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Remembered Today:

'In The Cold'. This needs to change soon.


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Hi Pals

I've just read a story on FB of a group of British soldiers from the Great War who died after the official cut-off date in 1921. Consequently they have no CWGC recognition nor headstone but lie almost unmarked in a communal cemetery in Opole, Poland. I'd be obliged if as many pals as possible would take the time to read the attached link and, if you feel as strongly as me, look at the petition to the MoD - without which the CWGC will not release funds for a 'proper' re-burial. This is not justice at the moment.

 

https://www.ww1cemeteries.com/opole-town-cemetery.html

 

Please, lads, this is worth it.

 

Ken

 

*** Please see the petition link two posts below here. Thank you***

Edited by Ken Wayman
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There are several topics on the forum about these men including this one.

 

Steve

 

 

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Hi Ken,

 

Happily signed, but if one is needed when exactly (or under what circumstances) would you draw the qualification date line? Just interested to know.

 

Regards

Chris

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2 hours ago, Neil 2242 said:

Signed the petition.

 

Found a cause of death for one of them that isn't mentioned in the article:

From Isle of Wight Observer 29 April 1922

creeth.jpg.d0b288131a0835151e6804fab17b6f24.jpg

 

 

 

Excellent research - and pretty quick, too!

 

Ken

54 minutes ago, jay dubaya said:

signed and shared

 Thank you so much.

 

Ken

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1 hour ago, clk said:

Hi Ken,

 

Happily signed, but if one is needed when exactly (or under what circumstances) would you draw the qualification date line? Just interested to know.

 

Regards

Chris

 

As they survived Great War service then died abroad during continuous service I feel that they qualify. It's recognising war service. I know each case should be taken on merit but I just have a feeling that this situation is not quite 'right'.

And of course, thank you so much for signing.

 

Regards

 

Ken

Edited by Ken Wayman
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2 hours ago, tullybrone said:

There are several topics on the forum about these men including this one.

 

Steve

 

 

 

Steve

 

Thank you for that info - I will inform Jim Powrie who is instrumental in the process. He likely as not doesn't know about this. I came at it from a different direction without searching the GWF - I should have known better!

 

Ken

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2 hours ago, Heid the Ba said:

I couldn’t see a figure, how much is required?

 

It's not really a matter of collecting money - support matters so much more, hence the petition.

 

Regards

 

Ken

2 hours ago, Cochrane37787 said:

Signed 

 

Much appreciated, thank you for caring.

 

Ken

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I have signed as it is only correct and proper that, as they were serving, the graves of these men should be maintained by the military.  A very thorough piece of research by Jim Powrie, and thanks to Ken for drawing attention to this issue.

 

4 hours ago, clk said:

Happily signed, but if one is needed when exactly (or under what circumstances) would you draw the qualification date line? Just interested to know

I don't believe that this is a case of needing to revise the qualifying dates, just a case of getting the MOD to fund the maintenance of the graves of men who died whilst serving, regardless of the fact there wasn't a war in progress at the time.

 

6 hours ago, Ken Wayman said:

.... look at the petition to the MoD - without which the CWGC will not release funds for a 'proper' re-burial. This is not justice at the moment.

 Forgive me for being pedantic, but my understanding is that it wouldn't be a case of the CWGC releasing funds as, being beyond the WW1 cut off date, they do fall outside of the CWGC's remit (its Charter) and consequently the money it receives from the funding governments which is exclusively for the maintenance of WW1 & WW2 graves and memorials within the qualifying dates only. The CWGC can and does maintain many UK and Commonwealth forces non  WW1 & WW2 military (usually, when headstones are provided,  following the standard CWGC pattern but with 'notched' tops) and other graves (for example, those of non UK & Commonwealth servicemen) which have been placed in its care, but  the funding for this has to be provided by a sponsor - in this case, as the men were serving at the time of their deaths, it would be the MOD - under special financial arrangements completely independent of  war grave funding i.e. the graves would come under the care of the CWGC with it effectively acting as contractor to, and paid by, the MOD specifically for this requirement.  

 

NigelS

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4 hours ago, NigelS said:

 

 

 Forgive me for being pedantic, but my understanding is that it wouldn't be a case of the CWGC releasing funds as, being beyond the WW1 cut off date, they do fall outside of the CWGC's remit (its Charter) and consequently the money it receives from the funding governments which is exclusively for the maintenance of WW1 & WW2 graves and memorials within the qualifying dates only. The CWGC can and does maintain many UK and Commonwealth forces non  WW1 & WW2 military (usually, when headstones are provided,  following the standard CWGC pattern but with 'notched' tops) and other graves (for example, those of non UK & Commonwealth servicemen) which have been placed in its care, but  the funding for this has to be provided by a sponsor - in this case, as the men were serving at the time of their deaths, it would be the MOD - under special financial arrangements completely independent of  war grave funding i.e. the graves would come under the care of the CWGC with it effectively acting as contractor to, and paid by, the MOD specifically for this requirement.  

 

NigelS

 

As, I am fairly sure is the case for the Falklands 'War' cemeteries (I think I am right in thinking there is one for the Argentinians and one for the British, if not more?)  - i.e. the MoD paid/pays the CWGC as an agency to look after them. Not so sure about 'notched' headstones in that case, though.

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In this case, the CWGC's hands are tied unless the MoD 're-adopts' these men and asks the CWGC to take action to restore the headstones. There are 3 very pertinent issues:

 

1) Up until the outbreak of WW2, the War Office paid the local German authorities in Oppeln to maintain the plot and also paid for the IWGC to inspect it. By and large this was the same arrangement that was in force in Cologne Southern Cemetery where inter-war graves dating from 1921-1926 of 126 men and 200 dependents and other civilians were maintained, and at the Sudfriedhof in Wiesbaden where inter-war graves dating from 1926-1929 of 56 men and 76 dependents/civilians were also maintained. All of these men were serving in the BAOR.

 

2) Post WW2, the War Office and later the MoD continued the pre-war arrangements and paid the IWGC/CWGC on an agency basis to maintain both of these cemeteries. They even paid for new headstones to be erected in the 1960s and 1970s. When the CWGC advised the War Office in late 1959 that pre-war, the IWGC used to inspect the cemetery at Oppeln on behalf of the WO, the only action that was taken was to write to the Military Attache in Warsaw to ask him about the condition of the cemetery, and when his reply came back 'there is only one cemetery in this part of Poland, namely Krakow', the Opole cemetery was to all intents and purposes abandoned by the WO. Having had no reply from the WO, the IWGC took no further action either.

3)  The MoD has been coming up with all the excuses under the sun for the past 4 years since I've been writing to it why it can't do anything. All it has to do is re-instate the previous maintenance arrangement, it's not creating a precedent (which is one of its excuses) and it wouldn't cost the MoD a penny! I have a letter from the CWGC stating that it could restore the cemetery with money from the 'Libor fine' fund, but ONLY if the MoD re-adopts these men. It would only take is a stroke of a pen from someone in authority (but more importantly with compassion) in the MoD to admit there is an injustice here and do the right by asking the CWGC to commemorate these men.

Edited by Lorre Powrie
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Surely the fact that these men were on active service overseas is enough for this commemoration to be accepted by the MoD, it is certainly a disgrace this has never been sorted out, a shame on the powers that be. I’ll 

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I doubt that MOD will budge on this. Rightly or wrongly the authorities have always maintained the "official" date for CWGC graves is the cut off point.

 

For example, over 50 soldiers died in Ireland in 1921 - full details here - after the cut off date, and do not have CWGC graves. They died for various reasons (you can see on the link ) and some were KIA. But no CWGC graves

 

There must be other theatres where British troops were deployed after Aug 1921 and where men died without CWGC graves

 

I would think that the MOD will not agree to a "special case" on the part of Polish graves in Poland

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Hi Ken

I seem to think that this has been on the forum before,some time ago. I think there were about 35 soldiers in these graves in Opole. I have been in contact with a good friend of mine who is a freelance journalist in Scotland, and I know she knows fellow journalists who work on some of the larger known newspapers in Scotland.She also has a great interest in the Great War.

I think there were 2 or 3 Scots lads among these casualties buried at Opole. She said she will have a look.

Regards

Andy   

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8 hours ago, nigelcave said:

 

As, I am fairly sure is the case for the Falklands 'War' cemeteries (I think I am right in thinking there is one for the Argentinians and one for the British, if not more?)  - i.e. the MoD paid/pays the CWGC as an agency to look after them. Not so sure about 'notched' headstones in that case, though.

 

Absolutely Nigel, although the Islanders insisted there was a screen around the Argentinian cemetery so that it was not immediately noticeable.

 

Andy

DSCF0138.JPG

DSCF0142.JPG

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