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Remembered Today:

Favourite Gravestone Inscription


ianw
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Their is a book called (I think) "forever England" about the inscriptions on graves in the Arnhem/Oosterbeek cemetary - it doesnt go into them all but selects a few and explains the source (poem or whatever) and significance - it also splits them into different catagories such as loved ones "to the world just a man to me the world" type, heroic ones such as one refering to the 300 spartans but I cant recall the exact text. Its a nice little book and worth a look.

I dont have much experience of WW1 cemetaries but have on a number of occasions visited Arnhem cemetary - in the past I have intended to read every grave but even with the best intentions after maybe 4-500 I find myself emotionally exhaused. I think I have probably read them all now but I am struggling to remember examples.

Alistair

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I was touched by this one ;

Nieuwpoort Communal Cemetery

Harold GORTON, kia 12/7/1917

'All his bright hopes lie here'

Hidden anti-war reflex ?

Cnock

post-7723-1124611844.jpg

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Dozinghem Military Cem

Gunner Joseph HATCHER - 144th Siege Battery, kia 6/11/1917

moving text :

we do not know what pain he bore,

we only know he nobly fell and couldn't say goodbye

Cnock

post-7723-1124612824.jpg

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I was touched by this one ;

Nieuwpoort Communal Cemetery

Harold GORTON, kia 12/7/1917

'All his bright hopes lie here'

Hidden anti-war reflex ?

Cnock

It's a reworking of a classical Greek inscription , I think from a tomb in Athens.

Marina

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Marina,

Thanks for the additional info.

Cnock

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The Religious Aspect: Whether or not you are a believer, what comfort the thoughts of the hereafter must have given the bereaved families. I genuinely hope for their sake they were right.

Pte A H Porter, Royal Newfoundland Regiment, Killed In Action 1st July 1916, age 21. Buried in Y Ravine Cemetery,

Beaumont Hamel, Somme.

"God keep thee my Son, and richly bless the life thou hast laid down"

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This is one from St. Nicholas' Churchyard in Stevenage Herts. It commemorates 55491 Private Leonard George Allen 10th Bn. The Welsh Regiment who is buried in the Welsh Cemetery (Caesar's Nose), near Ieper.

"He marched away so bravely, his young head proudly held. His footsteps never faltered, his courage never failed. Then on the field of battle he calmly took his place. He died for Home and Britain and the honour of his race."

It really captures the spirit of the age, I think.

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This is one from St. Nicholas' Churchyard in Stevenage Herts. It commemorates 55491 Private Leonard George Allen 10th Bn. The Welsh Regiment who is buried in the Welsh Cemetery (Caesar's Nose), near Ieper.

"He marched away so bravely, his young head proudly held. His footsteps never faltered, his courage never failed. Then on the field of battle he calmly took his place. He died for Home and Britain and the honour of his race."

It really captures the spirit of the age, I think.

It really does Chris, it really does.

There seems to be a general divergence down two paths, both equally poignant of "died for country and honour" like this inscription you mention and "died far from home, we shall never see him again"( see my signature for the epitaph of J Farrer). Loss brings different feelings in us all....

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Steve is right about the payment.

'Debts' were not vigourously chased and after a while the charges became voluntary. During WW2 all charges were voluntary.

However, it certainly was a barrier for some n-o-k early in the process as the charge was significant. It was partly instituted so that the n-o-k would feel an increased 'ownership' of the grave. Hardly necessary, I would have thought.

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Another interesting thing about Private Allen, whom I quoted earlier. The rest of the inscription on what is now the grave of his parents reads, "Gave his life somewhere in France."

Not unusual to confuse Belgium with France at the time, but "somewhere" for a known grave?

The "home" commemorations are for me somehow just as poignant than those in the CWGC sites. When I see family graves in towns at home of the parents who maybe passed away 40 years after the Great War and there is an inscription on the lines of "and in memory of our Dear Sons who were killed in action", "died in France", etc. It's heartrending - all their hopes gone.

Just goes to show, we still need to consider the Great War with emotion as well as historical vigour.

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Following up on the theme of payment for Personal Inscriptions, I checked the annual accounts for CWGC during the early 1920s to see how much was received from this source.

The figures were... (remembering that this is old money - £/s/d!)

1919/20 £41/5/6

1920/21 £5578/2/4

1921/22 £6458/11/7

1922/23 £14345/11/1

1923/24 £13332/7/10

1924/25 £11468/3/9

After this date the item disappears from the annual accounts - possibly after the charge was made voluntary. Subsequent accounts have an item for sums received from the general public (donations) and the amounts are insignificant.

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A 16 year old, with the grief and dare one say rage of his Father at his loss.

Pte William H Walton, Lancashire Fusiliers. Died Of Wounds 22nd September 1915.

age 16. Buried in Hospital Farm Cemetery, Ieper.

"If death be the price of victory, God forbid all wars. RIP"

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Bailleul Communal Cem

Lt. Charles George Edric CLOWES, 3rd KRRC

Kia 14/2/1915 at Shelley Farm ( St. Elooi)

LED BY THE KINDLY LIGHT INTO THE LIGHT

THAT NEVERMORE SHALL FADE

Cnock

post-7723-1124823870.jpg

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The other side of the coin:

Dvr Thomas Grant Hamilton, Royal Field Artillery. Shot At Dawn 3rd October 1916, age 22. Buried in Ribemont Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme.

"Ye babbling winds through silence sweep, disturb ye not our loved one's sleep"

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Thank You Marina,

Used to write down the special texts on grave stones, but lost my papers.

Regards,

Cnock

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in one of my favourite cemeteries

RENINGELST - GROOTEBEEK BRITISH CEM

Captain George Alan Campbell SMITH MC, 14th Bn Arg. & Sutherland

ONCE MORE ON MY ADVENTURE

BRAVE AND NEW

Makes me think he was just passing by....

Cnock

post-7723-1124903432.jpg

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HARINGHE (BANDAGHEM) MIL CEM

2Lt. Harold HUDSON, RGA

THE HOURS SPENT WITH THEE DEAR HEART

ARE AS A STRING OF PEARLS TO ME

Did his wife Mary remarried?

Was she happy again?

Cnock

post-7723-1124908094.jpg

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DOZINGHEM MILITARY CEMETERY (Proven)

Fate struck 2 times.

Lance Serjeant James MC DOwELL, Grenadier Guards, +22/7/1917

AT REST

ALSO IN MEMORY OF HIS LITTLE SON

GONE TO DADDY

Cnock

post-7723-1125077838.jpg

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