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Remembered Today:

Harry Farr. Shot at Dawn, Carnoy,18th Oct 1916


20th Division
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Following on from a thread I started several years ago about exactly where in CARNOY Harry Farr was executed? and where he is buried? I have an interest in this subject as my daughter-in-law is his Great Niece.We would dearly love to go back there to pay our last respects if we could locate the actual site etc.

It is known that Harry Farr was shot at dawn in CARNOY. I have visited Carnoy many times whilst taking family members ( including my daughter-in law),following in the footsteps of my Grandfather who, coincidentally,was based at Carnoy with 20th division ammunition column during the time of Harry Farr's execution in October 1916. The divisional dump was alongside the railway sidings in the area of what is now the GWGC's cemetery in Carnoy. We visited this cemetery on the last trip where there are about a dozen graves of "unknown soldiers" and wondered whether one of these could belong to Harry Farr?? We will never know of course. Unless someone in the Forum has any other knowledge about this? I would be keen to know HOW I may be able to find the answer to my questions?-i.e. Where in CARNOY was Harry Farr shot? Carnoy, as some of you will appreciate, is quite a spread-out village. With this knowledge it may then be possible to locate a temporary or permanent burial place(if this is not known by someone already of course?). It also occurred to me that the Medical Officer, who would have been present at the execution, may have left a record of the exact place in his units war diary? or personal records? Any ideas on how I can pursue this? Or any other clues that I can follow up on? Hoping so. THANKS. Dave.

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I am not an expert in this field, but my understanding, for what it is worth, is that executed soldiers received a normal burial also that neither their headstone or cemetery record would show that he was executed. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission should be able to provide the place of his grave.

Old Tom

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FARR, HARRY T.

Rank:Private Service No: 8871

Date of Death: 18/10/1916

Regiment/Service: West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own) 1st Bn.

Panel Reference: Pier and Face 2 A 2 C and 2 D.

Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Additional Information: Husband of Gertrude Lydia Farr, of 20, Church Road, Hampstead, London.

Kath.

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In theory Farr should have been given a burial and had a headstone. Many of the men recorded on the memorials to the missing have no known grave because their bodies were blown to pieces, lay in no mans land until anything that that could identified them decayed, or fell in territory occupied by an enemy who had other priorities. The authorities already had Farr's body and could bury him in a known location.

It may be that Farr's grave may have been lost in later fighting in 1918, but he is not the only man executed in WW1 who does not have a known grave. I wonder if he was indeed given a proper burial? Civilian criminals executed for capital crimes were buried separately. Was it possible for the civilians in uniform of the BEF to have not followed the niceties of formal procedure.

Try writing to the CWGC to find out the history of Farr's records. Someone at the time of his burial should have recorded the location of his burial.

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Any ideas on how I can pursue this? Or any other clues that I can follow up on?

The court martial file at the National Achives would be an obvious starting point.

That said, I suspect there will be nothing to suggest that his burial will have been other than so many others. Location inadequately recorded and subsequently lost or the grave destroyed n later fighting. By the by, my great uncle is buried at Hannescamp and is commemorated by a "known to be buried here" stone. There's nothing to suggest he might be one of the unknown burials, is buried elsewhere under the grass or originally had a marked grave which was subsequently destroyed.

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Tom, Kath, Sheldrake and John---thanks for your replies and advice. I agree that SAD soldiers did have the same burial rites as all other soldiers and as Sheldrake suggested, the reason why Harry Farr does not have a marked grave is because his original grave was probably disturbed by later shelling and in the chaos of war proper re-buried and records of this were not recorded. We have researched all usual records of Farr and have visited Thiepval memorial to pay respects and seen his name, rightly, amongst his comrades in the same regiment --all equal in death. We have also visited the cemetery at Carnoy and placed a wreath to his memory there-----he could just be one of those dozen or so marked "known unto God". John's suggestion of applying for the courts martial papers COULD reveal the attending medical officer---and I could then go to the diaries of that unit to see if a more exact location other than just "CARNOY" is stated. I'll keep you posted if I come up with any thing but all suggestions on how I can locate the exact place of execution in Carnoy are appreciated. Happy new year to you all---thanks. Dave

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As a post script I would like to add that I believe the ACTUAL burial place of Pt. Harry Farr will probably never be accurately located. If, however, I can locate the ACTUAL spot where this man was executed, it will be to this place that future family visits will be made to "pay our last respects"--if any experts out there can help with this it will be gratefully appreciated. Thanks. Dave.

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From WO71/509 8871 Pte Harry Farr 1st Bn WYR Shoot under AA Section 4.(7) Misbehaving before the enemy in such a manner as to show cowardice.

post-7206-0-69847300-1451907883_thumb.jp

post-7206-0-11428500-1451907894_thumb.jp

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Thanks to both The Mons Star and John Hartley for this. I was hoping the death certificate might give a bit more info---but thanks for this copy MONS STAR ( it will go into the family folder)----I now have the Name and Btn of the certifying M.O. who was present which I will follow up. John H---your suggestion sounds plausible and possible the 6th DAC supplied the firing part as suggested------I will locate their whereabouts in Carnoy on 18th Oct ---and the place of execution could well have been near that spot. We ARE getting closer!---It would be good to locate a PLACE. I'll check if the 6th DAC's war diary is reasonably easily available or on-line. Thanks again. Dave.

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