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

Remembered Today:

unlocated grave of a private KSLI


jimphillips4welsh
 Share

Recommended Posts

My grandmothers first husband died in Bath war hospital in Feb 1919 from his wounds. He is not known to the CWGC and is not on their records of serving dead soldiers (which he was). I feel an injustice may have been done but after exhaustive attempts I cannot locate his grave. I believe he may be in Pembroke somewhere but no graveyard seems to have a record of him. Do I give up? His name was victor edwin wilkins 2nd battalion kings shropshire light infantry. I have his death cert and medal card. The KSLI museum have no record of him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking at the earlier post (and assuming it is correct), then there appears to be two issues that may determine if he is eligible for CWGC commemoration.

Firstly, is there evidence that he was a serving soldier on the day he died. His medal card and the death certificate would usually have this information. If so, then he is entitled to commemoration, without further evidence being necessary.

Secondly, if he had been discharged from the army, is there evidence that his cause of death was related to his cause of discharge. I note the cause of discharge was wounds but the causes of death do not, on the face of it, appear to be specifically related. The exact wording of the death certificate will be crucial in this and must make mention that the causes were directly related to his wounds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CGM

I was unaware of this post. However, the research I have done has led me to Peter, who made the post and through him I have contacted arelative of the soldier I mentioned. I intend to visit her because she has a piece of embroidery that Victor made whilst in hospital. He died of an aortic aneurism and pneumonia. My grandmother never spoke of her marriage to my father, who was the son of her 2nd husband james phillips. I have carried out my investigation on behalf of my father, who is now ailing. I also want to find out about the movements of the 4th Welsh in Gallipoli, again on behalf of my father and my time is torn between the two.

Many thanks for all posts, they have lifted my morale.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the death certificate he is quoted as being a soldier of the 2nd battalion kings shropshire light infantry.

That should be sufficient evidence for CWGC. Serving soldiers are automatically entitled to commemoration,regardless of cause of death

I presume that you will want to submit his name to the Commission. The In From the Cold Project can advise how best to do this or can submit the case on your behalf if you wish. A link to our website is in my signature below.

A secondary matter will be to try and locate his grave. The Commission will not try to do this and would commemorate him on a memorial in the UK. The Project is very experienced in finding graves. May I ask what makes you think he may be buried in Pembrokeshire, rather than near to where he died in Bath. The army would have paid for a burial in Bath but the cost of transporting his body elsewhere and subsequent burial would have had to be met by the family. Assuming they did meet that cost, then the likely burial place wouild be whereever the famiy came from.

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John,

Thank you for this info. Here are the details so far:

My gran met victor when he was posed to pembroke, they married (she was 18, he was 26 approx) and she next saw him in 1919 at the war hospital in Bath. She was present at his death. I have made exhaustive enquiries regarding burial in Bath and a local expert has told me that he is very sure he was not buried in Bath. I have also contacted vicars and local historians in Penallt in Monmouthshire, which was his home village. Interestingly, he is mentioned on the Penalt memorial which is dated 1914 to 1919. His remaining relative has no idea where he is buried and she still lives in Penallt. My grandmother may have taken him to Pembroke but she came from a humble background so I find it hard to reconcile her covering the cost of this (she still lived at home). I have made some enquiries in Pembroke but turned nothing up. I think I may need to visit the local paper to search for an obituary (I am told there is no obituary in any of the Penalt papers). I have worked hard to find this man's grave, even though we are not related and I have no previous experience of doing this. I feel he must be buried somewhere and therefore it is now my responsibility to locate his grave and get him a correct headstone. How his relative in Penallt came upon his embroidery I do not know.

Any help you can offer will be most gratefully received.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The important thing, for now, is to get his case into the CWGC process, so we look forward to you making direct contact with IFCP, through our website.

As for locating the grave, forum poster Chris Harley is the Project's "Gravefinder General". He has considerable expertise in the field and has got a list of helpful contacts as long as your arm, so will be able to help. Almost certainly, the burial is going to be near where he died in hospital, or near where his wife.family lived. Generally, it doesnt make sense for it to be elsewhere. If you're going to have a shot at the local newspaper, then look in the "deaths" section for an announcement about his funeral, as well as looking for a fuller obituary.

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jim,

Did your Bath contact consult the register for Locksbrook Cemetery, which is the most likely for burials from Bath War Hospital?

John,

His Star Roll does not show a discharge date. It does record that he died of pneumonia on 2.2.19.

Phil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John , Phil,

I have paid for searches of Locksbrook and other main cemeteries; I have contacted numerous vicars etc in Bath. Finally, I was put in contact with a chap who has worked to collate all the death records for Bath - he was very helpful and expressed the opinion the Victor was not buried in Bath. I assume the only really viable alternative was for my grandmother to take him home to Pembroke.

Many thanks,

jim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jim

have checked the Pembroke area burial records which are on line. There is no record of his burial in the local authority cemeteries Pembroke area.

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris,

Thank you for that. This is why I nearly gave up the quest. He's not in Bath or Penalt or Llandogo (family home and birth place respectively) so Pembroke seemed most likely. Is it possible that his burial is not recorded in Pemboke? How could I investigate further?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your next stop will be Pembrokeshire archives to see if they hold anything. I cannot help you with the archives as they will not answer any of my e mails.

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have tried the archives but they don't have anything on him. I have contacted the local vicar who can find nothing. I have persisted in my enquiries but to no avail. I am determined to find him because he must be buried somewhere.

jim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Jim,

Some thoughts - which may or may not be helpful...

Have you managed to locate and check the 1919 Burial Registers for all the burial grounds he may have been interred in?

There must be a large number of possibilities.

Parish burial records for Church of England / Wales tend to be transferred to County Archives for safe storage, when full, although the current vicars should be informing you if this is the case for their 1919 burial registers.

As I am sure you are aware Wales has (had) many non-conformist Chapels. The location of their burial records can be problematic. Some were not methodically filled in; some have been lost over time; some are in private hands; some may be in local archives.....

___

Also, bear in mind that a closed burial ground could still take occasional burials after closure, if there was family grave space, so it's worth checking registers which are listed as closing before 1919.

___

Dyfed Family History Society has compiled a list of Pembrokeshire churches and chapels, with the records available.
Have you contacted this society for help?

___

Many local history or family history societies have collected Memorial Inscriptions from their local burial grounds.

There is, of course, always the possibility that he is buried in a burial ground which has no surviving burial register.

In that case, if a readable headstone exists, they might prove a useful contact for you.

Good luck.

CGM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

May I ask if you've decided to submit the case to the War Graves Commission yourself or if you're going to want the In From the Cold Project to act on your behalf? Either way, it's something to crack on with as determinations can take several months.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would like to do this myself but would appreciate some information on how to start the process.

It's really just a matter of assembling the documentary evidence and writing to CWGC asking them to consider his commemoration. Your letter needs to set out the specifics of the case, rather than letting the Commission assume what is there.

So, summarise the known facts of his service, death, etc. Then go on to present the evidence supporting the case.

So, for example, the key issue if that he was a serving soldier. You need to specifically quote the wording on the death certificate which says he was. I suggest you also need to draw their attention to the death at Bath War Hospital, something that supports that he was still serving. Obviously you need to include copies of the evidence which I think is just his medal index card and death certificate (I'd also access Ancestry to download a copy of the actual medal roll that the index card refers to).

The Commission will pass on the submission to the National Army Museum who will assess the evidence and undertake their own investigations if necessary. They are very thorough and err on the side of caution in coming to a decision. Perhaops goes without saying but decisions can take weeks/months/years ( I think we still have outstandings dating back to 2009).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jim,

I have always presented my own cases and developed a standard covering letter. You are welcome to a copy, if you want some ideas.

With that I enclosed a CD on which was, a copy of the letter, Death Cert, Service / Pension record (as mine were all post-discharge cases) and medal index card.

In your case, the Star Roll is an important piece of evidence.

Phil

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...