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Remembered Today:

Casualty Clearance


Spree Farm
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In the meantime, I checked the regimental histories of the 38. Infanterie-Division (which was in a relief scheme with the 2nd Guard Reserve Division), but none of them mentions any agreement, exchange or fraternization.

Jan

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33 minutes ago, Spree Farm said:

Many thanks, Is there a record of these Belgium grave references outside of CWGC?

Not that I am aware of, a lot of WWI documents have been destroyed because "no longer usefull".

41 minutes ago, Spree Farm said:

I will get my wife Vicky to translate and repost

You can do this easily with this free tool: https://www.deepl.com/Translator

Regards,

Luc.

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3 hours ago, LDT006 said:

Those numbers could be numbered crosses erected by Belgians, below is a text that I wrote long ago and an example of a Burial Return sheet where these are mentioned.

Hope this helps,

Luc.

Reconstruction of the area was also done from 1919 onwards. Teams of the Belgian labour corps were clearing the fields from shells and other war material, in the process many bodies  were found and reported to the Belgian graves services. These services then placed a Belgian cross on the grave with a reference number and alerted the British authorities of their find if the remains were deemed to be British, so that these could take the necessary steps for identification and move the remains to one of their cemeteries.

doc1828492.JPG.e2fbc06937bbfa7183ff05d9e189cbaa.JPG

Thanks for that Luc, I wasn’t aware of this process conducted by the Belgians. Is it assumed the Belgians identified the remains as British which encapsulates Commonwealth forces and that the regimental or any further identification was gleaned from the exhumation at a later date? Can it be also assumed there was a similar process for French and German remains?

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I don't have details of the process, it's just my interpretation of those documents and stuff that I have found in books and publications. It's possible that these numbered crosses were used for all nationalities and then reported to the labour units who were doing the actual exhumation, identification and reburial. These units could be British, French, ... depending on the area of the battlefield they were assigned to.

It must have been a complicated task in the area between Ypres and the coast where remains were found from British Commonwealth, French, Belgian and German soldiers.....

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I've found the locations of 14th Division's RAPs on the date they took over from 8th Division 3/12/1917. I've not seen anything that changes the locations but I can't say with certainty they remained here.

Left: 20.V.30.c.6.3 & 28.D.6.a.4.9
Right: 28.D.17.a.3.2 & 28.D.a.2.1

These were all reinforced by bearers from 41 & 44 FAs.

8th Division and 25th FA have more details on the RAPs they handed over, again this dates to late November to 3/12/1917.

They refer to PILLBOX RAP at Mosselmarkt which is the 20.V.30.c.6.3 one above. Men were relayed to WATERLOO 28.D.9.a.9.4 by road OR via Track 5 then to Bridge House ADS (formerly to Somme Redoubt ADS 28.D.13.c.5.2 before it was shelled 10/12/17).

The RAP at 28.D.6.a.4.9 seems to be in the village of Mosselmarkt. An alternative map ref given for this by 8th division as 28.D.6.a.5.8 (not much difference).

14th Division handed this sector back to 8th Division late December 1917 and they take over the RAP at Mosselmarkt.

TEW

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Translation 

How confused the lines are can be seen from the fact that five men of the 7th Company go to the English when they are relieved. During this time, Acting Sergeant Van Rahden (1st Company) lovingly welcomes two Englishmen who are also lost and that the only miserable consolation from the situation was the Tommies are just as dirty as us. One can only determine that there is unwritten "truce" between us, if you do nothing when someone gets up to straighten their cramped limbs, then they will do the same.

The following extracts were taken from a field post letter from Sergeant Euling (8th Company): "... We were two days into duties at the front. The English were very peaceful this time and it is though it were, a mutual agreement of the infantry not to shoot at each other. The Tommies came out of the holes, waving their arms in greeting and placing their hands onto their steel helmet, which we reciprocate with friendship. The unit we relieved even went over there and exchanged cigars, cigarettes and food. Although such visits are condemned, the unspoken rule and understanding not to bother each other, extremely valuable for both parties in this dire situation.

On the morning of December 13th, some unarmed Englishmen with the Red Cross flag appear in front of 12th Company and delivers the identification tag of a fallen German they held briefly at a field prison belonging to the R.I.R. 91 who they had interviewed. The regiment now forbids getting involved in such interactions in the future

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On 26/11/2021 at 22:45, TEW said:

I've found the locations of 14th Division's RAPs on the date they took over from 8th Division 3/12/1917. I've not seen anything that changes the locations but I can't say with certainty they remained here.

Left: 20.V.30.c.6.3 & 28.D.6.a.4.9
Right: 28.D.17.a.3.2 & 28.D.a.2.1

These were all reinforced by bearers from 41 & 44 FAs.

8th Division and 25th FA have more details on the RAPs they handed over, again this dates to late November to 3/12/1917.

They refer to PILLBOX RAP at Mosselmarkt which is the 20.V.30.c.6.3 one above. Men were relayed to WATERLOO 28.D.9.a.9.4 by road OR via Track 5 then to Bridge House ADS (formerly to Somme Redoubt ADS 28.D.13.c.5.2 before it was shelled 10/12/17).

The RAP at 28.D.6.a.4.9 seems to be in the village of Mosselmarkt. An alternative map ref given for this by 8th division as 28.D.6.a.5.8 (not much difference).

14th Division handed this sector back to 8th Division late December 1917 and they take over the RAP at Mosselmarkt.

TEW

Many thanks, I will add this info to the map

Interestingly 20.V.30.c.4.1 is where Pte Hodgson 20/12/17 the CO's Batman was exhumed.  

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Another page from Morant's diary which confirms the situation in German Translation

569903994_Morantsdiarypage2.PNG.cf372a0953b2e9f84b39ed8f372cd679.PNG 

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