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Remembered Today:

Favourite Gravestone Inscription


ianw
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Of course , you are absolutely right about that one , Ian.  All those men and lads denied a last message from Mums , wives and loved ones.  I suppose every one of these messages that we benefit from today is for them too.

And doesn't it just underline what the Forum is all about? Carrying a remembrance of the men and boys - and the women too - to ensure that they are never forgotten.

adrian

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WW1 Cemeteries.Com

Slightly different in that they were written on cards and not the actual headstone

I remember a wreath of poppies that were laid in London Cemetery Extension, High Wood, they were on the grave of a soldier of th Second world war, the card read someting along the lines of:

" Tom, I always promised there would never be another, there never was, now we will soon be together again".

Another, again on a card in Brookwood Military Cemetery said simply:

"Together again",

I took this to have been placed at the grave by a relative at the lady in questions request after her death, both cards were extremely moving.

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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

That's Yeat's best poem. Maude..

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It's great to see this thread that I started 2 years ago still going strong.

It's nice that some of the inscriptions seem to go missing - to be rediscovered again at some time in the future. I have "lost" my signature inscription , but it doesn't worry me.

My favourite is still the story of Mark Hone leading his school party to an old boy's grave near Le Cateau and unexpectedly finding the school motto on the gravestone. Moving, doesn't describe that one.

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Quite a proud and inspiring one from Tyne Cot:

I have fought a good fight

I have finished my course

I have kept the faith.

Tom

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Jayne

I have it in a notebook somewhere. Trouble is, I have that many of them! I'll try and find it for you, but I think I saw it in Hertfordshire.

Terry Reeves

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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 got through most of them with only watering eyes. This one made me bawl.

I find there is an eerie lonliness to the inscriptions.

Kim

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Strange that all the children and other relatives who gave us these messages of pride and grief will now have passed away . One thinks of the many years that these children, wives etc will have lived on without their fathers and husbands. As a son , husband and father who has experienced great joy from all these relationships, it can only be said that the loss occasioned by the Great War and the continuing human cost was truly catastrophic. An historic tsunami that has taken 90 years to recover from.

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And it still carries on. I would like to find out exactly how four of my uncles died but probably never will. I know where they died though and all have CWGC graves so at least they were identified.

In the battalion diary of one uncle it simply states: A quiet night. Shelling in the usual areas. 4 o/r's killed. He was one of them and is buried in Belgian Battery Corner Cemetery.

I still keep their memory alive because my Father and his family did and I find the whole history of WW1 and how the British & Commonwealth people responded to it breathtaking. It is such a tragedy that the majority of people have no clue what happened and most of those that do know something believe solely in the Lions and Donkeys approach.

That's why I joined this forum, to increase my knowledge and hopefully share the remembrance with others. Where I can I try to sread that remebrance to those, who not through their own fault, have little or no knowledge.

Thanks to all of you.

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Squirrel - You are doing well with this uncle, I think. You have a known grave and know he was killed by shell fire. I would find the names of the other 3 men killed.

If any of them are buried adjacent to him, you may have found one of his mates and/or companions. By reference to the battalion war diary you should be able to discover where he died, maybe to within a few hundred yards. Better information than available for many other casualties. Good luck.

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ianw,

Already been to visit him and the other three are all named in the row next to him.

Earlier in the battalion diary the map reference is given for a "pillbox" (?) where he was killed and it is less than 1000 yards from the cemetery. Visited it twice, got the location according to the reference in the diary right but there is no trace of it and it seems a strange place to put a MG section when there is slightly higher ground only 200 or so yards away with a much better field of fire and view and pointing in the right direction. Bit of a mystery really.

Further back in the diary it gives the reason my uncle was where he was that night.

The night before, another MG section had been knocked out in exactly the same place by shellfire although not all were killed. His section were moved up to replace them. Who said shells don't land in the same place twice?

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  • 2 weeks later...

A very moving but sad memory to a lost son

"Mother's Baby Son Sorely Missed"

Pte Bernard Whittingham killed in action 23 July 1916 Aged 17, Delville Wood

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I remember some months ago in Aeroplane cemetery

a card explained that the ashes of women were added recently (2003 ?)

in the cemetery near a specific grave.

It explains that the boy when killed (~ 1916 ) has a picture

of the young lady in his vallet.

>>> This love was kept in her heart during 85 years.

They rest now together.

Realy impressive.

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I remember some months ago in Aeroplane cemetery

a card explained that the ashes of women were added recently (2003 ?)

in the cemetery near a specific grave.

It explains that the boy when killed (~ 1916 ) has a picture

of the young lady in his vallet.

>>> This love was kept in her heart during 85 years.

They rest now together.

Realy impressive.

yes, it is.

Marina

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I saw a grave to an AIF man at Shell Green, cant remember the name or whether "us" or "England" came first but as far as my memory recalls the inscription was:

"Daddy died for Us and England"

Made me feel very sad.

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Some of the Old Boys from my school I've been researching:

'If God be for us, who can be against us?' - A skilled botanist with a degree from Cambridge who died at Neuve Chappelle in 1915 whilst serving as a Private with the London Scottish.

'In loving memory of our boy and brother. May his dear soul rest in peace'

As well as one who died in England in January 1915 whose grave carries that line made infamous by Owen:

'Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori'

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I agree with your sentiments Ian, but surely the point about the CWGC headstones is that, unique amongst all the nations, they DON'T say 'Unknown'. They say 'KNOWN...Unto God'. As I always tell my pupils on our tours that's what comes of employing a genius (Rudyard Kipling) to devise your wording for you.

Sometimes the inscriptions bring you up short. In 1998 on our annual school tour I included a visit, very much as an afterthought, to the grave of a former pupil, Lt Joseph Morris, at Pommereuil Cemetery, near Le Cateau. 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. There wasn't a dry eye in the place.

Incidentally did people have to pay for the inscriptions?

One feels very nervous to submit an answer with such a wealth of knowledge breathing over your neck.

I believe they were charged one and half penny per letter.

Even this modest charge by todays affluence was too much for some poor

families so they were denied even this last connection with their loved one.

Realistically they were never in a position to visit the grave.

However some assistance was available to a very few.

No doubt someone will enlighten.

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  • 2 months later...
Guest iwallace

The inscription that touched me the most on our recent trip was "He wore the white flower of a blameless life".

If I recall this was at Haynecourt from the Canal du Nord campaign.

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This is a subject closest to my heart. Everyone has their own special one, but I was particularly touched by one I saw when in Gallipoli, April 2004.

Pte Arthur Boaler, Manchester Regiment, Died Of Wounds 29/05/1915, Age 18.

Buried at Lancashire Landing Cemetery. B14

"He took the sword in honour's cause. A British Workman's Son"

Badly eroded but still readable

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Sorry but you have set me off now !

Pte Harold Edgar McCarthy, Kings Liverpool Regiment, Died Of Wounds 29/06/16, age 20. Buried at Avesnes-Le-Comte Communal Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais.

"Though I Walked Through The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death"

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Hello all,

Reference payment for inscriptions,

Receipt No. 106606, Imperial War Graves Commission,

Rec'd. from Mrs. L Ambler

the sum of 6/1.

in payment of 21 letters at 3.1/2d. per letter,

for engraving the personal inscription of the headstone of Pte. J.C.

Long - 4th. Can Inf.

dated 27, July 1922

A discount of 1/2d.

Roy

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One feels very nervous to submit an answer with such a wealth of knowledge breathing over your neck.

I believe they were charged one and half penny per letter.

Even this modest charge by todays affluence was too much for some poor

families so they were denied even this last connection with their loved one.

Realistically they were never in a  position to visit the grave.

However some assistance was available to a very few.

No doubt someone will enlighten.

I'm sure Terry Denham has answered this question much better than I'm about to try. The form that the Next of Kin had to return included a space for any personal message, with the cost per letter given. If the NoK didn't pay up front they would be sent a gentle reminder. If they still didn't pay then the IWGC let it drop. No-one was forced to pay. However I'm sure that the fact that a charge was due was a barrier to the poorest of families who were struggling just to get a meal on the table.

Regards

Steve

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Not a gravestone inscription, but it cuts me up every time I read it:

“Over the sea far away they lie

Far from the land of their love

Nations may alter as years go by

But Heaven’s still Heaven above

Not in the Abbey proudly laid

Find they a place or part

But the gallant boys of the “Shining Tenth”

Sleep in Old England’s heart”

Part of an “In Memorium” notice placed in the Gloucestershire Echo on Monday 25th September 1916 to the memory of Sgt Frederick Ewart Bridgman, 10th Bn Gloucestershire Regiment, who was killed in action on 25th September 1915, the first day of the Battle of Loos.

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