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Tic Toc, Tic Toc ...


Tom Tulloch-Marshall

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall

Visited one of my favourite cemeteries today - Peronne Road. Ernest Dupres is buried there. There is an interesting thing about this cemetery - representative of many other places. To my mind its a sort of tic toc tic toc just waiting to "go off" >

701097295_gwfperonnerdP1110881(1).JPG.be233027b4597052afece3595b42a7d7.JPG

 

188843637_gwfperonnerdP1110881(2).JPG.3dd62a90f6403d34bf27000de4a563b9.JPG

 

Look at the wall to the right of the cemetery - it doesn't run parallel to the headstones to the left. Bit clearer here >

38169965_gwfperonnerdjpegP1110931.JPG.bb48c887b5883c7806764ed70711e4fb.JPG

 

The positioning of this wall isn't some kind of architectural foible or accident - it came about because of the "situation" of the cemetery at the time that the IWGC formalised the cemetery. I have previously pursued a similar circumstance with the CWGC in relation to Albert Communal Cemetery Extension - and ended up putting it on the back burner. (The "Glory Hole" investigations were relevant there).

 

This is really a skeleton in the IWGC / CWGC's cupboard, but I'm afraid that after the trials and tribulations of the Ernest Haxton - Bertie Jeffs case(*) I have had enough of trying to deal with some corners of 2 Marlow Road Maidenhead and presently I simply cannot be bothered carrying the situation forwards. (* Technically resolved, but the CWGC have refused [in writing] to correspond with me about outstanding matters and the MoD [JCCC] are throwing spanners in the works with regards to getting the case to a final closure).

 

What's the cause of the architectural oddness about the bottom right corner of Peronne Rd - and has anybody else made any study of this sort of situation in a wider context ?

Tom

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Jim Strawbridge

Tom, I am confused at what you are saying. Not all cemeteries come in squares or rectangles. What is the skeleton that you are trying to reveal? Two points that I would make. Why is row 32 out of sync with all of the other rows. And were the stone masons told to build the wall due north (see compass) and did so in a regimaental sort of way before anyone discovered or queried it.

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7 minutes ago, Jim Strawbridge said:

Tom, I am confused at what you are saying. Not all cemeteries come in squares or rectangles. What is the skeleton that you are trying to reveal? Two points that I would make. Why is row 32 out of sync with all of the other rows. And were the stone masons told to build the wall due north (see compass) and did so in a regimaental sort of way before anyone discovered or queried it.

 

Plot I is the original plot (burials made during the war). It's quite normal that they didn't always bother at that point to draw straight lines or parallel lines. Nothing special about row C of Plot I being out of sync. The cemetery was used as a concentration cemetery after the war, so perhaps the southeastern corner was in use originally for these concentrations or there were ideas to build something there (shed for equipment etc).

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall
9 hours ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

My vote for Most Cryptic Post of the Week So Far.

And it probably has to be thus. As I said >

On ‎10‎/‎07‎/‎2020 at 20:56, Tom Tulloch-Marshall said:

… I'm afraid that after the trials and tribulations of the Ernest Haxton - Bertie Jeffs case(*) I have had enough of trying to deal with some corners of 2 Marlow Road Maidenhead and presently I simply cannot be bothered carrying the situation forwards.

 

Like I said, I've had enough of trying to deal with that lot. Peronne Road is one of many pointers towards a major "situation" with regards to IWGC / CWGC burial records and indeed the physical appearance of the apparent burials in many cemeteries. Another 1920's IWGC image below. If you can work out what the problem is then well done. If you can't - then you can't. The Bertie and Ernest case has worn me down. Three years of banging my head against a brick wall. Over 300 pages of correspondence to get to a result which was patently obvious from the very outset. You can only argue so much with somebody who doesn't understand what the argument is about. Look at the image below, and what you have already seen. What is relevant is hiding in plain sight.

Tom

 

2086146925_gwfPeronneRoadCemeteryb1922PLAN-Rfolder543-2-MP.jpg.e783231ae70d86ed7f6956c8096bef76.jpg

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One row of graves on the original sketch is missing in the final layout. But I see a row of special memorials along the southern row. Are they the same graves?

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Enigmatic.

 

The title seems to suggest that this has some link to transient Chinese videos which the US deems to be a security threat??

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Were the graves in the missing row French burials later removed? The title block on the 1922 plan shows 871 British burials and 17 French. Now there are 1348 burials so many added later in the twenties.

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Jim Strawbridge

My head hurts. I no longer understand the purpose of the post as people want to be mysterious and work in "can you see it" code instead of just coming out with what is perceived as the problem.

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image.png.3ca8e7f1e1567f8a0a1cc3c640be7c76.png

   (Charles Causley)

     We have become conditioned, as those comfortably generations from the war and-in this context-it's clearing up.  When one sees the photographic records of what the Western Front was like at the end of the war, then the work of CWGC can only but be praised- but it comes with a sub-text- It has made the war too tidy. It has manipulated the memory that the war was not that unpleasant after all. -Bluntly, it has taken the edge off the horror and the carnage. Obviously deliberate to appease  grieving families and the national mood after the war. To me, the yardstick is the comparison with CWGC graves in local cemeteries in the UK- a well-maintained CWGC grave (usually) in often a sea of neglect and undergrowth. 

   So what if a cemetery is not in parallel rows? We see the things a century and more down the years-  Would exhumation and reburial have really achieved anything constructive when concentration and ad hoc cemeteries were regularised- Personally, I think not. Should the blockhouse at Tyne Cot,for example, have been removed because it did not conform??  

   Leaving the fallen at rest had to be a consideration when the proper cemeteries were constructed. - Removal of foreign casualties has often led to odd gaps -the discovery of odd remains in later decades similarly can often destroy the perfection of the layout.

     But what do you want?   A perfectly symmetrical Portland stone meccano set?

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Something to do with the 26? burials that were “lost” in the cemetery and now on a special memorial?

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall

The "missing row" is the issue here - and its nothing to do with French burials or special memorials. There is an aspect of WW1 contemporary commemorations which has largely been ignored and is covered very sparsely in CWGC archive records. It was the widespread use of "memorial crosses" or "memorial boards" where markers were erected in cemeteries where the men named were not buried. Peronne road was an instance where it appears that exhumations were attempted and no bodies were found, so the issue was resolved. Mailly Wood Cemetery has headstones for men who are almost certainly still in an imploded bunker near Beaumont Hamel (war diary evidence). Albert Communal Cemetery Extension has headstones for men who are quite probably still buried near Lochnagar ("Glory Hole" project), etc etc etc. Events at Hooge Crater post war got close to blowing the lid on the IWGC illusion of "clinical" searches, exhumations, identifications and reburials (CWGC archives).

 

Also - BTW - when the already constructed original very small Serre Rd No 2 was dismantled in preparation for the huge expansion which was to come the French announced that they were going to exhume their burials there and move them to the National Cemetery towards Serre. If I recall correctly there were about 36 French grave markers. Not one body was found (CWGC archives).

 

With subjects like this CWGC & MoD fall-back on a "prove it absolutely defence" - ignore the available evidence and any form of common sense - even ignore instances where there will be a follow-on consequence from cases already proven and headstones removed.

 

An interesting research & submission project for someone - but after the dreadful struggle with Ernest Haxton and Bertie Jeffs, not me.

Tom

Edited by Tom Tulloch-Marshall
surnames
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I hope Tom will forgive me for putting words in his mouth, but my interpretation is that he is saying that many named headstones, in more than one CWGC cemetery, do not correspond with any burial. That there is no body there.

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On 10/07/2020 at 20:56, Tom Tulloch-Marshall said:

The positioning of this wall isn't some kind of architectural foible or accident - it came about because of the "situation" of the cemetery at the time that the IWGC formalised the cemetery.

The shape of the cemetery doesn't necessarily upset me

The variation in layout and orientation of rows, N & E c/w SE is apparently generally/normally explained by CWGC as due to the differing circumstances surrounding the burials over time and one can usually see the overall logic in that, so ... ?

15 hours ago, Tom Tulloch-Marshall said:

The "missing row" is the issue here

Like Wexflyer above - apologies if potentially putting words into your mouth Tom  [especially if wrong!] = Is it not that there is a big blank area in the SE corner [the missing row?] - where perhaps there are perhaps bodies still buried but no headstones [and/or a combination with Wex's explanation - and as you wrote earlier - no bodies to match the cemetery or memorial] ???

 

All still seems a bit cryptic from you = so hope, Tom, that you can perhaps explain event more clearly soon - as it would apparently probably help so many of us!

Can understand your apparent reluctance to further engage with CWGC given your reported issues with Haxton & Jeffs - I've found CWGC rather challenging at times too [though apparently in a very much lesser way overall I would admit]

I find CWGC cemeteries & memorials and work both interesting, then, since & now, and very moving regardless.

:-/ M

Edited by Matlock1418
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14 hours ago, Wexflyer said:

I hope Tom will forgive me for putting words in his mouth, but my interpretation is that he is saying that many named headstones, in more than one CWGC cemetery, do not correspond with any burial. That there is no body there.

 

    To me, a dominant feature of CWGC cemeteries and headstones is that it provides finality. It provided a solid place of remembrance for a fallen one-a focus of grief and memory-which it still does.

   It would be naive indeed to think that CWGC has got it 100% correct-not just with the work of identifying Unknowns with the ease of access to records that we have. It seems to be part of the human psyche that a grave contains a whole person, peacefully "at rest". All too many of the CWGC graves, named and unknown are partials. Suppose-and there are plenty of references to this matter in the contemporary records- that 3 men are splatted by a German shell in a fire-bay in the front line. A CSM details a Corporal and a couple of men to gather up the pieces. Well, not much real sorting out- 3 graves, one third of the "bits" in each. The CWGC rules on exhumation mean that we have tidy memories- where many,many graves contain only jumbled bits of bodies. I think a wise decision at the time-but obviously one that DNA and the like could  re-open over and over again.

   From what Tom says, I have a suspicion that 2 other factors may come into play- If it was apparent from the first exhumation of an ad hoc row that it was "bits only" then the utility of reburial becomes uneconomic. Similarly, with different soils there must always be the presumption that some remains have gone for good. One only has to watch Time Team" to realise that often the only trace,say, of an Anglo-Saxon body is the slight discolouration in,say,sandy soil, giving the outline of a human body without any physical remains left. The hoo-ha in tyring to locate the remains of John Henry, Cardinal Newman at The Oratory in Birmingham is a good recent example of this.

    In addition, we have the problem of "special memorials"- Very often because the original grave, though located and map referenced, had been obliterated by subsequent artillery bombardments- eg The regimental plot of the 10th Durham Light Infantry behind the line in France in the Summer of 1915 was well laid out and properly recorded-though susbsequently destroyed. I have also an early casualty from Mons, who died at a German field hopsptal in Mons 2 days after the battle-He and 2 other "DOW" were buried in consecrated ground in a local churchyard-it being the common German practice to bury British casualties thus between existing French civil graves. Now cannot be found-though the places to look must be fairly limited with modern technology. Instead, a special memorial at nearby St. Symphorien

    One area that does suggest some rvision with special memorials is that where there are a large number of unknowns of a particular regiment-eg the large number of SArgyll and Sutherland Highlanders in one cemetery after a defensive action in late September 1914. BUT alas, not quite the full tally of all those killed that day. It begs the question as to what the criteria are/were for a special or collective memorial.

Edited by voltaire60
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Tom Tulloch-Marshall
On ‎12‎/‎07‎/‎2020 at 10:22, MrSwan said:

Not sure I understand what the issue is here, but if you look at the cemetery in Google Earth the adjacent left hand field boundary runs parallel to the angle of the right hand boundary. 

 

Compare the original architect's survey drawing and the CWGC published plan. If you cannot "... understand what the issue is here …" then I'm afraid I can't help you.

Tom

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Tom you are obviously not minded to make it any easier easy.

So here goes again ...

Never been there so all from remote accessing of stuff.

Actually what I am first looking at is the plan's sections - but G-earth is not really helping nor S-view much

What I can't see is the expected eastern ditch - is it there or not? = If there, and the eastern wall perhaps eventually goes, then there might perhaps be some rather unintended consequences or even accidental exhumations given the lie of the land

[and no retaining wall to the south either]

Or from S-view, is it the original lack of an indication of the row of 10/11 'headstones' seemingly now alongside the road to the east of the entrance? - and they don't look like they have room for graves - so ... what are they? [special memorials?] and who are they for?

[Likewise perhaps those 'headstones' to the west of the entrance??]

???

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
[additions]
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Tom Tulloch-Marshall
20 hours ago, Wexflyer said:

I hope Tom will forgive me for putting words in his mouth, but my interpretation is that he is saying that many named headstones, in more than one CWGC cemetery, do not correspond with any burial. That there is no body there.

 

Correct. I followed up one very obvious case and the response was complete and utter *u**s****.

With regards to Peronne Rd >

431862426_gwfPeronneRoadCemeterybumemorialplot(b)-Copy.jpg.240feb62216c3a2cf41334f9b2031d3a.jpg

 

Like I said, an interesting research & submission project for someone - but after having had such a dismal three year struggle getting the Ernest Haxton and Bertie Jeffs case (debacle) through the almost interminable hoops it won't be me. Start with a good look at Albert Communal Cemetery Extension - probably a very easy one to put together a case for. Start with a fairly recent (important) photo of plot "DA" and work away from there. Regimental burial patterns are also interesting and relevant in this cemetery.

492399937_gwfAlbertCommunalCemeteryExtensionbuRowDAxxxxxxx.JPG.2689f5cb0679cd1db04c1c9d44ed69db.JPG

 

The bit I don't like are the denials. The insistence that it was all "CSI". Hooge Crater early 20's - its fascinating. And then they put the lid on it.

Tom

Edited by Tom Tulloch-Marshall
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Tom Tulloch-Marshall
6 minutes ago, Matlock1418 said:

Tom you are obviously not minded to make it any easier easy.

So here goes again …

 

I'm sorry but as all my posts on this forum are blocked and delayed / censored I cannot keep up with you.

Tom

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12 minutes ago, Tom Tulloch-Marshall said:

all my posts on this forum are blocked and delayed / censored I cannot keep up with you.

Really?  Didn't know - That will introduce 'challenges' [but please don't risk upsetting anyone by trying to explain here for me]

 

20 minutes ago, Tom Tulloch-Marshall said:

an interesting research & submission project for someone

Interesting point about numbers of graves/gravestones - v- bodies/partial remains and also special memorials etc.

Think it has been long suspected - though think you'll need a younger person than me to start such an analysis!

:-) M

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This might be a red herring but comparing the Architects plan (above) to the one on the CWGC site, there appears to be a row of graves missing close to the right hand boundary, southern end, is this what you referred to Tom?

Edited by Knotty
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Tom Tulloch-Marshall
10 minutes ago, Knotty said:

This might be a red herring but comparing the Architects plan (above) to the one on the CWGC site, there appears to be a row of graves missing close to the right hand boundary, southern end, is this what you referred to Tom?

 

Yes. Peronne Road is an unusual case as someone in the early 20's has actually had the wit to make an exploratory dig and has found that there were no burials in the row concerned. So - the cemetery seems to have started as being laid out to accommodate the "memorial row" before it was realised that the crosses were all "memorial crosses". Have a look at New Irish Farm - as originally surveyed. Ovillers - but you have to look at 1/7/16 Officer's files to spot what's "wrong" with the special memorials there. Sorry CWGC but you have ****** on your own parade. If you claim to have expertise then you really should have it.

En ferus hostis.

Tom

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Bit late for me now Tom, will have a look sometime tomorrow.

 

John

 

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18 hours ago, Tom Tulloch-Marshall said:
18 hours ago, Knotty said:

This might be a red herring but comparing the Architects plan (above) to the one on the CWGC site, there appears to be a row of graves missing close to the right hand boundary, southern end, is this what you referred to Tom?

 

Yes. Peronne Road is an unusual case as someone in the early 20's has actually had the wit to make an exploratory dig and has found that there were no burials in the row concerned. So - the cemetery seems to have started as being laid out to accommodate the "memorial row" before it was realised that the crosses were all "memorial crosses".

As I think was probably variously concluded quite early and subsequently in the thread.

Good to have more clarified by you Tom - Would presume it is [EDIT insertnext to / adjacent to] the bed marked "Flowers or shrubs" on the architect's plan [bed now missing from the cemetery/grassed over area in SE corner].

Don't think it is really much challenged here that original memorial crosses [but with no bodies below] might have been confused with being actual graves, in past and/or present

[At Peronne Rd - and elsewhere].How I/CWGC handled and especially now handle such matters is another thing really - and past matters done, and potentially future changes might perhaps eventually be in the offing ??? [I have no insider knowledge] - I am watching with interest, as I am sure are many others.

These have been worthy observations that you have made and a good potential project suggestion - But perhaps now for someone else, eh?

[I think you have already suggested the latter! - I'm afraid I wouldn't have the time left, or to be frank the expertise, to do it justice]

Good luck with your other project(s)

:-/ :-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
Correction of typing error :-/ :-(
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Tom 

What has happened to your PM? = Have you got one?

Wanted to send you a PM

???

:-) M

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