Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

JCCC Reports on Rededications 2022


MelPack
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have edited the Title of the topic so that the reports on the numerous redidications scheduled for this year can simply be added as and when they occur.

News story

Graves of 3 soldiers killed during the Great War are rededicated in Belgium

The graves of 3 soldiers killed at the beginning and the end of the Great War are rededicated in Belgium

From:
Ministry of Defence and Veterans UK
Published
8 March 2022
 
s300_2022__Pat.jpg

All three services were conducted by the Reverend Nick Sharpe, CF. Crown Copyright.

On Tuesday 8 March, the graves of Sapper (Spr) Stanley Evelyn Barnden of 17th Field Company Royal Engineers, Lance Corporal (LCpl) Owen James Munday and Private (Pte) Leonard George Holiday, both of 15th (Hampshire Yeomanry) Battalion The Hampshire Regiment, were rededicated more than a hundred years after they died.

The services, which were organised by the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), also known as the ‘MOD War Detectives’, were held at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Kandahar Farm Cemetery, Heestert Military Cemetery and Vichte Military Cemetery respectively, all in Belgium. 

The services were attended by serving soldiers of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment 35 Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers, and veterans from the Hampshire Regiment Association. 

Rosie Barron, JCCC said:    “It has been an honour to organise these rededication services alongside The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and 35 Engineer Regiment, and to have played a part in the identification of the graves of these missing soldiers.

“Although the families of Spr Barnden, LCpl Munday and Pte Holiday were not able to attend these services today, their sacrifice has been remembered in the presence of their regimental families.”

The graves of all three men were identified after researchers submitted evidence suggesting that their graves had been located. After further research by CWGC, the National Army Museum and MOD JCCC, it was confirmed as part of MOD JCCC’s adjudication process that these men had in fact been found.

The initial evidence concerning the graves of LCpl Munday and Pte Holiday was submitted by Michiel Vanmarcke, a local Belgian student with a passion for First World War history. Michiel attended the services along with members of his family.

Michiel Vanmarcke said:

“I am deeply honoured to have contributed to the identifications of L/Cpl Munday and Private Holiday. As a 21 year old Belgian who grew up in the area where both these men were killed, I feel some sort of connection with them. Seeing Munday and Holiday honoured today, a few years after handing over my initial report, really is the cherry on the cake.

“What truly matters is that two more missing heroes have been found, and that their relatives have the closure they deserve.”  

The services were conducted by the Reverend Nick Sharpe CF, Chaplain to 4th Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.

The Reverend Sharpe said:     “Leading these Rededication Services has been a privilege and honour. The examples of and courage shown by service personnel in giving their lives is a humbling reminder that we must do all that we can to strive for peace and remember those that have paid the ultimate cost for our freedom.”

Spr Barnden was born in Walton-le-Soken, Essex. He was a pre-war regular soldier, often referred to as the ‘Old Contemptibles’, who formed the British Expeditionary Force sent to the Western Front on the outbreak of war. He was killed on 12 December 1914 near Neuve-Église in Belgium aged 25.

It was during fighting four years later that LCpl Munday, 26, from Stockbridge in Hampshire, was killed on 22 October 1918, and Pte Holiday, 19, from Drayton St Leonards in Oxfordshire, was killed on 26 October 1918, just weeks before the cessation of hostilities. They were recorded as missing and commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

The headstones over their graves will now be replaced by the CWGC.     Geert Bekaert, CWGC Director for the Central and Southern European Area said:

“It’s a privilege to be present at the rededication of the grave of Lance Corporal Owen James Munday, his final resting place enabling us to renew our commitment to care for Commonwealth graves, in perpetuity.

“Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated researcher, we are also delighted and honoured to mark the grave of Private Leonard George Holiday, who is buried in the CWGC’s Vichte Military Cemetery. And finally, to honour and respect Sapper Stanley Evelyn Barnden, who was previously recorded as missing and commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/graves-of-3-soldiers-killed-during-the-great-war-are-rededicated-in-belgium

Edited by MelPack
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another report:

Joint investigation leads to identification of Flintshire soldier killed nearly 105 years ago

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

 

A combined investigation has enabled the grave of a Flintshire born member of 10th Battalion The Welsh Regiment to be rededicated nearly 105 years after his death.

Second Lieutenant Sam Hughes was 25 when killed during trench raids in the La Boutillerie Subsector, south of Armentières in France, on 6 November 1917.

He was born in Bagillt and lived in Wrexham before the war.

He enlisted into The Royal Welsh Fusiliers, arriving on the Western Front on 2 December 1915.

On 25 January 1917 he was Commissioned and joined The Welsh Regiment.

His only sibling, Gunner Isaac Newton Hughes was killed just two weeks after him on 20 November 1917 and is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial. 

New headstones now bear the names of 2 Lt Hughes along with Company Serjeant Major David Jones DCM, who was born in Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, in 1890.

The headstones were the centrepiece of a rededication service that was held at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Pont-du-Hem Military Cemetery, in northern France on Thursday 10 March. 

The service was organised by the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), also known as the ‘MOD War Detectives’. 

The final resting place of 2 Lt Hughes was identified after evidence collated by researcher Steve John and was submitted to the CWGC.

Further research by the National Army Museum and MOD’s JCCC led to the location of 2Lt Hughes’s grave being confirmed.

Whilst investigating the case, Rosie Barron a caseworker within MOD JCCC, confirmed the adjacent grave must belong to CSM Jones. 

Rosie Barron, JCCC said:  “It has been a privilege to organise this rededication service for 2Lt Hughes and CSM Jones.”

“These men died on the same day and are likely to have known each other well.”

“It seems fitting that we now know they lie next to each other in Pont-du-Hem Military Cemetery and that we have been able to honour their memories today in the presence of their regimental family.”  

Screen-Shot-2022-03-11-at-02.54.29-840x5

The service was attended by serving soldiers of The Yorkshire Regiment and The Royal Welsh as well as veterans of The Royal Welsh Association and was conducted by the Reverend Ben Norton CF, Chaplain to 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment. 

The Reverend Norton said:  “To be able to lead the rededication services for Second Lieutenant Sam Hughes and Company Serjeant Major David Jones DCM from The Welsh Regiment is a tremendous honour. ”

“Reading their names and hearing their stories brings home to me personally their stoic courage and love for their fellow men. ”

“We walk in their footsteps and embrace the light of hope that they have passed to us through their sacrifice. We hold them in our prayers as we commend them to God.” 

2Lt Hughes and CSM Jones, were killed during trench raids in the La Boutillerie Subsector, south of Armentières in France, on 6 November 1917.

They were recovered and buried by the Germans in Beaucamps Communal Cemetery German Extension.

After the war, their remains were moved into Pont-du-Hem Military Cemetery and the two men were buried next to each other.

As their identities were unknown, their names were recorded on the Ploegsteert Memorial. 

In October 1917 CSM Jones had been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM). The citation for his medal published in the London Gazette read: 

“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during an attack.”

“Reorganising part of his company, which had become detached, he led them forward and regained touch with the main body, and afterwards with four privates he attacked and captured an enemy strong point and killed the garrison.”

“He showed fine qualities of resource and initiative.” 

Sadly, CSM Jones did not live to receive the medal, which was instead presented to his parents following his death. 

The headstones over their graves have been replaced by the CWGC

Xavier Puppinck, CWGC Area Director for France said: “We are grateful to the dedicated researcher who submitted the case for the identification of Second Lieutenant Hughes.”

“We were delighted when the MOD JCCC was able to expand their investigation to the adjoining grave, which has now been established as that of Company Serjeant Major Jones.”

“Commemorated on a Memorial to the Missing for almost 100 years, their graves can now be marked by CWGC headstones bearing their names.” 

https://www.deeside.com/joint-investigation-leads-to-identification-of-flintshire-soldier-killed-nearly-105-years-ago/

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • MelPack changed the title to JCCC Reports on Rededications March 2022

and another:

News story

Rededication Service for Cpl Frederick Herbert Skinner

Final resting place of Yorkshire Regiment soldier identified more than a century after his death.

From:
Ministry of Defence and Veterans UK
Published
11 March 2022
 
s300_DSC04133.JPG

Kevin Knights, the great nephew of Cpl Skinner, stands at the graveside with the Reverend Ben Norton CF.

On Thursday 10 March, the grave of Corporal (Cpl) Frederick Herbert Skinner of 11th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment, was rededicated in northern France. The rededication service took place at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Nieppe-Bois (Rue-du-Bois) British Cemetery and was attended by his family having travelled from Bermuda.

The service was organised by the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), also known as the ‘MOD War Detectives’, and was supported by serving soldiers of The Yorkshire Regiment and The Royal Welsh.

Rosie Barron from MOD JCCC and who led on the case adjudication, said:    “It is always a privilege to organise rededication services for previously missing soldiers and to see how much it still means to their family that their relative has been found. Although now more than 100 years after their deaths, it is important that men like Cpl Skinner are remembered, and their sacrifices are not forgotten.”

Cpl Skinner’s great nephew, Kevin Knights, originally from Ipswich and travelled from his home in Bermuda to attend the rededication service, said:

“We would like to say a huge thank you to the CWGC, MOD War Detectives, and all of those who helped to identify Frederick’s final resting place. Also, to all those who arranged and participated in the rededication to make this such a special day.

“He had no known grave for over 100 years, so it was an incredible experience when we discovered that he had been found. It was an immense privilege to join with others to pay respect, give thanks for his sacrifice and witness the farewell he so richly deserved. His grave can now be visited by members of our family to ensure he is never forgotten.”

The final resting place of Cpl Skinner came to light after a researcher submitted evidence to CWGC suggesting that the man buried in the grave was likely to be him. After further research by CWGC, the National Army Museum and MOD JCCC, it was confirmed by MOD JCCC following completion of their adjudication process that this was indeed his final resting place.

The service was conducted by the Reverend Ben Norton CF, Chaplain to 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment.

The Reverend Norton said:     “To be able to lead the rededication service for Corporal Frederick Herbert Skinner is a humbling honour.

“Corporal Skinner gave his life for love, hope and to see peace in the world. We today, as we lay him to rest and commend him to God continue his story by embracing these truths for ourselves and making sure that we continue his story in building a better world for the generations to come.”

Cpl Skinner was killed on 25 June 1918 aged 26 whilst in positions around Nieppe Bois, south east of Hazebrouck in France. He was buried in Nieppe Bois (Rue-du-Bois) British Cemetery, but the marker over his grave was damaged and the identity of the soldier in the grave could not be determined. As he was missing, Cpl Skinner was commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial.

The headstone over the grave has been replaced by the CWGC.     Liz Woodfield, CWGC Director of External Relations said:

“The Commission is honoured to be able to support the rededication of Corporal Frederick Herbert Skinner’s grave in Nieppe-Bois (Rue-Du-Bois) British Cemetery, now marked with a headstone bearing his name. His family chose to reflect the sacrifice of this young man for his nation with the patriotic music of ‘Land of Hope and Glory’. This ceremony is an opportunity for us to renew our commitment to care for his grave and those of his comrades, in perpetuity.” 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/rededication-service-for-cpl-frederick-herbert-skinner

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

MOD Honours the sacrifice of World War One soldiers during re-dedication services in Ypres

Four soldiers of the Great War have had their graves rededicated in the presence of their family earlier today (Tuesday 22 March 2022).

From:
Ministry of Defence and Veterans UK
Published
22 March 2022
 
Wilfred Miller

Lance Corporal Wilfred Horace Miller

Both services were organised by the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), also known as the ‘MOD War Detectives’, and were held at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Ypres Reservoir Cemetery in Ypres, Belgium.

Nicola Nash, MOD JCCC caseworker said:

“After more than 100 years, these four men who were lost, have now been found. There is nothing more rewarding for us than giving a family closure and making sure that every soldier is remembered as he should be.”

The first service was held for Lance Serjeant (LSjt) Edward Leonard Cottrell and Serjeant (Sjt) Joseph Frank Brookes Birkin whilst the second was to honour Lance Corporal (LCpl) Wilfred Horace Miller and LCpl Arthur Burton. All four served with the Leicestershire Regiment.

Joseph Birkin

Serjeant Joseph Frank Brookes Birkin

Defence Minister Leo Docherty said:

“We will never fail in our duty to remember those who gave their lives in the cause of freedom during the two world wars. As more fallen servicemen from both world wars are discovered, the MOD Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre will strive to confirm their identities. Their tireless efforts and dedication will ensure these soldiers’ names will live on in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s cemeteries.”

The four soldiers had no known graves since tragically losing their lives in 1915, however, due to the collective efforts of the MOD JCCC and CWGC following evidence submitted, their final resting places have now been found over a century later.

Private Nicolas

Private Benjamin Nicolas laying wreath on behalf of members of the Birkin family who were unable to attend

Following submission of research, including from the CWGC, that was considered by the MOD JCCC as the adjudicators, additional research by the team themselves and the National Army Museum led to the four cases being confirmed.

Nicola added:

“Today, we honour those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, along with representatives from the regiment and their family.”

John Williamson, great nephew of Sjt Birkin, said:

“It is wonderful this work still continues; this ceremony gives final closure to the family.”

Birkin family members

Birkin family members in prayer during the service

Research by MOD JCCC also led to LCpl Miller’s family being traced meaning they could be invited to today’s service to pay their respects.

Maria Miller, great niece of LCpl Miller, said:

“This has been the most humbling experience and a great privilege to be here today.”

Maria Miller

Maria Miller at the graveside of her great uncle Lcpl Miller's headstone

The services were supported by the Royal Anglian Regiment and were conducted by the Reverend (Captain) Thomas Wilde, CF, Chaplain to the Royal Anglian Regiment, who said:

“When you give a soldier a name you give them meaning a history and a voice.”

The graves will now be marked by headstones provided by the CWGC.

Fergus Read, CWGC Case Officer (Commemorations), said:

“It is always immensely satisfying when we are able to put a name on any headstone. Here, the research for one case helped us to unlock the names of those buried in a further three graves. It is the Commission’s privilege to be part of the work to identify the last resting places of these casualties, and to care for their graves in perpetuity.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mod-honours-the-sacrifice-of-world-war-one-soldiers-during-re-dedication-services-in-ypres

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

News story

Graves of Five Great War Soldiers Rededicated

The final resting places of five soldiers killed in World War One have been identified, and Services of Re-dedication have taken place at their graves in northern France over the last two days (22 and 23 March).

From:
Ministry of Defence and Veterans UK
Published
23 March 2022
 
Officer Salutes

An officer salutes at the grave of Company Serjeant Major Bax

The services were organised by the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), also known as the ‘MOD War Detectives’, and were held at various Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) cemeteries in France.

Louise Dorr, from MOD JCCC said:

“It’s wonderful that thanks to two of our regular researchers we have been able to confirm their findings and return these soldiers’ names to them.

“Although some of their families live overseas and have been unable to attend, each of them is well represented by their military family on behalf of a grateful nation. I’m honoured to have been able to be here to rededicate their final resting places.”

The Reverend Andrew Grant, Chaplain to 4 Scots, conducted the services.

A Piper and a bugler

A Piper and a bugler prepare to play at the re-dedication service for Corporal Thayne

Details of the soldiers identified are as follows:

Corporal (Cpl) William Lionel Court

The 1911 Census shows William at age 24 serving with the 1st Cavalry Brigade, 19th Hussars at Wellington Lines, Aldershot, Hampshire. He died on 8 August 1918 (aged 31) while serving with the 19th Royal Hussars (Queen Alexandra’s Own).

Cpl Court’s remains were originally found just south of a small wood to the east of Guillaucourt, although he was not identified at the time. He was buried as a “Soldier of the Great War – Unknown Corporal – 19th Royal Hussars”.

Cpl Alexander Mayes Thayne

Cpl Alexander Mayes Thayne was killed on 10 April 1917 (age 27) while serving with the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys). His battalion’s war diary tells us that early that morning the Royal Scots Greys arrived in the village of Wailly, near Arras, before joining up with other regiments of the 5th Cavalry Brigade to make contact with other British units in the vicinity. Early that evening, the Royal Scots Greys moved on toward Wancourt and took up positions in shell holes on low ground. They stayed there throughout the night, although they were subject to periodical German artillery fire.

Second Lieutenant David Bell

Second Lieutenant David Bell was serving with the 13th (Scottish Horse) Bn. Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) when he was killed in action on 7 October 1918 (age 36). The war diary tells us that his battalion was in the vicinity of Gouy on the day he died, and it mentions his death specifically. The burial records tell us that the remains were originally recovered from the western slopes of Prospect Hill, close to the French village of Gouy.

Company Quartermaster Serjeant Charles John Niven

Company Quartermaster Serjeant Charles John Niven was serving with the 6th Gordon Highlanders when he was killed in action near Neuve Chapelle on 13 March 1915 (age 27). We now know that he is the unknown Staff Sergeant of the 6th Gordon Highlanders buried in a grave at Pont-du-Hem Military Cemetery.

Company Serjeant Major (CSM) William Henry Bax

CSM William Bax was a career soldier, having attested into the Regular Army on 1 July 1906 as a private soldier. He served with the 6th battalion and A Coy, 2nd battalion in France and Flanders. He died on 24 March 1918 (age 29) while serving with the 2nd Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.

CWGC Commemorations Officer, David Royle, said:

“It’s an honour to have hosted these Services of Rededication at our sites across France this week. We thank the dedicated efforts of many in helping us to identify these five brave men. It is our privilege to care for their graves in perpetuity.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/graves-of-five-great-war-soldiers-rededicated

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • MelPack changed the title to JCCC Reports on Rededications March & April 2022
News story

Great War soldiers' graves rededicated in France

The graves of three London Regiment soldiers of World War 1 have been rededicated in France

From:
Ministry of Defence and Veterans UK
Published
6 April 2022
 
!!1

Colonel Steven Lowe TD VR, Commanding Officer of The London Regiment, presents a Union Flag to Nancy Wright, great niece of Rfn Sleet.

On Tuesday 5 April and Wednesday 6 April, the graves of Rifleman (Rfn) Albert George Sleet, Lieutenant (Lt) Wilfrid Ashton Piercy and Serjeant (Sjt) James Gration DCM, who died during the Great War whilst serving with battalions of The London Regiment, were rededicated after more than a hundred years.

The services, which were organised by the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), also known as the ‘MOD War Detectives’, were held at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Arras Road Cemetery, Dud Corner Cemetery and Lebucquiere Communal Cemetery Extension respectively, all in the Pas-de-Calais region of France.

The graves of all three men were identified after researchers submitted evidence suggesting that their graves had been located. After further research by CWGC, the National Army Museum and MOD JCCC, it was confirmed as part of MOD JCCC’s adjudication that these men had in fact been found.

Rosie Barron, from MOD JCCC, said:

“It has been a privilege to work with The London Regiment to organise these rededication services and to meet the families of these men. Rfn Sleet, Lt Piercy and Sjt Gration all paid the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of our freedom and it is vital that their sacrifice is not forgotten.’”

Rfn Sleet was killed in at Hulluch, north of Loos-en-Gohelle, on 15 October 1915 aged 30. He was commemorated on the Loos Memorial which surrounds Dud Corner Cemetery. His family who attended the rededication service, had previously visited the memorial to pay their respects unaware that he was buried as an unknown soldier in the same cemetery.

!!2

The rededication service at Dud Corner Cemetery was attended by multiple generations of the Sleet family.

Rfn Sleet’s great niece, Nancy Wright, who attended the service with her family, said:

“Albert Sleet was killed before he married or had a family of his own. As grandchildren and great grandchildren of Albert’s brothers and sisters, who loved him dearly and who always remembered him, we are honoured to be representing his family.

“We wish to thank all those whose dedication and hard work enabled his final resting place to be identified and who have organised a such a fitting rededication service for him. It is a great comfort for us to know that he was never missing, but buried beside his comrades all along. May they all rest in peace.”

Lt Piercy was killed aged 35, near Loos-en-Gohelle on 26 September 1915, the second day of the Battle of Loos. He was commemorated on the Loos Memorial. The rededication service at Arras Road Cemetery was attended by members of his family.

!!3

Angela Ridge, the great great niece of Lt Piercy, stands at his graveside.

Angela Ridge, a great great niece of Lt Piercy, said:

“We’re proud to be able to represent Wilfrid’s immediate family and are immensely grateful to those who did the research and enabled the rededication service to take place.”

!!4

The Reverend Richard Terrado-Reardon CF, Chaplain to The London Regiment, leads the rededication service for Lt Piercy.

Sjt Gration was killed on 24 March 1918, shortly after the beginning of the German Spring Offensive as British forces were overwhelmed and in retreat. Sjt Gration was recorded as missing and commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

Following his death, Sjt Gration was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. The citation published in the London Gazette of 21 October 1918 stated:

‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during an attack. When his officer had become a casualty, he led his platoon with great courage and determination, reaching his objective and personally killing three of the enemy. During the whole time he set a fine example to his men.’

The services were attended by serving soldiers of The London Regiment and The Rifles, and were conducted by the Reverend Richard Terrado-Reardon CF Chaplain to The London Regiment.

The Reverend Reardon said:

“In being asked to officiate at these rededication services for Rfn Sleet, Lt Percy and Sjt Gration, these men were family members of the London regiment. This reintegration into the family of the London regiment draws us evermore close to the sacrifice of all those who lost their life in World War One, and in doing so we enrich not only our sense of heritage, but our own identity as we recognise our shared values that inspired these men to serve.

“We cannot bring them home, but we can provide a home as we rededicate not only their lives but our own commitment to them and those personnel serving this day.”

The headstones over their graves will now be replaced by the CWGC, who will care for their final resting places in perpetuity.

Commemorations Case Manager at the CWGC, Mel Donnelly, said:

“The Commonwealth War Graves Commission ensures all those who served and fell are commemorated by name. It truly is a privilege to be able to mark the graves of these three brave men with headstones bearing their names, more than 100 years after they died in the First World War. We will care for their graves in perpetuity.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/great-war-soldiers-graves-rededicated-in-france

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • MelPack changed the title to JCCC Reports on Rededications 2022

Two Irish WW1 soldiers' graves rededicated in Belgium

The graves of Capt Hugh Travers, DSO, and Sjt Frederick Cardy rededicated in Ypres.

From:
Ministry of Defence
Published
19 May 2022
 
s300_20220519_Photo1.jpg

The rededication service for Capt Travers, DSO, was attended by members of his family, as well as British and Irish Defence staff. Crown Copyright.

The graves of Captain (Capt) Hugh Mortimer Travers DSO and Serjeant (Sjt) Frederick Cardy, who were killed on the Western Front whilst serving with Irish regiments, have been rededicated in Belgium more than a hundred years after they died.

The services, which were organised by the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), also known as the ‘MOD War Detectives’, were held at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) New Irish Farm Cemetery and White House Cemetery, near Ypres.

Rosie Barron, JCCC case lead said: 

“It is always a privillage to work with The Royal Irish Regiment to organise these services and to discover more of Ireland’s unique experience of the First World War. Both Capt Travers and Sjt Cardy paid the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of freedom and justice and it is as vital today as ever that their sacrifices are not forgotten.”  

Capt Travers, aged 41, was a veteran of the Boer War. For his service in South Africa he received The Queen’s South Africa Medal with five clasps and The King’s South Africa Medal with two clasps. He also received The King George V Coronation Medal. Capt Travers was wearing these medal ribbons at the time of his death, which assisted with the identification of his grave.

The Adjutant of the battalion described Capt Travers as having ‘died the death of a soldier and a very gallant gentleman.’ Another member of the battalion stated that Captain Travers’ actions were ‘the coolest deed’ he had ever seen. ‘It was gloriously brave.’ As Capt Travers was recorded as missing he was commemorated on the Menin Gate.

The rededication service at New Irish Farm Cemetery was attended by members of Capt Travers’ family. Guy Travers, Capt Travers’ great nephew said:

“I am very happy that a service has been held for my Great Uncle, Captain HM Travers, after so many many years. I believe my grandfather, his brother, had no luck in finding him. This service is also for him. And of course Hugh’s fallen comrades. His stone is magnificent, I can’t thank the Commonwealth War Graves Commission enough.”

The final resting places of Capt Travers and Sjt Cardy were discovered after researchers submitted evidence to CWGC hoping to have located them. Further research conducted by CWGC, the National Army Museum and JCCC, agreed with their findings and the identifications were confirmed.

The services were attended by representatives of the British and Irish Embassies as well as serving soldiers of The Royal Irish Regiment. They were conducted by the Reverend Dr Isaac Thompson MBE, TD, DL, HCF, Chaplain to The Royal Irish Regiment.

The Reverend Dr Thompson said: 

“Hugh Travers, born in India into a family where his father and both of his grandfathers were Army officers, joined the Royal Munster Fusiliers in South Africa in 1893. Bravery appears to have oozed from this young man’s veins. As a forty-one year old he arrived in France in October 1914 but by November 1914 he was killed near Ypres. Those who witnessed his bravery said, “He died the death of a soldier and a very gallant gentleman.”

Capt Travers was a member of 5th Battalion The Royal Munster Fusiliers but on the outbreak of the First World War was attached to 2nd Battalion The Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment. He was killed during a bayonet charge near Gheluvelt on 8 November 1914, when the battalion was ordered to retake trenches on the northern side of the Menin Road. He received the Distinguished Service Order for the part he played in this action. The citation for the gallatry medal read:

‘For conspicuous gallantry and ability on the 8th November 1914, near Ypres, in organising an attack and re-capturing a trench from the enemy, and subsequently for leading a second attack and capturing another position 50 yards further to the front. Captain Travers was killed whilst maintaining his post on this occasion.’

Sjt Cardy was serving with 7/8th Battalion The Royal Irish Fusiliers when he was killed during the Third Battle of Ypres. At around midnight on 10 August 1917 his battalion moved into the frontline north of Frezenberg. They were relieved at midnight on 12 August. It was during this time in the frontline that Serjeant Cardy was killed although the exact date is unknown. Sjt Cardy was buried and a wooden cross was erected over his grave. In 1919, his remains were concentrated into White House Cemetery, but it appears the original grave maker was damaged and he could not be identified. As Serjeant Cardy was missing he was commemorated the Menin Gate.

The Reverend Dr Thompson added:

“Frederick Cardy, a native of Suffolk, must have had his heart strings tugged to the limit when he learned of the birth of his son, Ralph back in England in July 1916. Within a year, in August 1917, this brave Royal Irish Fusilier, gave his life in the service of others, reflecting the motto of his regiment, “Faugh a Ballagh” (Irish for “Clear the Way”), a rallying cry that had inspired “Faughs” since 1811 and still today in their successors, The Royal Irish Regiment; young Cardy had cleared the way for his young son to grow up in a land free of war for another two decades.”  

The headstones over their graves will now be replaced by the CWGC, who will care for their final resting places in perpetuity. 

CWGC Commemorations Officer, Fergus Read, said:

“Having both been commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) memorial until now, we are moved and honoured to be able to mark these brave men’s graves today. Thanks to the effort of many, the Commission will proudly care for their graves, and their memory, in perpetuity.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

News story

Rededication services for Irish soldiers lost in the Great War

Rededication services are held in France for Lieutenant (Lt) Frederic Hornby Lever Rushton MC and Private (Pte) John Martin Roberts

From:
Ministry of Defence
Published
19 May 2022
 
s300_20220518_114942_960x640.jpg

The rededication service for Pte Roberts was attended by serving members of the British and Irish armies. Crown copyright.

The graves of Lieutenant (Lt) Frederic Hornby Lever Rushton MC and Private (Pte) John Martin Roberts, who died whilst serving with Irish regiments in the Great War, have been rededicated in France more than a hundred years after they died.

The services, which were organised by the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), also known as the ‘MOD War Detectives’, were held at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Montcornet Military Cemetery on 17 May and Queens Cemetery, Bucquoy, on 18 May.

Rosie Barron, JCCC case lead said:

“It has been a privilege to work with The Royal Irish Regiment and The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry to organise these rededication services. Both Lt Rushton and Pte Roberts were amongst the first men sent to the Western Front in August 1914 as part of the British Expeditionary Force. Their fates were very different, but ultimately both men laid down their lives in service of others.

“Sharing this experience with their families brings their stories to life and ensures that their sacrifices are not forgotten.”

Lt Rushton, known as Hornby, was killed aged 26 whilst leading an assault on an enemy machine gun position on 15 September 1914 at Vailly-sur-Aisne, in eastern France. Having already been treated for a wound to his shoulder, he had been urged not to go back into the attack but he had insisted on doing so. Lt Rushton was serving with 2nd Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment and had been on the Western Front since 14 August 1914 and already taken part in the Retreat from Mons where he is said to have saved the life of his Commanding Officer and the Adjutant. Members of Lt Rushton’s battalion were given permission by a German Officer to recover his body. However, after the First World War Lt Rushton was found to be missing and he was commemorated on La Ferté-sous-Jouarre Memorial.

!!2

Captain Chris Rushton - Royal Irish Regiment - and great great nephew of Lt Rushton, attended the service alongside other family members. Crown copyright.

Lt Rushton’s great nephew, Nigel Salt, who attended the rededication service at Montcornet Military Cemetery along with his family, said:

“We are particularity grateful that Hornby’s grave has at last been identified and cannot thank enough all those involved that have made this possible. My Grandmother was totally devastated by the loss of both her brothers. This would at least have given her some consolation.”

Pte Roberts, aged 30, served with The North Irish Horse. He arrived on the Western Front on 17 August 1914, just days after Lt Rushton and like Lt Rushton took part in the Retreat from Mons and the Battle of the Aisne in 1914. In March 1918 The North Irish Horse was dismounted and became a Cyclist Battalion. Having survived almost the duration of the First World War, Pte Roberts was killed in an attack near the River Ancre on 21 August 1918. He was commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial. Two of Private Roberts’ brothers were also killed during the Great War, a third died of wounds following the conflict.

!!3

Captain Andrew Robertson of 'B' Squadron Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry, lays a wreath at the grave of Pte Roberts. Crown copyright.

The rededication service at Queens Cemetery, Bucquoy, was attended by members of Pte Roberts’ family, including his great grandson, Craig Roberts. Craig Roberts said:

“John Roberts’ involvement in WW1 was a long-forgotten story in my family. It wasn’t until I began researching my family tree that I discovered the sacrifice John and his brothers had made during the war. When I heard that John had been found, it made a person I had only read about online seem more real. Our family would like to give special thanks to Phillip Tardif, who investigated and linked John’s death and burial location, allowing John to be identified, thus enabling this ceremony to happen.”

The services were attended by representatives of the British and Irish Embassies as well as members of their families and serving soldiers of The Royal Irish Regiment and The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry. They were conducted by the Reverend Dr Isaac Thompson MBE, TD, DL, HCF, Chaplain to The Royal Irish Regiment. As part of their engagement with MOD JCCC in the run up to today’s service, the Royal Irish Regiment realised that one of their soldiers was actually related to Lt Rushton. Captain Chris Rushton is Lt Rushton’s great-great-nephew. The soldier was invited to attend the service by his regiment and attended alongside other family members who were also present.

The Reverend Dr Thompson said:

“Lt Rushton, came from a village from near Wrexham, but joined the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Regiment in 1909. In August 1914 he had reached the Front where he saved the life of his Commanding Officer and subsequently that of his Adjutant. Pte Roberts, was a young Irishman, born in Dublin. Both he and his two brothers, William and Albert, lost their lives in the conflict. How the family, back in Dublin, coped with the loss of three sons, one cannot begin to imagine.”

The location of Lt Rushton and Pte Roberts’ graves were discovered after researchers submitted evidence to CWGC suggesting that their final resting places could be identified. After further investigation by CWGC, the National Army Museum and JCCC, the findings of the researchers was confirmed by JCCC.

The headstones over their graves will now be replaced by the CWGC, who will care for their final resting places in perpetuity.

CWGC Commemorations Officer, David Avery, said:

“Thanks to the efforts of many and in the presence of their families, we are honoured to mark the graves of Lieutenant Frederic Hornby Lever Rushton MC and Private John Martin Roberts with new headstones bearing their names. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission ensures that all those who served and fell are commemorated by name and today we renew this commitment to caring for their graves, and their memory with dedication in perpetuity.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...