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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Edward Corringham "Mick" Mannock VC, DSO & Two Bars, MC & Bar


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Wish I'd have thought of it!
I was wondering if I could ask you all to sign the following petition to help Identify one of our most highly decorated fighter pilots, an Ace no less. Currently resting in a grave named only as "A British Airman Of the First World War". Please help make this petition viral by signing, sharing and generating as much interest as possible...

 

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/191594

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Unfortunately, only UK residents or British citizens can sign.  If it were otherwise you'd have my signature.

 

Gareth

 

 

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Hmmm ... tough call. How sure are you that this is Mannock? I really don't know enough to consider signing.

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quote : This petition requests investigation, exhumation and identification to prove/disprove the remains of "A British Airman Of The First World War" buried in Laventie Cemetery are in fact those of fighter Ace Edward Mick Mannock. 

 

I've added my signature and wish you all the luck with this

 

Michael

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2 hours ago, Steven Broomfield said:

Hmmm ... tough call. How sure are you that this is Mannock? I really don't know enough to consider signing.


Same here.

Craig

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The powers-that-be will never agree to exhumation, but there are notifications elsewhere on the forum today of dedication ceremonies for named headstones for men originally buried as unknowns who have been identified to the satisfaction of MoD/CWGC by means of documented evidence alone ... and that, I think, must also be the route pursued for Mannock. 

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I'm not a UK resident so cannot sign. However, I'd be cautious about exhumation as a means of proving/disproving anything.

 

The Air Historical Section and various other service branches engaged in protracted exchanges over a number of years.

 

What's certain is that they concluded on 14 Sept 1920 that "According to the Casualty Report on this officer he left the aerodrome at 5.10 am on the 26.7.18 on S.E.5a E.1295 with engine Viper W.D.33703, makers' number 2603. The duty was an offensive patrol, and he is stated to have been brought down between Colonne and Lestrem, and was seen going down in flames".

 

However, inter-service exchanges continued well into the 1920s. The critical piece of information upon which the Laventie located is fixed arises in the following letter of 10 February 1921, from the Imperial War Graves Commission to the Air Ministry:

 

"I am to inform you that there is no definite information in this office regarding the burial of the above mentioned officer, although a report has already been received from Berlin stating that he is believed to be buried 300 metres North West of Pierre au Beure on the road to Paucut or Pacant. Enquiries are still proceeding and the result will be forwarded to you as soon as possible". 

 

Many people have invented locations to the NW, NE, SW, W, N of various locations as a means of "proving" the location, but the records are just too inconclusive. The Paucut/Pacant was not the final word on the matter. Enquiries continued. 

 

On 26 April 1921 (in correspondence referenced as CCM/25/12833, and referring to previous exchanges on 31 January 1921) the Imperial War Graves Commission wrote "I am to express regret that it has not yet been possible to verify the location of the grave of the above mentioned officer, is quoted on the information received from Berlin. Any information which is received at a later date will be communicated to you without delay". 

 

I'm delighted to see that there's renewed interest in Mannock but suspect that a petition might just get bogged down into a battle over whether the VC headstone should continue to Glasnevin or whether it should be diverted to Northampton or Canterbury. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think graves should be left undisturbed except in extreme circumstances. 

It seems to me that the call to exhume this corpse is based simply on curiosity. That is understandable, but insufficient reason to disturb eternal rest. The process followed in John Kipling's grave identification (or not!) sets a proper precedent, despite the various criticisms, of making an unassailable case without disturbing a grave.

The justification of "honour of a known grave" is not sufficient reason, of itself, in my view, to disinter the remains of a warrior fallen in battle. 

 

Orde Wingate, for example, lies in Arlington because his remains could not be individually identified and distinguished from the American personnel who were the majority of dead in the crash which killed them. The remains could be identified now, by modern scientific techniques, but to do so would be unthinkable.

 

Which raises a point of interest: the exhumation of remains in Britain is generally unlawful unless certain licences are granted, by the Home Office and Church authorities. Which national law, English or French, has precedence in CWGC cemeteries, given that the land on which they stand was ceded to Britain in perpetuity?

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 I think the miserable old badger (that some believe he apparently became) would be far happier if he was just left in peace. I know I would.

(I used badger because the forum refuses to accept the most splendid swear word in the English language.)

Edited by David Filsell
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don't know if my age BUTI think he lived in Rushden Northamptonshire for a while????????????????

?

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36 minutes ago, BIFFO said:

don't know if my age BUTI think he lived in Rushden Northamptonshire for a while????????????????

?

 

BIFFO,

 

In 1911 he was living in Wellingborough, Northants.

 

Mike.

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I'm with Mr Drill on this. Why should Mannock be any different from anyone else - an 18 year-old killed on his first trip over the Lines is the same in the eyes of God as Mannock.

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Wherever Mannock's remains are, I for one hope they remain undisturbed.

 

A turbulent life, confusion over his death, the unseemly events surrounding the claiming and later disposal of his VC: I just keep thinking of the line from Hamlet, 'Rest, rest, perturbed spirit.'

 

David

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