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Question about Arthur Bellis


Paul Bellis
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I don't know where this would fit, so i've posted here with the hope that somebody on here could advise me.

My Uncle Arthur Bellis No 44020 died on April 12th 1918 and from searching the CWGC i found him to be commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium, which i think is for soldiers whose bodies weren't located? Since this time i have located a gravestone for him in St Luke's Church, Farnworth, Widnes, Cheshire which suggests to me that his body was in fact located here.

My question is, would he have been mentioned on the gravestone as a remembrance, or would his remains definitely been interred into this grave?

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I would think it is an in memoriam. Maybe check with cemetery records office to see if all are listed buried in that plot? Seems a lot.

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Its very very highly unlikely Arthur is buried in the plot with his grandparents

He will have been killed in action during the German spring offensive in France

his body lost to the battlefield

Commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial

His death listed on the overseas death indexes

A simple commemorative memorial inscription inscribed on his grandparents headstone

"In remembrance"

regards Ray

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Soldiers effects has 'On or before 12/4/18 Presumed dead'.

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Thank you all for the speedy replies. I've discovered that up to four people can be buried in a grave, so i have written to St Luke's Church to see if they hold the burial records, because as far as i'm aware you can't inscribe upon a headstone unless there was an actual internment. Could it be possible his body was discovered/ identified at a later date and he was returned home to the family? I just want to be absolutely sure before i plan a trip to Belgium in 2018.

Thanking you all again

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Q because as far as i'm aware you can't inscribe upon a headstone unless there was an actual internment.

I don't think you are right. I have seen private [non military] headstones which include a soldiers death.

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It isn't particularly uncommon to come across inscriptions remembering casualties who are not buried in the grave. (Sometimes buried elsewhere in the UK).

There is a thread somewhere which was collecting WW1 memorial inscriptions on family gravestones which remembered those who are buried abroad or commemorated on the Memorials To Those With An Unknown Grave abroad.

CGM

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Thanks again. I guess if i can access the cemetery burial records then i'll have a definitive answer. The gravestone unfortunately doesn't clarify whether this carving is a memorial addition or whether there was an actual burial of remains. Hopefully i'll have an answer soon.

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my grandfather's cousins are both commemorated on a family headstone in Yorkshire despite lying in Gallipoli and France respectively. I'd go as far as saying it's common, rather than not uncommon.

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Soldiers effects has 'On or before 12/4/18 Presumed dead'.

As Johnboy has quoted above

Arthur is presumed dead On or before 12/4/18 (Presumed to have been killed in action on or before 12th April 1918)

(He will have been reported as missing on the next roll call)

As no body was ever recovered, it is improbable and unlikely that he is interred in his grandparents grave

Generally speaking no body's were returned home for burial except for a very few exceptions

Pauls Question

Could it be possible his body was discovered/ identified at a later date and he was returned home to the family?

Answer

No

regards Ray

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have come across a similar situation locally.

A man who's buried in Redan Ridge number 1 cemetery has a grave marker (memorial) in a church yard in Swindon (Nr Dudley) His family were quite chuffed when we were able to send them photographs of the Redan Ridge grave with a poppy marker left in respect.

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