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Remembered Today:

Belgian soldier died in Scotland


Aurel Sercu
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A question on behalf of an acquaintance, Roger, from Roesbrugge, a village north of Poperinge.

He is doing research on Roesbrugge soldiers,

One of them is Octaaf Decra. His name is on the commemoration plaque in Roesbrugge (see the bottom line on the photo), saying that he died in "Dunerivie". From another (handwritten) source we know that this first -E- should have been a -C-. (It looks like later the centre of the E was not blackened, maybe in order to make it look like a C ?) And we also know, from the handwritten source, that this is a place in Scotland. Probably Duncrievie.

I think there is no doubt about that. But the question is : what was that Belgian soldier doing in a tiny (?) village like Duncrievie ? Was he being treated there for wounds ? This Forum doesn't mention that village anywhere. Was this a place where wounded (Belgian or other) soldiers recovered or so ?

Aurel

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Hello Aurel

I found this in a Perthshire paper from September 1915. It may be a piece of the jigsaw

And the second article from 1922.......

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Aurel

The Statutory Records via Scotland's People confirms that Octave de Cra was a sergeant in the 12th. Regiment of the Line, Belgian Army age 31 years old. He died as a result of an accidental gunshot wound on 22 December 1914 in a wood near Duncrievie House, occupied by the Reverend Dr. Adamson. Sgt. de Cra's parents were Arthur de Cra and his wife, Stephanie (maiden surname Christiaen).

Douglas

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One outstanding question - the name of the chap who fired the fatal shot.

I can't quite make it out in this article.

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Fascinating tale, will pop up and have a look when I next visit Poperinghe. Thanks to everyone who researched the story.

Wilhelm

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Stephen, Douglas, CGM,

When a new member joins the Forum, for a specific question, I often read that when he discovers the postings after his initial question, how amazed he is, and grateful to the helpful older members. And then I think : "You are amazed ? Well, isn't that "normal" ? For that is the way this Forum works. You ask a question, and you get your answers ... As simple as that......."

After all these years I have come to realize that hardly one question (also of mine) remains unanswered.

But I must say that when I posted my topic yesterday on the Belgian soldier who had died in Scotland, I thought : "Well, at least I have tried ... And if no one can help with this - which will turn out to be very likely - then life goes on ..." But to my surprise, already after half an hour the problem was solved ! And in a really stunning way ! Who had thought that reality was not that Soldier Octaaf Decra had not died of his wounds incurred in Belgium, but in a hunting accident ! And ... with paper clippings explaining the tragic circumstances of his death !

Thanks again, especially Stephen ! And I have already contacted my friend Roger in Roesbrugge. He is so pleased with the result. This Forum is indeed amazing !

Aurel

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Happy to help Aurel, and to repay some of the many many favours you have done for me over the years

:)

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Perhaps it's best that a veil is drawn over the unfortunate Joseph's surname - but I suppose there would have been a coroner's report on the death.

No Coroner in Scotland. There would probably be the brief result of the procurator fiscal's enquiry which would be a kind of appendix to the death record (In scotlandspeople there would be a link to it.). It would be brief, usually speaking only to the time, place and cause of death.

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An incredible story. Just incredible.

Tom.

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Thanks all, again.

There are things that make a man's day. This topic is one of them. For my and Roger's day.

Stephen and Mick and CGM, I'll send you a PM.

Aurel

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  • 1 year later...

I know this is an old thread, but I found it while googling Octaaf (Octave) De Cra.

 

i live in Perth and am currently involved in a project researching local men.  I found, through my research, that there was a solitary Belgian soldier buried here in our cemetery.

 

as I have a love of all thing Belgian, I wanted to find out more about him and I am grateful to Stephen and others for filling in some of the blanks.

 

i see there are 3 Black Watch solders with him, and I will try and find out why they are in the same grave, especially as they died at different times. It's also unusual that they don't have the white military headstone.

 

Anyway, here's a picture of his headstone that I took today

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There are also two Belgian soldiers buried in St Kentigerns RC cemetery in Glasgow ,we found their grave stones last week.

                                                                          Mary.

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Auntie Lola,

 

You wrote : " as I have a love of all thing Belgian" ... Let me calculate ... You wrote that 21 hours ago. That must have been yesterday 10 p.m. (my time here).

So that was approx. an hour after our Belgian (Flemish) rider Greg Van Avermaet triumphantly raised his arms in Rio de Janeiro ?

So you should gave written : "And now that Greg Van Avermaet triumphanty etc .... I even have more love for all things Belgian !"  :-)

 

Serious now. Thanks ! And right after this I will forward the photo and the additional information to Roger (the acquaintance from Roesbrugge, from where Octave De Cra was).

 

Mary,

 

Who are the two Belgian soldiers ? (I am only asking because I may give their names (= additional information) to In Flanders Fields Research Centre, for their "Namenlijst".

 

Aurel

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They are L F G BARRE 29/10/1914

                A P G BOUNDON 22/1/1915.   They are both on the CWGC SITE, For Glasgow St Kentigerns.If you go on to the Scottish War Graves site you will see the stone for them.

                                                                          Mary.

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Could you send the photo and details to:

 

Patrick DeWolf at: ABL1914@pandora.be

 

He is revising the inventory of Belgian war graves, and I am sure would like the details of this rather obscure grave.

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