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Mill Road Cemetery


healdav
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The latest edition of the WFA Bulletin has a photo of this cemetery on the cover. All the gravestones are lying down. This is neither mentioned nor explained.

Why is this so?

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53 minutes ago, healdav said:

All the gravestones are lying down.

Maybe in the photo (I haven't seen it) but, just for clarification, not all the graves in the cemetery.  Tootrock has explained the reason.  Photo courtesy of CWGC.

MILL ROAD CEMETERY, THIEPVAL - CWGC

Edited by Don Regiano
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Thanks for that. Are there other cemeteries like this? I have never seen one.

I noticed that there were gravestones standing up only after posting (they are to be seen on the back cover). It seems a little strange as the distance between the two is so msll that nhtere can't be any geological difference.

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Mill road has flat headstones mainly due to all the soft ground and tunnels that are still underneath.

Boulogne Eastern is also a mix of upright and flat, mainly because of the sand its situated on.

Boulogne East.JPG

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I believe the original Cemetery before being enlarged by concentrations from other burial sites was what is now Plot 1 which are the flat headstones. At some stage the Stone of Remembrance shown in the CWGC plan has been removed. It's location can still be seen in the aerial photo. Anyone know why?

Richard

Mill Road Cemetery Plan.jpg

Mill Road Cemetery.jpg

Edited by dickaren
Typo
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from the cWGC web site

Please note the headstones in plot 1 were laid flat in this site in the early 1950s because this site was subject to subsidence between the wars (as a result of it being sited above a dug-out).

In addition, the Stone of Remembrance was also removed.

presumably due to the weight , the same reason

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11 minutes ago, chaz said:

from the cWGC web site

Please note the headstones in plot 1 were laid flat in this site in the early 1950s because this site was subject to subsidence between the wars (as a result of it being sited above a dug-out).

In addition, the Stone of Remembrance was also removed.

presumably due to the weight , the same reason

Thanks Chaz,

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5 hours ago, healdav said:

The latest edition of the WFA Bulletin has a photo of this cemetery on the cover. All the gravestones are lying down. This is neither mentioned nor explained.

Why is this so?

2 hours ago, healdav said:

I noticed that there were gravestones standing up only after posting. It seems a little strange as the distance between the two is so msll that nhtere can't be any geological difference.

We have already seen how close we are here to the Schwaben Redoubt, and these graves are among the earliest burials made here.  Perhaps unsurprisingly (the surprise might be that we see don’t see this more often), as time passed after the war, subsidence due to the proximity of the German front line trenches, and underground tunnelling, led to the CWGC deeming that it was no longer safe to leave the headstones upright.

http://thebignote.com/2016/06/19/thiepval-mill-road-cemetery/

JP

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the same applies with all the detritus associated with the war.

when we were looking around, the amount of live shells and even  the bigger toffee apples, that are so big  begs the question how deep down are they that they havnt already been moved upwards in the last 100 years, that any of the bigger, over 3" ones, when are they likely to arrive. If ever the toffee apples in the area of Munich Trench cemetery ever decided to blow.  Presumably, any grenades down in dugouts below Mill Road would make a mess collapsing tunnels. Same said at the likes of Hamel Mil, Aveluy, Hawthorn etc etc , anywhere in the actual war zone/front line that have munitions left by the side walls or close by by farmers are only a small percentage of whats below ground. 

Would the cemeteries affected have been built on filling material or would the soft ground below have been checked for hidden munitions prior to filling in?

We have a 300 year old oak tree at the back of our house, its currently affecting next door's foundations (they are further from the tree than us), there are quite a few headstones in other cemeteries that are being kicked out of square by roots of the CWGC/ cemeterie designers trees that presumably didnt realise they were going to grow so big.

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On 25/09/2021 at 20:29, chaz said:

Presumably, any grenades down in dugouts below Mill Road would make a mess collapsing tunnels. Same said at the likes of Hamel Mil, Aveluy, Hawthorn etc etc , anywhere in the actual war zone/front line that have munitions left by the side walls or close by by farmers are only a small percentage of whats below ground. 

 

I've visited Mill Road Cemetery many times and on one visit found a pile of grenades awaiting collection by the local EOD team. Mostly they were alloy based Mills No 5s and all the insides had largely rotted out, so I doubt if they would cause any problems. 

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I visited Mill Rd with the Surrey Branch of the WFA a few years ago (2016  I think). This may have been when the excellent photo on the front of the latest Bulletin was taken by another branch member.

At the time a single Mills type grenade had been placed on the cemetery wall, presumably awaiting collection.

58 DM.

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