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CWGC confirms that John Kipling is buried in the correct grave


Ronan McGreevy
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Hi all,

I have been working on this story for quite a long time. I would be grateful for any comments and observations. This is the first time I recall that the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has given detailed reasons for standing up its decision in 1992.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/grave-of-rudyard-kipling-s-son-correctly-named-says-authority-1.2366673

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Thank you for posting the link. Interesting......It still sounds rather speculative on the part of the CWGC that Kipling had received his promotion before being killed.

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I'll be interested to read the Holt's rebuttal if they issue one.

I still am of the opinion the CWGC would not accept the evidence they did for someone with less of a profile than John Kipling, especially the unsupported speculation on the rank.

Sam

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Yes very speculative.

In these situations I'm reminded of that criminal

law term beyond a reasonable doubt.

Based upon the evidence which was submitted

this case should never have been excepted.

Mick

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I know nothing of this, apart from the newspaper report that Ronan links to.

It seems to me that CWGC is relying on two speculations and regarding them as fact. These are the issues of the promotion and the mix up between regiments.

However, the issue of the map reference is, presumably, specific and factual. The location of the body was either where Kipling would have been killed or it is 5km away as alleged by the Holts. Both cannot be right. Now, the question is - is the map location in the public domain so folk can form an opinion?

John

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This from his CWGC concentration record:

post-6536-0-54563000-1443260756_thumb.jp

I'm not very good at trench map co-ordinates but I think 36c.g.25.c.6.8 is between Mazingarbe and the railway line/yard just to the east.

There are several others at the same or nearby original burial locations including an unknown Irish Guard and two men from the Civil Service Rifles, plus one Royal Irish Regiment man killed in June 1916.

http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/3078953/KIPLING,%20JOHN

According to the War Diary Kipling was with a party that went up from Chalk Pit to capture Puits 14 Bis at the edge of Bois Hugo.

War Diary on Ancestry:

http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/60779/43112_1220_0-00016/610578?backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.co.uk%2f%2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3findiv%3d1%26db%3dUKWarDiariesWWI%26gss%3dangs-d%26new%3d1%26rank%3d1%26msT%3d1%26MS_AdvCB%3d1%26msypn__ftp_x%3d1%26gskw%3d1220%26gskw_x%3d1%26_82100400__ftp_x%3d1%26MSAV%3d-1%26uidh%3d5k3%26pcat%3d39%26fh%3d13%26h%3d610578%26recoff%3d%26ml_rpos%3d14&ssrc=&backlabel=ReturnRecord#?imageId=43112_1220_0-00019

http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/60779/43112_1220_0-00016/610578?backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.co.uk%2f%2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3findiv%3d1%26db%3dUKWarDiariesWWI%26gss%3dangs-d%26new%3d1%26rank%3d1%26msT%3d1%26MS_AdvCB%3d1%26msypn__ftp_x%3d1%26gskw%3d1220%26gskw_x%3d1%26_82100400__ftp_x%3d1%26MSAV%3d-1%26uidh%3d5k3%26pcat%3d39%26fh%3d13%26h%3d610578%26recoff%3d%26ml_rpos%3d14&ssrc=&backlabel=ReturnRecord#?imageId=43112_1220_0-00020

I make that about 5km.

Steve.

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This from his CWGC concentration record:

attachicon.gifKipling Concentration record.jpg

I'm not very good at trench map co-ordinates but I think 36c.g.25.c.6.8 is between Mazingarbe and the railway line/yard just to the east.

There are several others at the same or nearby original burial locations including an unknown Irish Guard and two men from the Civil Service Rifles, plus one Royal Irish Regiment man killed in June 1916.

http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/3078953/KIPLING,%20JOHN

According to the War Diary Kipling was with a party that went up from Chalk Pit to capture Puits 14 Bis at the edge of Bois Hugo.

War Diary on Ancestry:

http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/60779/43112_1220_0-00016/610578?backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.co.uk%2f%2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3findiv%3d1%26db%3dUKWarDiariesWWI%26gss%3dangs-d%26new%3d1%26rank%3d1%26msT%3d1%26MS_AdvCB%3d1%26msypn__ftp_x%3d1%26gskw%3d1220%26gskw_x%3d1%26_82100400__ftp_x%3d1%26MSAV%3d-1%26uidh%3d5k3%26pcat%3d39%26fh%3d13%26h%3d610578%26recoff%3d%26ml_rpos%3d14&ssrc=&backlabel=ReturnRecord#?imageId=43112_1220_0-00019

http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/60779/43112_1220_0-00016/610578?backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.co.uk%2f%2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3findiv%3d1%26db%3dUKWarDiariesWWI%26gss%3dangs-d%26new%3d1%26rank%3d1%26msT%3d1%26MS_AdvCB%3d1%26msypn__ftp_x%3d1%26gskw%3d1220%26gskw_x%3d1%26_82100400__ftp_x%3d1%26MSAV%3d-1%26uidh%3d5k3%26pcat%3d39%26fh%3d13%26h%3d610578%26recoff%3d%26ml_rpos%3d14&ssrc=&backlabel=ReturnRecord#?imageId=43112_1220_0-00020

I make that about 5km.

Steve.

So the dispute over the distance seems correct then ?

I must admit that I've never looked in to the Kipling situation but 5km would certainly be enough of a distance discrepancy to cast immediate doubt in my mind (and would in most cases have the CWGC asking for further evidence).

Craig

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Incidentally the War Diarist refers to Kipling on the 27th as a Second Lieutenant - three times. Twice in the narrative of the 27th and in the list of Second Lieutenant casualties at the end of the month.

Steve.

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If the map reference used by the authors to dispute the location was that from the grave concentration record held by the CWGC than what evidence have the CWGC also got to say that this is wrong and that the correct reference placed the body in the right location to be Kipling. They must have something showing a different map reference ?.

Craig

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As was Walter Francis Joseph Clifford, the other 2nd Irish Guards officer killed on the 27th.

Steve.

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As was Walter Francis Joseph Clifford, the other 2nd Irish Guards officer killed on the 27th.

Steve.

Presumably he was not identified either ? . But presumably he was also killed in the same area as Kipling, 5km north of the body they found ?

Craig

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This from his CWGC concentration record:

attachicon.gifKipling Concentration record.jpg

I'm not very good at trench map co-ordinates but I think 36c.g.25.c.6.8 is between Mazingarbe and the railway line/yard just to the east.

Steve.

Me neither, but I rather like this useful little tool:

rdf.muninn-project.org/TrenchCoordinates.html

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To be honest this is not an issue that I have followed but presumably a DNA test would be conclusive if such a thing was allowed? Though I suppose that would possibly apply in lots of other non 'celebrity' cases?

Bernard

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To be honest this is not an issue that I have followed but presumably a DNA test would be conclusive if such a thing was allowed? Though I suppose that would possibly apply in lots of other non 'celebrity' cases?

Bernard

There may well be a feeling that a DNA test could open a can of worms if it was to prove the CWGC was wrong. It would certainly, as you say, raise a lot of issues regarding other cases.

Personally I don't see why DNA cannot be used in contentious cases.

It could be helpful in cases like this is the CWGC released the full information they used in their decision making process.

Craig

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There may well be a feeling that a DNA test could open a can of worms if it was to prove the CWGC was wrong. It would certainly, as you say, raise a lot of issues regarding other cases.

Personally I don't see why DNA cannot be used in contentious cases.

It could be helpful in cases like this is the CWGC released the full information they used in their decision making process.

Craig

My bold.

Precisely. It smacks of unbelievable arrogance if they are just going to say that they have made this decision based on their evidence and everyone just has to accept it. That's not how things are done, and it should be subject to peer review if it's to be proven beyond all doubt.

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My bold.

Precisely. It smacks of unbelievable arrogance if they are just going to say that they have made this decision based on their evidence and everyone just has to accept it. That's not how things are done, and it should be subject to peer review if it's to be proven beyond all doubt.

I agree - decisions should be subject to publication of the evidence. As I said earlier, they state the grid reference used by the authors (and shown on their own grave records) is wrong but they haven't stated why this is wrong and what evidence they have to contradict their own records.

The CWGC is apparently not subject to the FOI but do they voluntarily release their evidence on request ? (I presume not ?).

Craig

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