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Question on CWGC headstones


Chester837
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Can anyone answer a question on headstones?

There is a chap buried in our local cemetery who died of his wounds in 1917. He is commemorated by the CWGC however does not have a CWGC headstone. His current headstone is now very ropey and in urgent need of repair. He died without any children am I'm not aware of any living relatives.

Would the CWGC consider replacing a headstone that isn't one of theirs with a new CWGC one?

Cheers

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The CWGC inspect grave in their care are supplement them with additional stones when the original stone becomes illegible. I don't know how often they inspect - every few years at a guess. You may want to nudge them towards the grave that concerns you.

They used to add the standard familiar CWGC stone, more recently I have seen that they have added 'Gallipoli' plaques - small, less obtrusive and, dare I say it, cheaper. Some of the stones they have added in the past have been somewhat insensitive to the original grave:

WB103.jpg

A Gallipoli plaque in place:

WB321.jpg

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Ah, excellent, thank you for that. Illegibility is the primary problem with the headstone in question; the letters were some form of metal and over the years they have been removed / fallen off so now it is almost impossible to read. I shall email the CWGC post haste.

Thanks again.

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The letters were probably lead.

Over the years the surface of the stone has weathered away leaving the letters, which used to sit flush with the surface, standing proud. If the letters were attached to the stone by means of pegs the holes weather and increase in size and the pegs become loose. The letters begin to curl, weathering of the stone which used to be under the letters progresses more rapidly, and finally the letters fall out.

The only solution is to remove all the letters and sand down the surface until all the peg holes have gone and then replace the lettering.

This, of course, would only be for the family to arrange. The CWGC will not touch privately owned gravestones but will attempt to contact the grave owners for permission to place a CWGC stone on the grave.

CGM

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Thanks for the additional info. What you have described is pretty much exactly what has happened. As I said, I'm not aware of any living relatives so not sure how they would proceed.

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Chester837, is he definately buried in the grave or is it an inscription which can often happen i.e. if his body was never found?.

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Chester837, is he definately buried in the grave or is it an inscription which can often happen i.e. if his body was never found?.

Sorry, only just noticed the question! Yes, he is definitely buried there, he died of wounds at Southmead hospital & there is a fantastically detailed report of the funeral in his service documents. He was a local chap but was in Oz at the start of the war and joined the AIF so there is a really good, legible record of his service history.

Cheers

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