Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

My boy Jack?


Patrick Mooney
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have just managed to get my hands on a copy of My Boy Jack (hard to find on this side of the pond in bookshops) and am about halfway through.

I remember a debate back on the old forum in the past about the conclusions by the Holts that John Kipling was NOT in the grave at Loos as stated by the CWGC in 1998.

I am curious as to whether there is there anymore info on this subject or updates on findings in either direction, and especially thoughts from our more knowing forum members?

Patrick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Norm Christie, the Canadian historian who was working for the CWGC at the time, was the actual person who 'discovered' this grave at St Marys ADS Cemetery while doing his own personal research into missing Canadian officers. Norm was/is a friend of mine, and I was able to see some of the evidence he used. The whole thing hinged around a map reference being wrong; if it was wrong it put the discovery of the body on Hill 70. If right, it was the back garden of a house in Noeux les Mines.

There was also a question of rank; was Kipling a 2/Lt or Lieut? I think the Holts have answered this in their book? My comment was that this officer was found/buried by a Canadian war graves detachment. As there was no such rank as 2/Lt in the CEF, they might have entered 'Lieut' in the returns by default.

Personally I have never been convinced this is Jack Kipling; I was very surprised the CWGC didn't put 'Believed to Be' on his headstone, as they have done with many others.

But that still leaves one question - if not Jack Kipling, then who?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Paul,

You hit the nail right on the head, as these are the questions that I am asking myself as I go through the book.

If I understand it correctly, the grave had already been identified as an Unknown Lieutenant of the Irish Guards. According to the records, there were three subalterns lost in the 2/Irish Guards, but only one Lieutenant. Hence this added to the evidence.

BUT - I had not thought about the Canadian angle on the discovery of the body, which leads me to be even more skeptical of the identification. This is very interesting information indeed.

Would it not be possible to do trace DNA comparisons with decendants of Kipling's family, as well as the other two Subalterns (I don't have their names) to determine WHO???

Always curious...

Patrick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

Thought I'd bring this back up to see if anyone had any new ideas on the subject. I know there some pals who might have some new insight into Kipling.

Andy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am planning to cover this story on my next school battlefields' tour. Am I right in thinking that John Kipling's name has still not been removed from the Dud Corner Memorial? It was certainly there when I last visited a couple of years ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Russell.Gore@crawley.gov.uk
;) Kipling was involved with the CWWGC for the Next twenty years of his life after WW1 and as a commissioner would have been fully aware of any exhumations of Officers from his Sons Regiment and would have taken a great interest in these findings,Kiplings own conclusion was that his Sons Body was lost for ever.I have been reading the conclusions also involving the Case of the JOHN CONDON CASE.....very good detective work,and a almost cast iron case to explode the myth surrounding this case for ever.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Russell.Gore@crawley.gov.uk

So who is it in the Grave,some people myself included think that the body could well be that of an unknown private of the Irish Gds as it would have been very easy to mistake the shoulder titles of this Rank for that of the 1 pip of a Lt.plus the fact that this body had been underground for some time would have made a positive I.D.very hard,just to illustrate this point if you look at some of Matthew Bradys photographs of Burial parties and Graves registration details at work during the American Civil War you will see what the effects of Time,nature,and an area being constantly fought over with modern weapons can do to a Body.Maybe as a last resort could some form of DNA test be carried out ????.Maybe a bit of pie in the Sky,but i wouldnt have thought that there could not be that many surviving members of the Kipling Bloodline left.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Judging from Russell's e-mail address, perhaps I am paying for him to work, whilst he is surfing '1418'. Dreadful thought. Say it isn't so!

Captain Grumpy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hiya,

I alsways thought that his son was missing, I did'nt realise there was a headtsone, whether correct or not?

If there is some doubt about this more 'famous' burial , then how many other burials are of debatable authenticity?

I would presume that bodies were I.D'd by dog tags, what if you were carrying someone elses? a friend or comrade? are there any instances of bodies being I.D'd twice for example, two named burials...

Soren :huh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

"easy to mistake the shoulder titles of this Rank for that of the 1 pip of a Lt."

Russell Gore

"two on each shoulder for a Lt, I am afraid"

langleybaston1418

....yes, but the pip and the Irish Guards Badge could have been mixed up as they are similar. If the uniform contained one pip and one Irish Guards Badge, on each shoulder, it is possible that the burial party thought they had a full Lt and not a 2nd.

Just a thought!

David.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about Kiplings own headstone/memorial, I've seen a vast amount of headstones in Blighty, where parents have had inscriptions to lost WW1 sons inscribed upon them.

Does Kiplings have any such inscription?

Soren :huh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

Rudyard Kipling was buried at Poets Corner at Westminster Abbey on 23rd January 1932. Perhaps someone who lives/works locally to the Abbey knows whether it says anything about John.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe as a last resort could some form of DNA test be carried out ????.

Aren't the MOD refraining from DNA tests because of the possible sheer amount of requests that this could lead to?

Regards,

Marco

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Since the "Kipling" affair, is it more difficult to have the CWGC and MOD accept evidence of mistaken or unidentified burials for correction?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 11 months later...

Any more feedback/thoughts on the KIPLING affair...i recently learned that Rudyard Kipling turned down a Knighthood...Guilt maybe ??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Patrick

Rudyard K may have felt guilt at conniving (or a stronger word) at getting his son into a service unit, in spite of physical limitations.

Daggers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Exactly as Daggers Says.In Burwash Kipling was making a Recruitment speech outside the Bear Public House,and was encouraging the Villagers to send their Sons to the War when a member of the Crowd,called back to Him "Why Dont You Send Yours"..and as Dagger rightly says,Kipling Wangled His Son A Commission.The Rest is History.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kipling's name was still on the wall at dud corner in October 2006

I understood that Kipling jnr had only just been promoted and would not have had time to alter his rank badges on his uniform before going into action. So he would not have been wearing the appropriate insignia

post-11647-1171463706.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...