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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

When were CWGC details taken from NoK


lionboxer

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Hi

The same form, seeking NoK information and private inscription was used for all the dead, Remember that in the early years after the Armistice it was intended that there would be a headstone for everyone. The headstone for the unidentified would be placed in the cemetery nearest to the place of death. Eventually the cost and the amount of land required forced the change of plan to erecting a memorial plaque in the cemetery nearest the point of death. The admin effort of working out who should go where was too much so there were to be 12 memorials to the missing. The French dug their toes in over the amount of land required and in 1927 the three memorials already started were joined by Thiepval and all the others were incorporated into British Cemeteries.

I have seen many examples of late discoveries where the next of Kin were told that the already held details and inscription would now be used on the headstone.

Peter

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The same form, seeking NoK information and private inscription was used for all the dead, Remember that in the early years after the Armistice it was intended that there would be a headstone for everyone.

Two forms are shown, one relates to the Registers, which involved all casualties, the other to the headstone and any additional inscription, if desired. The Register has full details as supplied by NOK if the forms were returned.

This is confirmed by details of missing men who have additional details added by NOk in the Register entry.

eg. at Loos

Name: ANDERSON, GEORGE

Initials: G

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Lance Corporal

Regiment/Service: Gordon Highlanders

Unit Text: 6th Bn.

Age: 26

Date of Death: 25/09/1915

Service No: 1133

Additional information: Son of George Anderson, of Mosstown, Kennethmont, Aberdeenshire.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 115 to 119.

Memorial: LOOS MEMORIAL

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Hi

In post 26 for form read forms. The man was treated the same whether his body had been identified or not.

Peter

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Home burials were carried out by the NOK, in the usual way, and they own the grave burial rights / headstone. It is none different to any grave in a cemetery today.

Straightforward nice and simple.

So if a soldier died in the U.K., you are implying that his burial would be the responsibility of the NoK. I can not see that going down very well in a war.

As I recall NoK were responsible for the transporting of a soldier from place of death to home burial site, if required. But not the purchase of the grave.

What about when no Next of Kin were traced? Who owns the plot? And if indeed the army did purchase the burial plot, did they then hand it over to NoK?

Alan

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So if a soldier died in the U.K., you are implying that his burial would be the responsibility of the NoK. I can not see that going down very well in a war.

Alan

My respose was in regard to your query on why so many men had private headstones when buried in the U.K

Burial arrangements were entirely down to the NoK. If they wished the body returned home it was at their expense and the grave bought by them. Those that had no NoK, they could not be found in time or did not want the body returned (or could not afford it), were buried by the military in the nearest available location of their chosing.

IWGC was only formed three years after the war started and they were not given responsibility for marking UK graves until 1920 by which time all the burials had been made and in many cases the private graves marked.

What about when no Next of Kin were traced? Who owns the plot? And if indeed the army did purchase the burial plot, did they then hand it over to NoK?
Interest in these will have passed to IWGC ( later CWGC) not NOK.
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Our local paper printed in February 1930 had an aricle stating that all of the wooden crosses in the town cemetery had now been replaced. Doing a quick tot up, in the cemy there are 21 CWD from WW1, only four of these have private headstones. Very few considering a possible delay of up to 16 yrs. for a proper headstone. Some have had vases or urns placed on them though.

Alan

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On the subject of dates of return, I'm researching an officer, KIA at Passchendaele, whose NoK details on the CWGC database refer to his mother as the 'late' such and such; she died in 1925.

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I too have a query.

Just been to Mont Huon to see the grave of my uncle who died 6 Oct 1918 and the inscription reads 'In loving memory of my son Leonard, gone but not forgotten by Step Mother, Sisters & Brothers'. Now his father died in 1919 and his step mother died early 1921 so I'm wondering who gave the information for the inscription. Would the 'my son' be said by his father before he died in 1919 or would it be said by his step mother?

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  • 2 years later...

I've ressurrected this particular thread after a relative of mine mentioned going to the same Wiggington Road Cemetry as mentioned above. He informed that there was a plaque outside it indicating CWGC graves being on site. I hadn't heard of this before so wondered when it was that the CWGC took charge of such graves and what was the criteria under which this happened. I presumed they are still tended by the CWGC to this day?

David

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