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Remembered Today:

William (“Billy”) Frederick McFadzean VC 1/7/1916


Tom Tulloch-Marshall

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall

Earlier this year I was told that William (“Billy”) Frederick McFadzean VC had originally been buried in Gordon Castle British Cemetery in Thiepval Wood. That would be possible given the location of his death and the date when burials began at that cemetery.

 

Extensive searches have been made in the CWGC database, with quite interesting results in terms of a possible post-war exhumation and reburial at Connaught Cemetery - however efforts to verify the claim that "Billy" was originally buried in Gordon Castle British Cemetery have so far failed. Can anybody throw any light on McFadzean's demise and the burial of his remains ?

 

(I do not, by the way, have much inclination to take "Billy's" VC citation entirely at face value - my feeling is that it might well have been "polished" for public consumption).

Tom 

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Wikipedia states he was buried in Theipval Wood and the Grave was lost.  
 

it goes quote Moore, Stephen (3April 2008) ‘Afghan Grenade hero revives heroic memories.  Belfast News Letter

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2 hours ago, Tom Tulloch-Marshall said:

(I do not, by the way, have much inclination to take "Billy's" VC citation entirely at face value - my feeling is that it might well have been "polished" for public consumption).

 

    Aren't they all?  Part of the system is "pour encourager les autres"

 

 McFadzean is one of the chosen men highlighted in Middlebrook's First Day.  Are there any of his recently deposited interview papers that might throw some light on this man??

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  • 3 weeks later...

According to Middlebrooks "First Day on the Somme" the accident that killed him occured even before the soliders left the trench they were assinged to...Would the Regimental War Diary tell if he was buried in  a battlefield grave after the battle or is just written up such as "Grenade accident..one other ranks killed...?"
 

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  • 2 months later...
Nigel McFadzean
On 22/10/2020 at 21:23, Tom Tulloch-Marshall said:

Earlier this year I was told that William (“Billy”) Frederick McFadzean VC had originally been buried in Gordon Castle British Cemetery in Thiepval Wood. That would be possible given the location of his death and the date when burials began at that cemetery.

 

Extensive searches have been made in the CWGC database, with quite interesting results in terms of a possible post-war exhumation and reburial at Connaught Cemetery - however efforts to verify the claim that "Billy" was originally buried in Gordon Castle British Cemetery have so far failed. Can anybody throw any light on McFadzean's demise and the burial of his remains ?

 

(I do not, by the way, have much inclination to take "Billy's" VC citation entirely at face value - my feeling is that it might well have been "polished" for public consumption).

Tom 

Hi Tom. I am new to this forum and only came across your post as I was googling for some information about Gordon Castle in Thiepval wood 1916. The topic of any evidence of Billy McFadzeans body being taken to or buried in Gordon cemetery has been a lengthy quest for me. I was delighted to find you looking into exactly the same dilemma I have. Perhaps the person who told you has some evidence to back the assertion up? 

 

Your last statement ref. the 'polished citation' is not a new thought, and is perfectly legitimate opinion to hold. What interests me is your feelings around the citation and how and why they came about, purely in the interests of his legacy. Yes, I am a relative, so I am protective of Billy McFadzean, however, I find that exploring his role in the bigger picture both in 1916 and subsequently through to the 21st century is an interesting exploration.

 

I see there are  over 70 posts re. Billy McFadzean VC on this forum. I had a quick look and was saddened by the number of inaccuracies about Billy that have been reported. I appreciate good research, and just because google tells you something, doesn't make it accurate.

 

Regards

Nigel McFadzean

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