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a soldier who used to have a grave


sabine72
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hello,
everyone,
This is for Frederick Thomas Gardiner who used to be burried at potyse chateau grounds.
he died on 31/07/1917. I mailed the postcard with his grave on to andrew hesketh. He will put it in this topic for me, I somehow didn't make it on the kb (to many to get in here)
Thank you for this andrew.
I'm still waiting for an answer from the cwgc, if anyone know's how to figure this one out I can use help.
Why is his grave gone??? sad.gif The picture was taken after the war. So what happend?

sabine

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post-13594-1153850548.jpg

Hello,

here is a other picture of the cemetery

sabine

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It is difficult to make a positive reply without seeing the picture or the details of whom you speak.

However, many graves were lost due to subsequent enemy action and, sometimes, to poor record keeping by the army.

Remember that CWGC did not take over the cemeteries until after the war - when the army declared them 'complete'. They had no responsibility for what happened during the war (they only came into being during 1917).

Maybe we can comment further if we can see the picture to which you refer.

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Now the bizarre bit which has had Sabine and me scratching our heads. The three are:

Name: GARDINER, FREDERICK THOMAS

Rank: Captain

Regiment/Service: Highland Light Infantry

Unit Text: 12th Bn.

Age: 25

Date of Death: 31/07/1917

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 38.

Memorial: YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

Name: TORROME

Initials: R L

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Scots Guards

Unit Text: 2nd Bn.

Date of Death: 19/04/1916

Service No: 14106

Grave/Memorial Reference: LIV. A. 5.

Cemetery: POELCAPELLE BRITISH CEMETERY

Name: COBBOLD, NORMAN

Initials: N

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Scots Guards

Unit Text: 1st Bn.

Age: 20

Date of Death: 19/04/1916

Service No: 13882

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 11.

Memorial: YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

So, what happened to them is the mystery. It would appear that Torrome was relocated and Gardiner and Cobbold lost. There must be an explantaion......

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Sabine also telle me that on the full picture above she can make out:

Name: JONES

Initials: G H

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry

Unit Text: 1st/5th Bn.

Date of Death: 12/08/1917

Service No: 241074

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: II. A. 27.

Cemetery: POTIJZE CHATEAU GROUNDS CEMETERY

and

Name: SMYTH, THOMAS JAMES

Initials: T J

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Rifleman

Regiment/Service: Royal Irish Rifles

Unit Text: 14th Bn.

Age: 19

Date of Death: 16/08/1917

Service No: 1526

Additional information: Son of Samuel and Sarah Smyth, of 2, Railway St., Dunmurry, Co. Antrim.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: II. B. 28.

Cemetery: POTIJZE CHATEAU GROUNDS CEMETERY

I can't see the latter but having been told I can see the Jones one myself.

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Firstly, you are assuming that the three crosses are over graves. They may not be (unlikely possibly - but possible).

When the cemetery was turned over to CWGC after the war, these crosses may not have been in place and the site of the burials 'lost'.

The fact that one of the three was found and is buried elsewhere is confusing - also supporting the idea that these graves may not have been in this location to start with! There would appear to be no other reason why one should be moved a fair distance to Poelcapelle.

If you contact CWGC and ask about what records they have about the possible transfer of TORROME to Poelcapelle from Potijze Chateau Grounds Cemetery, it may give a clue.

Remember that CWGC were working from army records and, if they show no such burials at Potijze, they would assume the burials to be lost.

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Andrew,

thank you for helping me out

I think I found other names in the back on the rightside but not sure my eyes are verry tiered

russel W

sapper nr 112869

royal engineers

16/03/1918 unknown age

and

Jones T

gunner nr 54392

royal garrison artillery

04/11/1917 age 24

both still in the cemetery

I think we need someone with conections and a long arm in cwgc who can pull some strings.

sabine

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Terry,

You are a good man. Behind the scenes I encouraged Sabine to open a new thread in the hope of drawing you in. I made comments such as 'expert', 'never fails', 'will solve it', etc.

No pressure then! :D:lol:

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:P Could be a good move!

Actually, if it helps, I've singled out the grave of the aforementioned G. H. Jones on the photo below. It may help to pinpoint whereabouts the photographer stood and thus the location of the three plots in question.

post-150-1153859767.jpg

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terry and andrew

thank you for helping me out on this one.

if we solve it I can move on to the next mystery and get Frederick Thomas out of my head.

will make my husband happy :)

sabine

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The grave with Gardiners name on it appears to suggest that there is more than one body buried there. It says F.T.Gardiner, and underneath it says "& men". Maybe after the war the men could not be identified individually and therefore they lie in unknown graves, and their names are listed on memorials, as is Gardiner. Just a thought.

Andy

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I began to take that line, Andy. But then I thought I could see some evidence that it said "NCOs & Men". I think it might be "From the NCOs and Men of the ......." Don't know if you'd agree.

Tom

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Max & Tom

You could be right. I was trying to make out the other wording as well.

However, that would still leave the 'disappearance' of COBBOLD as unexplained.

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Another possibility - could it be a private memorial to a 'missing' and the NCOs and men.....?

Or alternatively the full wording originally read:

'In loving memory of F T Gardiner NCOs and men....'

It looks to have been commissioned by a wife or sweetheart, judging by the hearts engraved on the cross.

Also the Gardiner cross does not appear to be in line with the rest.

Just some observations.

Ian

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Some interesting observations and suggestions chaps. The '& men' comment on Gardiner's cross has exercised my mind too and I have had similar thoughts to Max and then altered to Tom's view. Just a guess though!

Ian, the comment about Gardiner not quite being in line is interesting - I hadn'tnoticed that.

Terry - it's not too clear but the arrow above is intended to be pointing at the large white cross with the circular bracing.

What we really need is someone standing in the cemetery where the photographer was, based on the Jones grave, and seeing what's their now. I've been wondering if there might be a couple of 'known unto God' headstones there.

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The edge of the postcard annoyingly cuts off the left hand edge of Gardiners commemoration but I may have sliced a little extra off above. So here it is in it's full view. Probably doesn't help any though.

post-150-1153901608.jpg

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Andrew,

Thanks for the re-scan.

It seems still to have been: 'In Loving memory of Capt F T Gardiner NCOs & Men of the 12th H L I'

31.7.17

then small and illegible words at a slight curve

then: 'IN'

Can someone do a 12th HLI SDGW lookup for 31/7/17 and then see where else any casualties from that day had been buried? Or does someone have a copy of the battalion war diary for that period, which might mention Capt Gardiner and his fate?

Ian

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hello,

I'll go to the cemetery this weekend and trie to figure out where he stood to take that picture

All I know of 31/07/1917 is that gardiner was somewhere between pilkem ridge and frezenberg.

potijze, wieltje and verlorenhoek match

sabine

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After rendering the image in monochrome, it is a bit sharper than the sepia original...

84090474-M.jpg

Then displaying it as a negative.....

84090476-M.jpg

the outline is clearly that of a Celtic Cross (being HLI that would be appropriate).

Of the hearts at the four points of the cross, the right-hand one has the letter 'P' inscribed, the top one is damaged and the lower one is empty.

Is it possible that the left, top and right would therefore possibly have been inscribed: R.I.P?

Only the left-hand top quarter of the Celtic Ring survives and as stated it has the word 'Loving' on it.

As said above by Ian, it's likely that it reads from beneath the top heart: IN (then to the left quarter of the Celtic Ring) LOVING (then to the missing right top quarter) MEMORY (back to below IN to the top upright) OF.

The wording on the horizontal is as others have mentioned.

There appear to then be two further (lower) quarters of the Celtic Ring missing. What was written on these can't be guessed with any accuracy from the IN on the lower upright.

It could be 'Killed' IN 'Action' but that's just a guess.

It seems that the inclusion of 'NCO's & MEN' plus the more personal inclusion of hearts suggests a memorial by someone close to F. T. Gardiner but who also wanted to recognise the 'other ranks' with whom he served and possibly died.

As such, it might not be a grave marker at all but a personal memorial to someone without a known grave erected before formal memorials to the 'missing' were raised.

Just some conjecture of my own.

Mike.

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Not sure if this is any use. I had a trawl through the SNWM for 31/7/17 HLI 12th Bn casualties - only a handful and not all buried at Potijze Chateau Grounds Cemy. Here are a couple, which seem to be close in location, albeit one is 12th and one 10th/11th (seems more 31/7/17 casualties from 10th/11th Bn).

One 12th Bn casualty was buried at another cemy and others are on the Ypres memorial.

Name: EWAN

Initials: J

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Highland Light Infantry

Unit Text: 12th Bn.

Age: 27

Date of Death: 31/07/1917

Service No: 39285

Additional information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. Ewan, of Aberdeen; husband of Janet Ewan, of 43, Dundee Terrace, Edinburgh.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: I. B. 23.

Cemetery: POTIJZE CHATEAU GROUNDS CEMETERY

Name: MACKENZIE, COLIN

Initials: C

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Highland Light Infantry

Unit Text: 10th/11th Bn.

Age: 25

Date of Death: 31/07/1917

Service No: 42468

Additional information: Son of William and Jessie Mackenzie, of 114, Plantation St., Glasgow.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: I. B. 19.

Cemetery: POTIJZE CHATEAU GROUNDS CEMETERY

Anyway, maybe a guide for Sabine's visit.

Ian

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