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Remembered Today:

Non- Commemmoration, help needed please


guernseyliz
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In the course of research on another topic I came across the memorial to a young sailor, John William Helman, which stated that he died on feb 28th 1920 in Guernsey as the result of exposure at the Zeebrugge raids in 1918. I couldn't find him on the CWGC site, so contacted them to find out why. They said basically that they had never heard of him and invited me to make out a case for non commemmoration.

i have a copy of his service record, which shows that he was on Hindustan then Daffodil, and that he took part in the ballot for the VC. His death certificate shows that he was still a serving sailor at the time of his death, although his service record states he was invalided in 1919.

The saddest thing about all this is an accout of his funeral in the local paper- apparently only 7 people turned up because his parents didnt make any arrangements, having been asured that he would be buried with military honours. they had to scratch round to find 4 fit men to act as pall bearers and there wasn't even a flag to cover his coffin. The error was apparently admitted later by the military authorities. Poor old Helman (actually he was only 24 at the time of his death- he had joined up as a boy sailor)seems to have drawn the short straw all round and i would like to do something for him now. any help or advice would be appreciated.

liz

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Liz,

I guess those in the know about CWGC procedure can guide you better, but what does the death cert state as cause of death?

I presume it is a case of gathering all the records you can, including service papers and death cert, and presenting them to CWGC for inclusion on their records.

Ian

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Liz,

See our resident CWGC expert Terry Denham for help and advice on this.What he doesn't know about CWGC isn't worth knowing.

Good luck in your quest!!

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thanks for this. i have now contacted the CWGC and they are prepared to put the case forward to the Navy, but say it may take some time. i will keep everyone posted and may ask again for help if there are any problems. in the meantime here's a pic of his very neglected memorial, erected by the London Channel Islanders Society Comforts Fund. It is in St Andrew's Cemetery in Guernsey. I am going to see if our local sea cadets might be able to do something about tidying it up.

Liz

post-1837-1131723649.jpg

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Liz

If you want to contact me off-Forum about this, please do so.

You will have to prove that either he was still serving at death (conflicting evidence from what you said above) or that his death was service related after discharge.

Start with his death certificate.

The process can take a very long time and you will hear nothing for months or even years. I have some naval cases in the pipeline at the moment which already have taken a year. The MoD is the hold-up as the cases take forever to get through their process and appear not to be top priority.

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