaths laid by HRH Prince of Wales and HRH Princess Anne were stolen within 24 hours of their laying at locations on the Somme at the 90th anniversary in 2006.

Regards

Iain

A similar thing happened when I visited the Somme in 2006. I took a walking tour with a family whose ancestor in the 9th (Glasgow Highlanders) HLI who died at High Wood. They placed a poppy wreath with a small laminated picture and a small card in memorium. When I returned the following day to take my last photo at the Cairn the wreath had been removed. Don't know if it was an official thing, but it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Just as a curiosity, how much time total have those members who have found significant artifacts, just laying about, spent on the Western Front (or respective front) before finding stuff like that? I have been twice, once as mentioned above to the Somme where I found some shrapnel balls, bullet casings and artillery fuse ring; and the other to Ypres where I found similar things. Nothing though that rivals the stuff shown here. So how many times do I need to go?

Jon

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trenchtrotter

Jon,

I visited the Somme for 12 years before a "significant find"...then every year I seemed to find a badge simply by walking the ploughed fields.

For the last two years of plenty of walking....nothing, yet my companion a few meters from me found the Middlesex and Kent badge in two days...they find you and not the other way round.

Regards

TT

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Ice Tiger
..... I did take some photos during the digging process( with CWGC approval) but don't really think sharing these photos of the poor chap very respectful.

About as respectful as taking the photo's in the first place. Personally I find your moralistic stance completely and utterly hypocritical.

Andy

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KIRKY

Regarding finds, I have been going to The Somme for past 12 years , sometimes twice a year if lucky! We do not go with total aim of finding anything but as we walk relevant fields we find the items, some years hardly anything, depends on ploughing cycle etc.

Regarding Sarah, at least she did the correct thing by reporting the remains and therefore giving a fallen soldier a decent burial.

Tony

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sarah h
About as respectful as taking the photo's in the first place. Personally I find your moralistic stance completely and utterly hypocritical.

I am sad for you that you feel like that about my stance. end of conversation .

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auchonvillerssomme

Lets face it many people have a curiosity and interest which isn't necessarily morbid, hence the popularity of Time Team, which shows human remains in the context of archaeology in every show (when Baldrick find something of course). We are mostly adults I would guess and death is the completion of the cycle of life. If a facebook page had been set up in the name of the remains and pictures posted I could understand the disgust but that isn't the case.

Mick

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PBI

No qualms here about witholding Photos

i am still intrigued as to what became of the "Nice Buttons and Fabric Pieces".

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auchonvillerssomme

Better one here

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