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Remembered Today:

Favourite Gravestone Inscription


ianw
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He Died in Vain - I think on an A&SH headstone at Railway Crossing Cemetery close to the Scarpe and Arras - but memory could be playing tricks...

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I saw a grave in France last summer that read 'I lent my son and the Lord kept him'. I wish I'd taken a photograph, I can't even remember which cemetery it was in.

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One thing I have never been accused of is being religious, however the PI below holds a very special meaning for me. It was requested by my grandmother to be incribed on my uncle's headstone.

Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words shall not pass away Luke XXI 33

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Hi,

I'm not sure how I've not found this thread before.

My favourite although not quite the same as the rest is this

"BENEATH THIS STONE RESTS THE BODY

OF A BRITISH WARRIOR

UNKNOWN BY NAME OR RANK

BROUGHT FROM FRANCE TO LIE AMONG

THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS OF THE LAND

AND BURIED HERE ON ARMISTICE DAY

11 NOV: 1920, IN THE PRESENCE OF

HIS MAJESTY KING GEORGE V

HIS MINISTERS OF STATE

THE CHIEFS OF HIS FORCES

AND A VAST CONCOURSE OF THE NATION

THUS ARE COMMEMORATED THE MANY

MULTITUDES WHO DURING THE GREAT

WAR OF 1914 - 1918 GAVE THE MOST THAT

MAN CAN GIVE LIFE ITSELF

FOR GOD

FOR KING AND COUNTRY

FOR LOVED ONES HOME AND EMPIRE

FOR THE SACRED CAUSE OF JUSTICE AND

THE FREEDOM OF THE WORLD

THEY BURIED HIM AMONG THE KINGS BECAUSE HE

HAD DONE GOOD TOWARD GOD AND TOWARD

HIS HOUSE "

Regards

Cam.

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I don't have any particularly unique ones, but these are the ones I photographed in Belgium that moved me the most

"A HAPPY WARRIOR"

"ASLEEP WITH THE UNRETURNABLE BRAVE"

"SLEEP ON DEAR ONE TILL THE GLORIOUS DAWN"

"ALL SERVICE RANKS THE SAME WITH GOD"

"THO DEATH DIVIDES FOND MEMORY EVER CLING FROM HIS LOVING WIFE SON AND DAUGHTER"

"PEACE PERFECT PEACE"

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It really does seem such a shame that many people will never get to see these messages

If you have images, why not post them on the Find A Grave site - http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=lo& - it free to post on.

You can post military or civilian graves and can link familys together (Son in France, Brother in Belgium, Parents in Wiltshire)

You can also add photos of the men themselves and add a biography for them.

If we all added our men to it, it would be an amazing research tool,a bit like compiling CWGC, SDGW, War grave photos and De Ruvigny all into one

Grant

I have no connection with the site, apart from being a user and listing my local war dead on there

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I started a while ago posting photo's of some of my Police Officers on Find a Grave.

It would be, as Grant says a great research tool.

Regards

Cam.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Can I add a gravestone I saw at St Mary's Sholing Southampton a month back.

Although from WWII, it is both touching and rather clever.

The grave is of Sergeant Pilot P.V Jerome R.A.F who died on 26.1.43.

The inscription reads :-

" I HOPE TO SEE MY PILOT FACE TO FACE WHEN I HAVE CROSSED THE BAR"

(Tennyson wouldn't have anticipated the technology but would have understood the sentiment)

post-70-0-98698400-1338816070_thumb.jpg

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Just came across this one again whilst looking through the photos from my last trip - I remember it choked me up big time that day...

OUR DADDY

JUST WHEN HIS HOPES

WERE BRIGHTEST

The message was from Jean & Delia, the two young daughters of Pte Alfred Herbert Begbie who was KIA at St Quentin towards wars end - 31/8/1918, age 32.

He's buried in Hem Farm Military Cemetery.

On further checking I also found the following 'In Memoriam' notice:

The Argus, Mon 31 Aug 1925:

IN MEMORIAM

On Active Service

BEGBIE – In memory of Private Alfred Begbie (our daddy), 38th Battalion, killed St Quentin, 31st August 1918

We do not forget you, we loved you too dearly,

Lips need not speak when the hearts mourn sincerely,

Sad thoughts often dwell where they seldom are seen,

Not my way, but Thine, be done.

(Florrie, Jean, Delia, 5 Point Nepean road, Elsternwick)

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The stone of Lt Ernest Attwater MGC bears the inscription "Until we meet, from your little son Mervyn"

Attwater was killed in the 1918 Spring Offensive, defending the Somme crossings. His son had been born late the previous year, Attwater had some home leave around the time of the birth, but presumably had to go back to the front before Mervyn actually arrived.

Attwater's widow remarried, and had several more children with her new husband

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In Runcorn Cemetery there is a family gravestone with the inscription

'Our eldest son lies here, our youngest rests in France. For King and Country they paid the heaviest price.'

There is no name and no other inscription. Several families in Runcorn lost 2 sons, I might do a little research.

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OUR DADDY

JUST WHEN HIS HOPES

WERE BRIGHTEST

That is heart breaking.

Roger

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Really bugging me now! Please help.

Vague recall of headstone inscription in a cemetry with British and German side by side.

If memory serves a noted British poet/author's stone asks "are you the man I killed or am I the man you killed"

Not complete or verbatim but really thought provoking .

Ah well back to searching my books

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I always remember the inscription on the Grave of Willie Whitaker as featured in Richard Van Emden's book Boy Soldiers of WW1. He was a member of the 2nd Bradford Pals and died at Serre on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. His grave at Euston Dump has the great words:

A Boy in Age

A Man in Deeds

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  • 3 months later...

Some of the many heart-wrenching epitaphs I saw on my latest journey

All of the following being in Shrapnel Valley Cemetery, Gallipoli

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post-4363-0-37405800-1349413813_thumb.jp

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Saw this in Mesnil Martinsart a couple of years ago, on the grave of Pte P. Fawcett 333022 9th (GH) Bn Highland Light Infantry.

20th May 1918 age 22.

"Soldier Rest Thy Warfare O'er

Dream Of Battle-Fields No More"

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The "cheesiness" of some of these inscriptions is completely subverted and transmuted by the knowledge that they were utterly utterly felt and meant.

I don't think I ever visit a war cemetery without being brought close to tears by at least one such inscription.

You read a "Missed by little Elsie" or whatever and the sheer weight of human suffering and grief represented by the many surrounding headstones just engulfs you.

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My wife's Great Uncle

He Hath Done What He Could

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I have just made a trip to visit my great-Uncle's grave in Peronne, France. Pte Cyril J. Thompson, of the 48th Batallion AIF, died of wounds 21/9/1918, age 19.

His inscription reads:

In life, a friend.

In death, a hero.

I had no idea of these messages from loved ones, and it really touched me deeply to read this thread and understand more about it. Thanks to everyone for sharing, and may the memory of these brave boys live forever in our hearts and minds.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is a picture of the headstone of Sergeant William Ballington #99072 of the Royal Engineers, d 22/9/1917

Buried at Dozinghem Military Cemetery – which if you ever have the time to visit you should as it is one of the most out of the way peaceful places you will ever go to.

As one of “My Penny Men” this inscription struck me as I know he as married with two young children, one of which he probably never met.

“The Call Was Short

The Shock Severe

To Part With One

We Loved So Dear”

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have also just made a trip to a relative's grave in Lijssenthoek, William A. Woodburn (Glasgow), Private in the Highland Light Infantry, who died of wounds on October 17th, 1918, aged 19. His inscription reads "Sleep on dear Willie and take thy rest, we miss you most who loved you best". All these inscriptions bring a lump to the throat. So sad.

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  • 7 months later...

QUOTE (ianw @ May 21 2003, 01:00 PM)

The wonderful personal messages that one chances across in CWGC cemeteries never fail to touch the heart. Every visit throws up a number that stay in the mind.

My last trip produced the following that brought me up short and put a lump in my throat.

A LITTLE CROSS OF BRONZE

THE CROSS HE WON

BUT NEVER WORE

MY SON

I'll think of these words when I next handle a 1914 or 1915 Star.

At long last I have identified this headstone by writing to the CWGC,

Rank Private

Forenames GEORGE

Surname TURNBULL

Unit 1st Bn.

Regiment Gordon Highlanders

Service No. S/3305

Age 19

Date of Death 5 June 1915

Commemoration BEDFORD HOUSE CEMETERY

West-Vlaanderen

Belgium

Enclosure No.2 V. A. 19.

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