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

Remembered Today:

How far would a body be moved for burial?


charlie2
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have been researching with the help of his service record and the War Diaries of the 17th Div medical units the likely place my fathers cousin died of his wounds. I have come to the conclusion that it was probably at the Forward ADS marked on the map below. My question: is it reasonable to expect that his body would have been moved from the ADS the 4-500m to his final resting place at Level Crossing Cemetery Fampoux? No great distance walking the dog in todays world. At the time the front was quiet (August 1917). Obviously the actions on the front could have an influence on the place of a persons burial.

Your thoughts please

Charlie

post-7373-0-28867300-1440504224_thumb.jp

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because he had been found and attended to then it seems reasonable. The diary might give more details. If he had been found by his own battalion it might be possible that they would have buried him where he died or in the nearest shell crater.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quite commonplace for burials to be brought together in a quieter sector and interred in whichever cemetery was in use at the time. 400-500 metres was not out of the ordinary. It is still commonplace to have an area some distance from other troops designated for casualty collection.

The following makes fascinating and relatively concise reading. Section II deals with evacuation of casualties in detail...nothing I can see on burial though!

https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/RCDIG1069846/

Rgds

Tim D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is also possible that he was buried at the dressing station and stayed there to the end of the war or even a year or two later. He might then have been moved to his final resting place.

Old Tom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the body was moved post-war it will probably show up in the paperwork put online by the CWGC - which shows the previous burial site or where the body was found.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Might be a good idea to look at some War Diaries for mention of arrangements in OPORDs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks to you all for comments and suggestions and the link. Having re read the ADMS WD in conjunction with the Bn WD, I need to go back a step.

Charlie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From CWGC

The cemetery was begun in June 1917 when a numbers of graves of April and May were brought in from the battlefield It was used until March 1918 and two further burials were made in October 1918. In addition to the 9th and 51st Division, the 15th (Scottish) Division fought in the area, and over half the graves are those of soldiers of Scottish regiments.

If he died in July it seems that he was probably buried at the cemetery at the time of his death.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Correct.....and morale.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's an example on the dead for a simple Relief OPORD from 9th Lancashire Fusiliers War Diary.

post-1563-0-00958700-1440590139_thumb.jp

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Correct.....and morale.

Indeed. Also given the deadlock warfare I'd expect even mobile dressing stations would experience prolonged periods of time in the same location, filling up (horrible expression - I know) close-by areas over time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks I'll have to get the rest of the Bn WD and see if anything similar is attached.

Charlie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When 51st HD were in the area in April 1917 the ADS was at St Nicholas, Arras. The 47th FA of 15th Scottish Div. took over two ADS on 6 September 1917 at Fampoux and Feuchy. Their locations were at H23a8.6 and H21c7.9 respectively. The former evacuated via motor launch and the latter via railway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, would suggest that the cemetery was sited so, because of the area being very marshy ground and lagoons in abundance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been researching with the help of his service record and the War Diaries of the 17th Div medical units the likely place my fathers cousin died of his wounds. I have come to the conclusion that it was probably at the Forward ADS marked on the map below. My question: is it reasonable to expect that his body would have been moved from the ADS the 4-500m to his final resting place at Level Crossing Cemetery Fampoux? No great distance walking the dog in todays world. At the time the front was quiet (August 1917). Obviously the actions on the front could have an influence on the place of a persons burial.

Your thoughts please

Charlie

Here are two map fragments of disinterments and original cemeteries.

Howard

Map 1 showing cemeteries annotated by Sir Herbert Ellissen, one of the officers responsible for concentration cemeteries.

Map 2. The blue pencil shows the number of bodies found in each 500 yard square. From collection of Lt. Col. A.A. Messer.

post-991-0-15732800-1440759146_thumb.jpg

post-991-0-44134600-1440759156_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Howard's map shows the cemetery at the same location as the ADS map reference for Fampoux. Higher ground close to and at the railway line. It was dangerous work conducting burials at ADS so they often had to be buried quickly and not far away at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Seaforths and Howard thats great information. I don't suppose it is recorded which FA 47 FA took over the ADS's from.

Charlie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not on the computer at the moment but I don't believe it gave that information. I think it just said 4th Division - does that sound about right? So you would then be looking at one of the three FA of that Division being there previously. I will re-check later this evening but if I don't post differently, you can take as this post being correct.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Seaforths and Howard thats great information. I don't suppose it is recorded which FA 47 FA took over the ADS's from.

Charlie

Okay, I have it. 47th FA, 15th Scottish Division took over the two ADS at Fampoux and Feuchy from 10th FA, 4th Division on 6th September, having sent an advance party down on the 5th September.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks Seaforths, the ADS Fampoux Lock at H23.a.8.6., was for reasons unknown, manned by RAMC personnel of the 4th Division even though at the time it was within the 17th Division area. Level Crossing Cemetery is at H23.b.7.5, so not at the same place as the ADS.

This is the extract from the 12th Bn Manchester WD for 24.08.1917:

Battalion in Brigade reserve. Relieved by 7th Yorkshire Regt and Battalion moved into Divisional reserve at GRIMSBY camp, St NICOLAS. A, B and D Coys after relief detailed to dig CORFU communications trench at night. After completion of work, party was conveyed by lorries to Camp. A shell struck one of our limbers during the relief wounding 2 horses, mortally wounding the driver and wounding 1 OR. Casualties 3 OR wounded

There is the only one fatality listed in the WD between 19 Aug and 31 Aug. As Charley Bamforth died of wounds at 52FA on the 25th of a penetrating wound to the chest and is buried at Level Crossing Cemetery, I am pretty certain the entry refers to him. I have identified two RAPs located on the railway line which were located at H24.a.4.7. and H18.d.3.2. I can never be certain but I think he must have died at one of these RAPs. If he had died at the ADS (H23.a.8.6.) further down the line of evacuation, I would imagine his death would have been reported by the OC 10FA and not the OC 52FA. Death at one of these RAPs would also make sense as his body would then be transported further down the railway line to Level Crossing Cemetery.

Thanks for all your help

Charlie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok let me do some more digging in the diaries. Crump trench was one of the RAPs mentioned as being visited by the 47th FA. That RAP looks to be the one in H24.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok let me do some more digging in the diaries. Crump trench was one of the RAPs mentioned as being visited by the 47th FA. That RAP looks to be the one in H24.

Thank you, H24 is the three arched railway bridge over the river and H18 is the single arched bridge near Crash and Crump Trenches

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great stuff. More clues to check out. I have the transcript of an account of the war from an RAMC man 15th Div. but at that time, he was MO with their artillery. However, he liked to go walk about with his camera. I was reading through it quickly yesterday looking for information and sure he mentions the railway embankment and arches. Unfortunately, the maps and it seems, the many photographs he wanted kept with his account, have gone astray over the years and not with his account any longer.

When I can get onto a computer will check WD and his diary. Did you go up a level or two in the diaries to Bde. and Div. level? Sometimes there is an Op Order somewhere in those that states which cemeteries were to be used.

Edit: might be another late one - getting onto the PC that is

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...