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Remembered Today:

Women buried at Longuenesse


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Just going through some photos I took last week, I came across these two women, buried side by side at Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery. While I realise there are many different types of headstone, I wondered what qualifies these two to be commemorated by the CWGC with headstones looking remarkably like the standard ones. One, Lilian Cooper, who died 2/6/20, appears to have been a member of the IWGC staff, but does not have the headstone with clipped corners, and the other, Rosa Shorter, is stated to be:

'Civilian, Non-War [incidental]'

I understand the need for guidelines, but have always found the CWGC criteria a little inflexible, and could name a few 'non-qualifying' men who are, perhaps, more deserving - but then maybe Mrs Shorter has an interesting story that I'm unaware of.

This is Rosa Shorter's grave:

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Neither of these graves are war graves and do not have such status.

The one for Lilian Cooper is a CWGC Category 6 grave (Non-World War [staff]) and that for Rosa Shorter is a Category 5 grave (Non-World-War [incidental]).

Category 6 graves are those of CWGC staff who had the right to request that their graves be maintained by the Commission as a reward for many years of dedicated service. There are about a hundred of these around the world.

Category 5 graves have nothing essentially to do with CWGC (or even the war). They are graves which just happened to be in the cemetery for various reasons when CWGC took over responsibility from the army. CWGC has no legal obligation to care for these graves but they do so simply 'because they are there'.

As I said, neither of these graves is a war grave (which are all Category 0). CWGC cares for about 23,000 such Non-World War graves under various agreements or just because they are there.

Many of the inter-war graves in such categories have stones which look similar to the war grave style. It was only after WW2 that the clipped-corner variety of stone was developed. When Rosa Shorter's stone needs replacing, it will be replaced by the clipped corner style.

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Terry

So is it normal for all of these non-war graves, such as Rosa Shorter's, to appear on the CWGC web site, or is this an exception? And if they do appear, how many entries are there on the site relating to those who are neither IWGC staff, nor casualties of war?

Sue

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Sue

No they should not appear on the web site. It is what is normally termed 'a c*ck up'.

The only names which should appear on the site are Category 0 (Commonwealth War Graves) and Category 1 (WW2 Civilian War Deaths). Those from Categories 2, 3, 5 and 6 should not appear (Category 4 is no longer used in case you were wondering).

There is a glitch in the current system which allows a very small number of these other categories to appear. It will be sorted in due course but as so few are affected, it seems not to have high priority.

Look for CWGC's founder, Sir Fabian Ware. He should not be there either!

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Sue

I cannot give the exact number of such names which appear erroneously on the site but the numbers of Non-World War names and Foreign National names in the system are...

36463 Category 2 [Foreign Nationals maintained by CWGC]

23212 Category 3 [Non-World War graves maintained by CWGC by Agreement]

137 Category 5 [Non-World War (Incidental)]

90 Category 6 [Non-World War (Staff)]

I think the error affects no more than about two hundred of these.

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Terry

Thank you for those figures - I see that the number of 'incidental' and 'staff' is quite small. It always amazes me that among hundreds/thousands of graves, the 'odd' ones seem to stand out, almost craving attention.

Or perhaps I just spend too much time in cemeteries - a mis-spent middle age :rolleyes:

Sue

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Hi Sue

Thanks for posting re this cemetery. Another one of which I was not aware. A few Ozzies in there, too. Tell me, is it far from Calais ferry terminal? Robbie

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Hallo Robbie

I wasn't driving, so was more than averagely confused about where I was :blink: , but I've just checked and it's about 30 miles or so from Calais, just south of St. Omer.

So not far - especially if you're endowed with a reasonable sense of direction!

Sue

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Hallo Robbie

I wasn't driving, so was more than averagely confused about where I was  :blink: , but I've just checked and it's about 30 miles or so from Calais, just south of St. Omer.

So not far - especially if you're endowed with a reasonable sense of direction!

Sue

Alas I am not. The one time I drove in France was the time I got stuck on the motorway to Paris instead of Cite d'Europe shopping centre. Also could not do the roundabouts..Robbie :(

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Guest Simon Bull
Alas I am not. The one time I drove in France was the time I got stuck on the motorway to Paris instead of Cite d'Europe shopping centre.  Also could not do the roundabouts..Robbie  :(

This particular cemetery is very easy to find though Robbie - on one of the main roads into St Omer and very clearly visible.

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