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Remembered Today:

Human Remains

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Ladies / Gents

Not sure where to post this query...not even sure if it is a query or even just a thought...


Where remains of human beings are found, in whatever circumstance or on whatever battlefield, we know the moral, emotional and, where appropriate, the legal protocol. But why do we always have to assume that any remains (thankfully, I have never personally come across any) have to relate to 'The Missing', 'The Dead', and so forth...surely two-thirds of, say, Commonwealth, French & German casualties in their common battleground on the 1916 Somme fields left (sorry to sound a bit blunt) bits of themselves behind whilst actually physically surviving?


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phil andrade



Your arithmetic is surely sound, in so far as two thirds of the casualties were not fatal........  but, undoubtedly, a large portion of the wounded were slight cases which didn’t entail dismemberment .  It’s hard to reconcile the fact that so many wounded men were patched up and returned to duty with the concept of the majority of them leaving bits of themselves behind....although there must have been some fragments of limbs etc left on the fields from men who were severely damaged but survived.


A few years ago, there was a TV series called Trench Detectives, and in the digs there were macabre discoveries : I remember a british boot being found in the Hohenzollern Redoubt on the Loos battlefield, and there were bones inside the boot.  Maybe the unfortunate soldier survived, but I doubt it.





Edited by phil andrade
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Michael Thomson

You make a good point Petroc. I never thought of this before but absolutely, many people lost limbs but nevertheless went on to survive. Some bones found on battlefields are also animal as opposed to human. 


I think we are subconsciously  conditioned on some level mentally to associate any remains found on a battlefield with 'the Missing'.

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