Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Australian National Memorial


Tom Tulloch-Marshall

Recommended Posts

I know the story behind the Australian Memorial at V-B being planned, and construction being postponed due to lack of funds, - but does anybody know the timeline for the associated graves and headstones in V-B Military Cemetery ? The CWGC database gives grave plot dates up to 1925, but did this include the installation of the permanent headstones ? Also, they say that "Later still, 444 graves were brought in from Dury Hospital Military Cemetery." Anybody know when those last graves were brought in ?

Particularly, does anybody have any photos of the cemetery and memorial construction during the period 1918 up till 1938 ?

Tom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tom,

You might also want to scan through the service files of William Henry Miles, Driver 3080, Australian 12th A.F.A. Brigade and William Charles Redstone, Driver 24627, Australian 6th A.F.A.Brigade.

Am I right in thinking that the AA and BB rows are for Dury Hospital?

Phil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phil - The CWGC register says >

VILLERS-BRETONNEUX MILITARY CEMETERY was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from other burial grounds in the area and from the battlefields. Plots I to XX were completed by 1920 and contain mostly Australian graves, almost all from the period March to August 1918. Plots IIIA, VIA, XIIIA and XVIA, and Rows in other Plots lettered AA, were completed by 1925, and contain a much larger proportion of unidentified graves brought from a wider area. Later still, 444 graves were brought in from Dury Hospital Military Cemetery.

The "AA" burials amount to just over 200 and the "BB" ones to just under 150. That, and your notes in post #2 about the Dury Hospital exhumations, now make me wonder about the accuracy of the CWGC notes. - I don't want too get bogged down with that though.

What really interested me was how the memorial and cemetery evolved to what we see today, especially given the considerable delay between the (apparent) completion of the cemetery and the completion of the memorial.

Anybody got any photographs - especially, say between 1925 and 1938 ?

Tom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tom,

I couldn't find any pictures on the Australian War Memorial site or Delcampe.

There is certainly something awry with the CWGC notes.

Phil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to be a "hair-splitter, this discussion should be really be titled, the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, as it is separate from the ANM, standing there.

There has been a previous thread about Cemetery some four or five years ago.

There is no doubt, in my mind, that the Cemetery was created to, one day, partner up with the AWM.

There is no doubt in my mind that Edwin Lutyens intended to leave four open spaces in that Cemetery. One left and right of the Cross of Sacrifice and another pair closer to the roadway. To me, it was the extension of his concept that he used at Thiepval. The British Memorial to the Missing stands in a "grass cross". Read the book on the design of the Thiepval Memorial and it tells you that he deliberately created a "grass cross" for the Memorial to stand in. Have a look on Google Earth, it stands in a "grass cross". Next, the plan view of the Thiepval Memorial is, cross within cross. Now, back to V-B.

The Plots opposite the Cross of Sacrifice are VIA and XVIA. They were obviously inserted at a later date, hence the unusual designation. The other plots are IIIA and XIIIA. I suspect that they had to move the 444 from the Hospital Grounds in Dury and found these four vacant plots to put them in. When you are in the Cemetery, these plots have a higher grave density than any other plot in the Cemetery. Next, the graves that are located within the concrete edgings, have the AA and BB designations. It is my opinion that, once again, they are a part of the 444.

Next, those years ago, I suggested that if they had added another row of graves to the rear (the outside) of the exisiting plots, we end with 446 graves that may have been added to the Cemetery. I felt, I was close enough to believe that I was close to the answer of this riddle.

Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I couldn't find any pictures on the Australian War Memorial site or Delcampe.

Anybody got any photographs - especially, say between 1925 and 1938 ?

Just bumping that back, as it looks like photos may be the only way of resolving this. Anybody know of any ?

Tom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...