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Remembered Today:

Favourite Gravestone Inscription


ianw
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It is often the most simple inscriptions that are the most poignant, like that of,

2Lt. James D Hodding RF 10.7.1916 - Heilly Station Cemetery

"Dear, Happy Boy."

What makes it even more moving is the James was only 17 when he died! (Gazetted May 1915).

How many other 17-year old officers were killed (were there any younger?)? In addition to Hodding, I know of three. Can anyone suggest more, please?

They are :-

Lt. E L F Platts RMLI 1st. RM Bn. RND

2Lt. L E Studley East Yorks

2Lt. M V Beningfield 1st. Worcs

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"I Leave Myself In God's Hands

- Extract from his diary

written 19.9.19"

Lieutenant J. Lunan, Gordon Highlanders, 20th September 1917, aged 24.

Poelkapelle Britsih Cemetery

And from Tyne Cot:

"To What Purpose Is This Waste?"

And on a fellow Robertson's grave at Lonsdale Cemetery on the Somme:

"A not entirely worthless sacrifice"

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This is not a gravestone inscription - but an In Memoriam - inserted in the local paper in Alexander's home town:

He sleeps not in his native land,

But under foreign skies,

Far from those who loved him,

In a hero's grave he lies.

He did not shun his country's call,

But honestly gave his life - his all,

He died, the helpless to defend,

An Australian soldier's noble end.

In sad and loving memory of our dear cousin, Pte A.L. Pryse, who died of wounds in France in July, 1916.

Pte Alexander Leslie PRYSE, 481, 57th Bn, AIF - died 15/7/16 at Pozieres and is buried at the Rue-du-Bois Military Cemetery, Fleurbaix, France. Perhaps his gravestone says something similar.

Frev

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In the cemetry next to Ploegsteert memorial.

I think it was an Australian aged 19

"A Mothers heart is buried here with her only son"

That might not be the exact wording but you will get the gist.

Brought a lump to my throat anyway

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Drek,

Can you name 2 & 3 for me, please?

Bob

Bob,

I cannot find my photo for the second quotation, but the third is from the grave of:

14273 L/Cpl G.Robertson

HLI

1st July, 1916, aged 36

He is buried in the Lonsdale Cemetery on the Somme.

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As we got to the grave we saw that the inscription was the school motto 'Sanctas Clavis Fores Aperit' which we have never seen anywhere before or since.

This is a peculiarly Hawick motto and is on the grave of one of her most famous sons at Tincourt:

It won't have much meaning to anyone else, but to the residents of Hawick it has a a striking resonance.

post-19-1107868264.jpg

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Also not on his headstone at Lone Pine Gallipoli but in dedicating a book to Lt Frank Coffee AIF,

He sleeps in a hero's grave

Beneath a mound of earth

Far from the land of the wattle

The land that gave him birth

Frank had attended the University of Kentucky at age 15 in 1903 and was the first former student to die in WW1. His family was extremely wealthy. I wrote a Stand To! article about him.

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Frev, I shall be in Rue-du-Bois sometime this year & I'll take a look,

Bob

Hi Bob,

That would be great (but only if you've got the time!) - his (Alex PRYSE) Grave reference is I.F.4.

Right nearby in G.Ref. I.F.2. is one of his mates Francis Charles SHEPHERD, Pte 2872, (from the same town in Vic, Aust) - same battalion - 57th Bn - KIA same day 15/7/16.

His parents 'In Memorium' reads:

"One who never turned his back, but marched breast forward,

Never doubted clouds would break;

Never dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong would triumph;

Held, we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better,

Sleep - to wake."

Some time, some day, our eyes shall see

The dear face we hold in memory,

And Christ shall link the broken chain

Still closer when we meet again.

[are these known verses?]

Cheers, Frev.

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In the cemetry next to Ploegsteert memorial.

I think it was an Australian aged 19

"A Mothers heart is buried here with her only son"

That might not be the exact wording but you will get the gist.

Brought a lump to my throat anyway

In John Laffin's "We Will Remember Them" - he says that Ploegsteert Wood Military Cemetery is part of the Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing - and that there is one Australian buried there.

According to the AWM Roll of Honour - that soldier is Frederick Stanley BATTAMS, Pte 2873, 50th Bn, KIA 18/7/17 Messines, age 23 - from Broken Hill, NSW (Aust).

If the epitaph did belong to an Australian, then it would be Fredericks.

The (widowed) Mother of one of the soldiers I'm researching died 2 months after he did. Her obituary states that she died from the shock caused by the news of his death.

Her son, Pte George RIORDAN, 5464, 6th Bn AIF - doesn't have a headstone - he was hit by a shell on 5/6/18 at Strazeele whilst returning to Coy HQ carrying a message. He's commemmorated on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial. And his sister entered the following words in their local paper:

He was smiling on the troopship

As he waved his last farewell

Going to fight for King and Country

Our George like a hero fell

Though only a boy, he did a man's part.

But as you can see - he broke his mother's heart. Frev.

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Frev,

No problem I'll take his 'mate,' as well.

This poem is often found on inscriptions, different parts being used,

The quotation comes from a poem in “Asolando”, Browning's last collection of poems published in 1899, the day that he died,

Epilogue

At the midnight in the silence of the sleep-time

When you set your fancies free,

Will they pass to where-by death, fools think, imprisoned-

Low he lies who once so loved you, whom you loved so,

- Pity me?

Oh to love so, be so loved, yet so mistaken!

What had I on earth to do

With the slothful, with the mawkish, the unmanly?

Like the aimless, helpless, hopeless, did I drivel

- Being -who?

One who never turned his back but marched breast forward,

Never doubted clouds would break,

Never dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong would triumph,

Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better,

Sleep to wake.

No, at noonday in the bustle of man's work-time

Greet the unseen with a cheer!

Bid him forward, breast and back as either should be,

"Strive and thrive!" cry "Speed, - Fight on, fare ever

There as here!"

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Frev,

I think the cemetery referred to must be either Berks Cemetery Extn or Hyde Park Corner (Royal Berks) Cem which are next to & opposite the Memorial, respectively.

A poignant story, whatever though, & well-worth the tellin,

Bob

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Another fine Aussie one!

Rue-du-Bois Military Cemetery. 2Lt. J M d’Alpuget 54th. AIF 17.7.16.

RIP. His sleeping eyes hold visions of Australian skies.

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  • 2 months later...

Pte J.A PRYKE, no. 6088, 21st Bn. Australian Inf. 4/10/17 aged 24.

BUTTES NEW BRITISH CEMETERY, POLYGON WOOD, XXVIII. A. 18.

post-172-1114593477.jpg

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Pte. V.K MERCHANT, no.444652, 58th Bn., Canadian Inf. 6/6/16 aged 16 years

RAILWAY DUGOUTS BURIAL GROUND, Ypres, VI. D. 41.

"THE ONLY CHILD OF AGED PARENTS"

post-172-1114594114.jpg

post-172-1114594124.jpg

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Private Frederick Charles Nutkins, 6th Battn. Machine Gun Corps, Infantry,

Belgian Battery Corner Cemetery.

A brave boy

and a good son.

Sadly missed,

remembered by all.

Squirrel

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  • 4 weeks later...

WW1 Cemeteries.com

Quite simply the most moving I have ever seen:

"Daddy, only those that have lost can ever truly know"

heartbreaking, this inscription is in Tyne Cot Cemetery

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WW1 Cemeteries.com

Quite simply the most moving I have ever seen:

"Daddy, only those that have lost can ever truly know"

heartbreaking, this inscription is in Tyne Cot Cemetery

I can't find the grave on the website.

Have you any idea who's grave the inscription is on?

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WW1 Cemeteries.com

Derek,

it is one of those strange things, after seeing the inscription and despite standing by the grave for a good time, I never noted down the soldiers name, I believe he was a Sergeant from the South African Forces, killed in 1917, his grave is the very last grave on the very first row to your left as you enter the cemetery at Tyne Cot. It seems ridiculous now and also infuriating but I didn't note his name. Sorry.

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I've done the same myself.

Last year I found a grave at Tyne Cot inscribed "To what purpose is this waste?". I did not note the name or location and failed to find it again this year. :(

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From a WW2 fighter pilots headstone:

"Tread softly because you tread on my dreams"

The quotation is from the poem by W B Yeats "He Wishes the Cloths of Heaven"

Terry Reeves

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From a WW2 fighter pilots headstone:

"Tread softly because you tread on my dreams"

The quotation is from the poem by W B Yeats "He Wishes the Cloths of Heaven"

Terry Reeves

Terry, if you dont mind me asking where is this grave? One of my favourite poems.

cheers

Jayne W x

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