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Remembered Today:

Missing Memorial at L' Abbeye d' Eaucourt


D. Sims
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In the 1970's there used to be a private memorial situated about 250 yards from the farm at Abbey d' Eaucourt on the road to Ligny Thilloy.

It was placed on the top of a 8 foot high bank on the left side of the road.

I read about it at the time in the newspapers that Sir Anthony Eden used to visit regularly as it was a friend of his who had been buried on the spot where he had been killed in September 1916.

I would think it was a man in the same battalion as Sir Anthony Eden ( Lord Favershams ).

Is there anyone who knows who he was and why the memorial was demolished and removed?

D. Sims.

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It certainly sounds like a memorial to Lord Feversham (not Faversham - though publications sometimes get the spelling wrong), but his grave was moved earlier than the 1970s: according to Richard Holmes, in 1945. I haven't checked this with the CWGC, has anyone else?. Was a memorial left in the place after the grave was moved? It had had a roof to it and somewhere (though I can't lay my hands on it at the moment) there is mention of a lych-gate having been taken from Duncombe Park to put on the grave.

You wouldn't happen to have kept those newspaper cuttings, I suppose?

Liz

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Here we are - the memorial plaque in his local church at Rievaulx, North Yorkshire, with the wooden cross that had been on Lord Feversham's grave in France:

http://www.ww1-yorkshires.org.uk/html-files/rievaulx.htm

but I don't think it says when this happened - certainly earlier than the 70s - and it may not be what you mean.

Liz

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne
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This may be something or nothing but the reference to Rievaulx Abbey brought back vague memories. If my memory is correct there is a house in the Abbey grounds which one could/can visit. I visited it over thirty years ago. I remember a room with photographs of a WW1 soldier and various memorabilia associated with him. I hadn't developed an interest in WW1 at that time so it was of interest, no more. Having recollected that visit was this indeed the home of Lord Feversham. If anyone knows I would be interested to know more.

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Gerald Gliddon says the cross ay Rievaulx was made from.wood from a farmhouse near the Abbey, not his grave marker. He also says he was re interred in AIF Burial Ground after WW2. He does not mention the fate of the grave marker

Michelle

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Michelle

Lord Feversham's grave is certainly now in the AIF cemetery, where many of us have visited it, and it's a standard CWGC headstone.

It must be right that the cross at Rievaulx was not his original grave marker, placed by Eden and the burial party in 1916, because it looks too elaborate, but it was placed on his grave later. The plaque at Rievaulx shown on the website linked above states that his wife (d 1964) and son (d 1963) had brought it back.

Gerald Dennis in A Kitchener Man's Bit mentions a visit by old Yeoman Riflemen in 1928 when they placed flowers on the grave 'above which was a tiled roof on four wooden posts'. The family had taken material from the estate to make a more fitting memorial to him, that's clear - one of these days I must see if I can discover whether they insisted it should remain there and that's why he was reburied so late. Does Gliddon say anything about that?

Keith

That's very interesting. I wish I'd gone when I was in Yorkshire a few weeks ago! I did visit Duncombe Park but there's nothing about the second Lord Feversham, apart from the grave of his horse Mustapha, which I never managed to reach (the grounds are vast and there are several routes and much undergrowth round the edges) but he (the horse, i mean) was pre-Yeoman Rifles and possibly pre-WW1.

Still don't know if this is what the OP is recalling, though. It seems unlikely given the dates he mentions.

Liz

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne
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I do not think it was Lord Faversham's grave. When I saw it circa 1973 it was partially hidden by bushes and I did not stop to examine it as I had an appointment to keep in Albert. A couple of years (about 1976-7) later I was passing the spot again so I stopped and climbed the bank into the field and I found the remains of it at the base of a couple of hawthorn bushes. It looked like a farmer had clipped with his tractor and pushed it in the hedge but I could not see any means of identification on it. I did ask my friend Yves Foucat in Pozieres if he knew anything about it but he didn't know. Neither did Charlie Hawker in Delville Wood. Many years later I read a newspaper article refering to that Sir Anthony Eden's used to regularly visit a grave and memorial of his 'friend' at Eaucourt l' Abbaye. I was in the area earlier this year and I again searched the area but there was not a trace of debris there. Sic Transit Gloria.

Derek.

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Hi Derek

No, well, as it was definitely there in 1973 it couldn't possibly have been Feversham's (not Faversham's!) grave.

Sorry to have raised a red herring, though also glad you caused me to do it, as I had forgotten about the circumstances of the grave. If I ever uncover anything about Eden's visits I'll put it on here. You asked originally if anyone knew who he was: there's a lot more about him on the thread 21st Bn KRRC: the Original Yeomen.

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=151966&hl=%2Boriginal+%2Byeomen

Liz

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne
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This may be something or nothing but the reference to Rievaulx Abbey brought back vague memories. If my memory is correct there is a house in the Abbey grounds which one could/can visit. I visited it over thirty years ago. I remember a room with photographs of a WW1 soldier and various memorabilia associated with him. I hadn't developed an interest in WW1 at that time so it was of interest, no more. Having recollected that visit was this indeed the home of Lord Feversham. If anyone knows I would be interested to know more.

Keith (with apologies to Derek and all for continuing off his original topic)

I think the house you visited must have been Duncombe Park itself, which is a short distance from Rievaulx Abbey, itself owned by the Duncombe family for many years but now English Heritage. The house was open to the public for some years after being a girls' school for 60 years after WW1, but now only the park is open. The family who live there now are Duncombes but quite distant relatives of the 2nd Lord Feversham.

Incidentally I only realised after visiting it in July that the house was used as the Tietjens' home in the TV series Parade's End.

Liz

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The memorial you refer to was actually a double grave that remained in situ up to the early 1980s. The graves were moved to Serre Road No 2 either just before or just after WW2 but their memorial remained for many years afterwards until a farmer cleared the ground. The memorial is marked on IGN maps but not on current editions I think.

One of the two men buried here was 2/Lt E.H. Montgomery and he is the man Anthony Eden was said to have known and I can confirm that there is some evidence Eden visited the site at least once. The other man buried there was Lt J.R. Tarras. Montgomery's entry on CWGC is here: http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2000866/MONTGOMERY,%20EDWARD%20HENRY

I don't have any photos of the site as it is not one that I visited before it was removed.

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Keith (with apologies to Derek and all for continuing off his original topic)

I think the house you visited must have been Duncombe Park itself, which is a short distance from Rievaulx Abbey, itself owned by the Duncombe family for many years but now English Heritage. The house was open to the public for some years after being a girls' school for 60 years after WW1, but now only the park is open. The family who live there now are Duncombes but quite distant relatives of the 2nd Lord Feversham.

Incidentally I only realised after visiting it in July that the house was used as the Tietjens' home in the TV series Parade's End.

Liz

Thanks Liz, I must say it was puzzling me as to where it was. I have looked at the English Heritage site which makes no mention of the house. As I said this was about 30 years ago, when the house must have been open to the public. I remember a desk with a number of artifacts, a photograph, a fountain pen and several other items belonging to a soldier, it was a sort of shrine. It is amazing how things stick in one's mind. Presumably the artifacts are now in the possession of the Duncombes.

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Thank you Paul, you have solved my mystery. I was puzzled because earlier this year I passed Eaucourt l;Abbeye again and looked for the debris but it had disappeared. I suppose eventually all the scattered private memorials will be gathered in by the CWGC if they are neglected but it seems rather a shame the farmers cannot spare a square yard of ground that he owes to the men the memorial commemorated. The French are doing the same on the Chemin de Dames and private memorials off the beaten track are being moved and concentrated at Laffeaux. Also I see a couple of Memorials have been moved to roadside positions around Ypres. One, the Worcestershire Gheluvelt memorial during its move to another position has even had a word changed to suit the PC veiwers.

Also thanks Liz, I did look at your site. It will give me a couple of places to visit in France next year.

Derek

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The Faversham grave, IIRC, was beyond Flers, on the road towards Le Transloy - but it was moved decades ago to the AIF CWGC Cemetery. Eden was his adjutant?

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I'm so glad Paul has solved this mystery. I wonder how Montgomery and Eden became friends, as from a quick search I see he (M) was an Irishman, went to Repton not Eton and was not in the 21/KRRC. I suppose young officers in the same sector met by other means.

And Derek thanks for your comment - most gracious considering I went off after a big fat red herring! Mention of Feversham and Eden always sets me off, I'm afraid!

Liz

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Surely red herrings are what this forum is about! One learns so much from them.

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True, Keith, at least partly...in this case your queries also reminded me I have to ask the owner of the house about any relics still remaining.

And I see Nigel is continuing after the herring.

Eden was not in fact Feversham's adjutant, but became adjutant to Foljambe after Feversham's death, at the age of 19. But his family and the Duncombes knew each other well and Eden had responded to Feversham's personal request when he agreed to join the new battalion in 1915 and recruit in their area (in Durham). Please adjourn to the other thread mentioned above for any more Feversham discussion!

Liz

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Thanks for that. The great Tony Spagnoly wrote about the Faversham grave and the Eden connection, but I have not got his account to hand. I only mentioned Faversham because he came up earlier in the thread, before Paul put us on the right track - two different memorials/burials.

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Feversham, Nigel - Feversham! I give up on trying to move us to the 21/KRRC thread - so please, where is the account by the great Tony Spagnoly?

Liz

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Silly me.

Tony wrote a number of 'vignettes' many years ago - say early to mid eighties - on incidents/personalities on the WF. Those on the Somme were privately circulated - they never appeared in printed format. Many of his Salient ones were expanded and formed the basis of some of the sections in his (and Ted Smith's) Salient Points books etc.

I have mine somewhere and Feversham was certainly the topic of one of these little pieces - complete with location map; now to find it!

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Was it about Plugstreet Wood, Nigel? After your last post I had a look on Amazon and there was mention of Eden in the info on that book, as 21/KRRC spent some time there in 1916.

Liz

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He did write a book on Plugstreet Wood, but the piece I am thinking about was on Feversham/Eden on the Somme and related specifically to the attack in which the latter was killed and his burial, complete with mapping showing the original location of the grave. Give me time and I shall find it!

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