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Nipper Alan

WAR MEMORIAL - REQUEST FOR INCLUSION OF SOLDIER WHO DIED IN 1933?

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Nipper Alan

I hope that it is appropriate to post this question on this Group. Has anyone experience of anything similar to that which follows?

I have been asked whether it might be possible to include on a town War Memorial the name of a British soldier who served in WWI between 1914 & 1918. Following wounds (including a leg amputation) he was discharged in September 1918 and awarded a Silver War Badge. He continued his life until December 1933 when he died, aged 56 years, in a Leeds Ministry of Pensions Hospital. There was an Inquest which found the cause of death to be “... from cerebral hemorrhage following atheroma, accelerated by war service" .

I am aware that the CWGC haS a responsibility for the commemoration of personnel who died between 4 August 1914 and 31 August 1921 ......if their death was caused by their wartime service.  

The criteria for inclusion at the town’s War Memorial is that the serviceman was born or lived in the town. No "end date" is included in the criteria but none of the men died later than 1921. The War Memorial records 319 WWI names.

By way of background the town is Ossett in West Yorkshire. The soldier is Newman Summerscales . His brother George Summerscales also had a leg amputated in May 1918 but sadly he died of his wounds in the same month. He is remembered at the Ossett War Memorial.

 I should be most grateful for members’ views.

SUMMERSCALES 100667249_10156951647666603_1906322127682797568_n.jpg

SUMMERSCALES 101190028_10156951647726603_1150235427764961280_n.jpg

IMG_20191116_132657783_HDR.jpg

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tootrock
37 minutes ago, Nipper Alan said:

No "end date" is included in the criteria but none of the men died later than 1921.

That is presumably because the War Memorial was erected in 1921. The names on War Memorials did not have to be locals. It was entirely at the discretion of whatever organisation was in charge of it. I have seen instances where a man is commemorated in the village where his wife had moved to after the war.

Martin

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GraemeClarke
Posted (edited)

Hi,

 

A very difficult and emotive subject.

 

When I researched the Walsall RoH there are about 2,000 men on the WW1 roll with a smaller but not inconsiderate number on the WW2 roll.

 

Just using the usual suspects, SDGW, CWGC, Geoffs, newspapers etc I found a further 364 men who were killed/died who had a direct link to Walsall but who were not commemorated on the WW1 roll.

 

I was later granted access to the Inquest files etc and found a further 78 men who 'died as a result of the war', one being in 1974, where the Inquest had ruled that death was 'as a result or aggravated by war service'.

 

(For WW2 these figures are 173 and 38 respectively).

 

How does one add these men to the roll ? Who would consider the matter after the length of time. 

 

When I researched the Birmingham City Police Roll of Honour, both WW1 and WW2, I found men who had similarly NOT been honoured on the rolls/war memorials.

 

After much discussion it was deemed that the Police rolls/war memorials 'were what they were' and should not be altered or added to. They were made to the facts known at the time and by the records known at the time.

 

Regards,

 

Graeme

 

 

 

 

Edited by GraemeClarke

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Your memorial.

Your rules.

You can add who you like.

It might be prudent though to formalise a protocol for the addition of names in future, to avoid any dispute about who qualifies in future.

 

Eg. Which conflicts?, Home or abroad? Armed forces only? Or civilian staff also?

What causes of death, do you count TB? How about respiratory diseases?

How will you verify that a death was conflict related? The death certificate might gloss over military service, and most service records have been lost.

And of course your geographical criteria  for inclusion - born in parish? Lived in parish?- How long for? Parents live in/ lived in parish? Etc.etc.

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Promenade

Firstly I would like to give all credit to those who have researched someone who they think is a non-commemoration but perhaps there may be more to the story.

 

About 30 years ago whilst researching the Cheltenham area WW1 memorials I met the sister of one of the casualties, a man who was born and lived in Cheltenham and who is commemorated on a local church memorial. He was not listed on the main Cheltenham memorial in the town. She explained that this was at the express wishes of her mother who could not accept that she had lost her son but as she was a 'god-fearing woman' was happy for his name to be commemorated in the church, a place where her son worshipped.

During the period leading up the 100 year anniversary of the end of the war I was somewhat surprised to see that the man's name had been added to the Cheltenham memorial by someone who no doubt had good intentions, and a computer to search for facts on, but had not thought whether omission was a deliberate act. 

 

For this reason alone I am against adding names to a war memorial unless at the direction of a direct relative.

 

Promenade

 

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Nipper Alan
31 minutes ago, tootrock said:

That is presumably because the War Memorial was erected in 1921. The names on War Memorials did not have to be locals. It was entirely at the discretion of whatever organisation was in charge of it. I have seen instances where a man is commemorated in the village where his wife had moved to after the war.

Martin

Martin,

Thank you. You weren't to know this  but the Ossett War Memorial was actually unveiled on 11November 1928 - 10 years after the Armistice. Everything in Ossett takes a long time to decide! The Memorial had only an Inscription and no names. A commemorative pamphlet had 230 names and two of us researched them. They had all been born or lived in Ossett. We took this to be the original criteria and found  another 89 men born or who had lived in Ossett. In 2017-18 we campaigned successfully for funding and all of those names (plus 90 WWII) are now engraved around the base of the Memorial and were unveiled on 11 November 2018. You can see the memorial stones in one of the uploads. I too have often wondered about the criteria used by others and your example indicates just one of those many variations!

The question for me is whether this soldier, Newman Summerscales, who lived in Ossett (and so fulfills the criteria) but didn't die until fifteen years after WWI should be included. It's so emotive but I wonder about the time lapse between 1918 & 1933 and  I also wonder if the Inquest conclusion is enough evidence that he died DUE to his war service.  The cause of his death,  was "....from cerebral hemorrhage following atheroma accelerated by war service". "Accelerated".  How many men came back from WWI and subseqenty died earlier than they would have done had they not been to war? Nobody knows. Doesn't the Inquest conclusion simply say that he would have died anyway (obviously) but the war service meant it was sooner rather then later? Tricky!

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Nipper Alan
50 minutes ago, GraemeClarke said:

Hi,

 

A very difficult and emotive subject.

 

When I researched the Walsall RoH there are about 2,000 men on the WW1 roll with a smaller but not inconsiderate number on the WW2 roll.

 

Just using the usual suspects, SDGW, CWGC, Geoffs, newspapers etc I found a further 364 men who were killed/died who had a direct link to Walsall but who were not commemorated on the WW1 roll.

 

I was later granted access to the Inquest files etc and found a further 78 men who 'died as a result of the war', one being in 1974, where the Inquest had ruled that death was 'as a result or aggravated by war service'.

 

(For WW2 these figures are 173 and 38 respectively).

 

How does one add these men to the roll ? Who would consider the matter after the length of time. 

 

When I researched the Birmingham City Police Roll of Honour, both WW1 and WW2, I found men who had similarly NOT been honoured on the rolls/war memorials.

 

After much discussion it was deemed that the Police rolls/war memorials 'were what they were' and should not be altered or added to. They were made to the facts known at the time and by the records known at the time.

 

Regards,

 

Graeme

 

 

 

 

Graeme. Firstly well done for all of your careful research. Impressive committment to remembrance. I understand the Police rolls/war memorials conclusions and the difficulties you faced. Ossett had 18 Memorials or Rolls of Honour!We couldn't change those. I suppose we were "fortunate" in as much as we had a listed War Memorial in the town centre which had no names on it. In that sense we could start from scratch. The Rolls/other Memorials were some of our prime sources. Technology was another. It is as you say difficult and emotive.

 

The question for me is whether this soldier, Newman Summerscales, who lived in Ossett (and so fulfills the criteria) but didn't die until fifteen years after WWI should now be included oat the War Memorial. I wonder about the time lapse between 1918 & 1933 and  I also wonder if the Inquest conclusion is enough evidence that he died DUE to his war service.  The cause of his death,  was "....from cerebral hemorrhage following atheroma accelerated by war service". "Accelerated".  How many men came back from WWI and subseqenty died earlier than they would have done had they not been to war? Nobody knows.  Doesn't the Inquest conclusion simply say that he would have died anyway (obviously) but the war service meant it was sooner rather then later? That's my conundrum.

Alan

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Nipper Alan
59 minutes ago, Promenade said:

Firstly I would like to give all credit to those who have researched someone who they think is a non-commemoration but perhaps there may be more to the story.

 

About 30 years ago whilst researching the Cheltenham area WW1 memorials I met the sister of one of the casualties, a man who was born and lived in Cheltenham and who is commemorated on a local church memorial. He was not listed on the main Cheltenham memorial in the town. She explained that this was at the express wishes of her mother who could not accept that she had lost her son but as she was a 'god-fearing woman' was happy for his name to be commemorated in the church, a place where her son worshipped.

During the period leading up the 100 year anniversary of the end of the war I was somewhat surprised to see that the man's name had been added to the Cheltenham memorial by someone who no doubt had good intentions, and a computer to search for facts on, but had not thought whether omission was a deliberate act. 

 

For this reason alone I am against adding names to a war memorial unless at the direction of a direct relative.

 

Promenade

 

Hi. Thank you for responding.I have often thought the same. Why is Fred remembered but not Joe? There's often justification for it. The family left the town before a memorial was proposed. The family had all all died...and so on....but I do sometimes think that like the Death Penny some just didn't want a symbol of death. They wanted the opposite of remembering. We were in a situation where the town had a 1928 War Memorial with no names on it. How could these men who died for us be remembered if their names were unknown? How would the next generation remember them? Nonetheless I understand and respect your position and where possible we do contact relatives although 100 years on that's often not possible. We now have 409 names of WWI & WWII servicemen and women and nobody has expressed the view that it was contrary to what the family wanted. I think maybe we got lucky so far. Unintended consequences!
If then I was approached by a relative of this soldier, Newman Summerscales, who thought it right that he be honoured.........the question for me is whether this soldier, who lived in Ossett (and so fulfills the criteria) but didn't die until fifteen years after WWI should be included. I wonder about the time lapse between 1918 & 1933 and  I also wonder if the Inquest conclusion is enough evidence that he died DUE to his war service.  The cause of his death,  was "....from cerebral hemorrhage following atheroma accelerated by war service". "Accelerated".  How many men came back from WWI and subseqenty died earlier than they would have done had they not been to war? Nobody knows. Doesn't the Inquest conclusion simply say that he would have died anyway (obviously) but the war service meant it was sooner rather then later?

 

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
1 hour ago, Nipper Alan said:

I also wonder if the Inquest conclusion is enough evidence that he died DUE to his war service. 

It's not a court of law.

And it's not a popularity contest.

You can decide one way or the other.

Will your criteria be 'Death due to war service, beyond all reasonable doubt' (extremely high threshold for inclusion with few qualifying), or 'Death on the balance of probability accelerated due to war service'  (far lower threshold).

Whatever those criteria are, just be consistent.

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Nipper Alan
20 hours ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

It's not a court of law.

And it's not a popularity contest.

You can decide one way or the other.

Will your criteria be 'Death due to war service, beyond all reasonable doubt' (extremely high threshold for inclusion with few qualifying), or 'Death on the balance of probability accelerated due to war service'  (far lower threshold).

Whatever those criteria are, just be consistent.

Dai Bach y Sowldiwr. Thank you for your thoughts. Very helpful.

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PaulC78
Posted (edited)

If you've already been involved in selecting names for the memorial then I suppose it's up to you and what you feel is appropriate. There isn't really a right or wrong answer.

 

My own personal feeling is that a death in 1933 is a bit too far removed from the war, regardless of circumstances, but it's difficult to know where to draw a line. When we did the new memorial at Scarisbrick a few years ago we felt is was prudent to set an end date for deaths, and the simplest and least contentious choice was to use the same date as the CWGC.

 

That said, you will find many war memorials that commemorate men or women who died outside the CWGC dates. I'm sure it's been discussed on the forums many times, see this old topic for example: Commemorated on War Memorials after 31 Aug 1921

 

Whatever you decide, the main thing is to be consistent if other names come to light further down the line.

Edited by PaulC78

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