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a soldier who used to have a grave


sabine72
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And from the CWGC website:

Plot II was formed after the Armistice when graves were brought in from isolated sites and small burial grounds to the north-east.

This photo was therefore taken after the armistice couldn't have been disturbed by the 'tide of war'.

I did note that at the rear of Plot II are special memorials. I wonder what's on these? Do the contain any "Believed to be buried in this cemetery"?

Tim L.

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I also have yet another post-war postcard of the cemetery which appears to show a very similar layout .....could not link to from work, see posts #56 and #57 below!

I've also come across an anomaly (not quite the same) in Oxford Road Cemetery, where an early post-war postcard of the cemetery shows two names on a single wooden cross, Bombadier A Richardson and Gunner Henry Panter. Today they have seperate headstones, again interesting as to how/why this happened!

Alan

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Alan,

It doesn't appear your link worked but I think this is a similar photo to what you describe.

According to this one there is plenty of room for another row of graves before the external wall and would be about the same proportion as where the marker line was in Sabine's photo.

It's also interesting to note the construction of the wall in this photo. Why is it that wide around Plot II but then turns back in at the beginning of Plot I. There appears to be no particular reason for this except perhaps when it was being laid out there was another row of graves that are now missing.

Tim L.

post-2918-1153932521.jpg

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I think you are referring to Row 'A' in Plot I and Jones grave is in Plot II. (see attached revised plan)

Tim L.

Tim,

Correct. I did not realize that until half an hour later, and edited my posting.

Aurel

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It doesn't appear your link worked but I think this is a similar photo to what you describe.

Tim,

Yes it's from a similar position - sorry about the link it looked OK on my computer at work, but must have been loading from the cache. My image hotlink block setup must be better than I thought :huh: .

Now I'm home I can load from my laptop - first the post-war postcard I have: -

post-5390-1153940142.jpg

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My modern picture doesn't show the wall coming in further along, but if you look at the picture above the fence seems to do the same as the wall today, although there certainly seems to be a lot more space beyond the end row graves today compared to when there was a fence.

ALan

post-5390-1153940401.jpg

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Blimey, you nip off for a bite to eat and a cup of tea and a plethora of posts appear whilst your gone! Some good stuff here. I'll read it very carfeully.

However Aurel has asked a good question. Where exactly were 12 HLI on 31/7/17 and what were they doing? Might have to open a new thread for that one.....

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hello,

Here I am, suprised to see so many posts. To tim L , t smyth is behind g.h. jones in the old pic on the left side half a finger up.

I always thought that the picture was taken after the war. If I enter now and compare I am convinced that there are at least 2 rows missing. but why ,

In the bookstore in the butterstreet in ieper I looked in to a book of the 12bn HLI that said they where somewhere between pilkem ridge and frezenberg on 31/07/1917.

So aurel, potijze, verlorenhoek and wieltje are there, am I right. so that would explain the buriel.

There are a lot of deads that day, a lot of leinster 7bn regiment and kings liverpool reg. 5bn are buried there

so I have asked in an other post for info on them, but no response.

But if we get lucky, I found david gardiner in england, f.t. gardiner was his uncle.

david promised me on the phone (yes I called him to ask if he was related, i would have called every gardiner alive in england) that he will mail me everything he has on him.

and it is a lot I think, He even has letters from Lucy his wife.

I also found lucy's son of her second marriage and am waiting for him to respond.

i'll be in the graveyard sundaymorning between 9 and 10 o'clock to look again

If any local wil join me ,they are welcome, let me know

sabine

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I know that Chris doesn't like us to over use the quoting facility, but I think I need to so that I can make sense of some fabulous postings.

CWGC list Jones grave as being in row A, which is the front row and there are no rows in front of that on the plan. According to the photo there are quite a number in front. It would seem that potentially there was a whole row of graves either lost or moved.

The photo does clearly show a row of graves in front of where row A now is. Good spot Tim.

Then the line on the ground in front of Gardiner's grave, in the original picture, would be appx where the modern cemetery boundary would be, with no other graves between the boundary and the section containing G H Jones' grave.

So the modern boundary is roughly where the photographer was standing?

This photo was therefore taken after the armistice couldn't have been disturbed by the 'tide of war'.

A significant point I think.

It's also interesting to note the construction of the wall in this photo. Why is it that wide around Plot II but then turns back in at the beginning of Plot I. There appears to be no particular reason for this except perhaps when it was being laid out there was another row of graves that are now missing.

And again Tim! (What's your day job again?!)

...the fence seems to do the same as the wall today, although there certainly seems to be a lot more space beyond the end row graves today compared to when there was a fence.

Which makes you wonder why....

If I enter now and compare I am convinced that there are at least 2 rows missing. but why ,

From all that is above it seems highly likely that after the war a row was removed. Surely the remains would have been relocated close by?

And yet Gardiner and Cobbold then go missing and Torrome ends up in Poelcapelle. We must still be missing something chaps.

i'll be in the graveyard sundaymorning between 9 and 10 o'clock to look again

If any local wil join me ,they are welcome, let me know

I wish I could Sabine, I wish I could. Don't forget your camera!

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I've tried to scan in just the relvant portions, i.e the front couple of rows from my postcard to see if we can match up. The quality isn't good: whatever I do there is a lot of noise and I have not had much joy using either Paintshop Pro or Neatimage to try and improve it.

Here is the front couple of rows of Plot 2....

post-5390-1153946449.jpg

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And even closer, and assuming that Gardiner's grave should be in the second group of 10 front row, and Jones in the third group of 10 second row (now apparently the front row!) - is it possible these are the same crosses in my postcard? Compare with Andrew's post #14, page 1 of this thread - mopening both pages in different browser tabs or windows may help.

What do people think?

Apologies again about the quality of the scan.

post-5390-1153946704.jpg

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I did note that at the rear of Plot II are special memorials. I wonder what's on these? Do the contain any "Believed to be buried in this cemetery"?

Tim L.

Tim,

My notes from this cemetery were that they are men known to be buried in the cemetery, rather than believed to be. I don't have any details of the names, but I believe that where soldiers were listed as "Known to be" in a certain cemetery, they are not then listed on the relevant Memorial to the Missing - but Terry can correct me if wrong!

The postcard appears to show 7 rows of graves in Plot 2 which ties up with what is there now - which if Jones is now in Row A and the grave I've marked as Gardiner is his would again not add up!

This is very intriguing!

Alan

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Alan,

Your pictures are a great boon. I agree with your observations. Here are mine for comparison.

post-150-1153947968.jpg

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I knew you were going to ask that!

The short answer is no, but Aurel may have some ideas if I give some more information.

The card is actually in a booklet of similar cards; rather than being "standard" postcard size they are considerably larger, probably twice the size in fact. The front of the booklet is missing, but on the reverse is the name presumably of the printer - Maison Van Winsen, 43 Rue au Beurre, Ypres.

In terms of rough date, another picture (of Perth China Wall Cemetery) I believe to have been taken before 1925. This is based on a letter in an Australian soldier's service record which informs his father in 1925 that the wooden crosses were at that time being replaced by the permanent headstones. Of course the pictures in the booklet may not have all been taken at the same time.

So early 1920s would be my best bet - if you notice the cemetery in my postcard seems to be much more overgrown that in the one you posted right at the start of the thread - this might suggest it was earlier, as perhaps the CWGC had not yet set up to care for the cemeteries. However, you could also argue it the other way!

Alan

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Another interesting observation - modern photos, and the plan on the CWGC website show that the front rows in plots 1 and 2 line up (although it's row E in Plot 1). However, it looks from the Van Winsen postcard that the front row of graves in Plot 2 line up with the fence posts of the cemetery where these run in front of Plot 1 - i.e that the graves in the front row of Plot 1 (beyond the large tree) did not then line up with those of Plot 2.

Does this make sense?

Alan

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So early 1920s would be my best bet - if you notice the cemetery in my postcard seems to be much more overgrown that in the one you posted right at the start of the thread - this might suggest it was earlier, as perhaps the CWGC had not yet set up to care for the cemeteries. However, you could also argue it the other way!

Hmmm, I was thinking the 'other way'! Sabine's picture is dated 1918-1919 twice (and, curiously 1919-1918 once!). So if yours was early 1920's the growth would be explainable.

Regardless, we now have two pieces of photographic evidence that can be dated as post-war that show an entire row of graves that appear to have gone missing (presumably whilst under IWGC care?). This is no longer just about Gardiner, Torrome and Cobbold.

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Does this make sense?

Does any of it any more! :lol:

To be serious for a second though, and no direspect, but....no. :huh:

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However Aurel has asked a good question. Where exactly were 12 HLI on 31/7/17 and what were they doing?

Yes, Andrew, I think somehow that deserves some attention, as indirectly and to some degree it answers the question as to how high the odds were that 12/HLI men were buried at Chateau Grounds Cemetery.

Somehow I thing it strange that according to McCarthy "Passchendaele" 12/HLI was not involved in the action that day. But as Sabine read in a regimental history in the Shell Hole (Boterstraat) that they were, so they must have been. Maybe only some companies, attached to the 10/11th Bn. HLI ?

Anyway, the 46th Brigade advanced from a little northeast of Potijze Chateau, approx. from the Begijnenbosstraat (now present French Cemetery) and the Wieltjesstraat, northwest on both sides of the Zonnebeke Road.

But the (fatal) casualties of 12th Bn. HLI were rather low, I think : 1 officer (F. Gardiner) + 10 men. (I'll post their names in a different posting.)

Aurel

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I'm afraid I can't add anything to this thread but it's fascinating and I'm following it avidly. Keep going......!

Mark

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To be serious for a second though, and no direspect, but....no. :huh:

:D I thought that as I was writing it nbut had to dash off for a minute. Ok, if you look at the cemetery plan, Plot 2 row A looks to line up (i.e., on the same axis, not set forward or back) with Plot 1 row E (the furthest "forward" of the wartime plot rows). Modern photos show this too.

However, the van Winsen photo shows the fence line coming in, and the fenceposts look to me to line up with the front row in Plot 2 then - and the "front" row in Plot 1 therefore, being inside the fenceposts, must be set further back.

I'm going to lie down for five minutes now!!

Alan

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Aurel, I've opened another thread to ask this question - but no reply as yet.

The Jacksdale memorial site referred to on the sister thread to this one reproduces two letters. I shall be contacting those behind it to let them know this discussion is going on. I hope they will not mind as they are very helpful people.

I've added my emphasis to a couple of comments.

Dear Mrs. Gardiner, - Allow me to offer you my sincerest sympathy on the loss of your husband, my very good friend since I first made his acquaintance on the Somme last October. I enclose two letters which he handed to me an hour or two before he met with his heroic death, for that is what it was. He was exposing himself to almost certain death in order to encourage his men, who were in a very dangerous part of the trench. I was not very far from him at the time, and I heard of his death in a very few minutes. It is with very great grief to me, as I had come to regard him as a real friend, and we all esteemed him as an excellent soldier, and a man of quite extraordinary courage and noble sense of duty. I will not intrude upon your grief further than to assure you once more of my very deep sympathy with you in your heavy loss. Believe me, yours very sincerely. R.H.T. STEWART, Chaplain to the Force.

Dear Mrs Gardiner, It is with the deepest regret that I write to you regarding the death of your husband. He was killed near Ypres on the 31st July., by heavy shell fire whilst in a trench with his company. His death was almost immediate. His company was badly scattered by the shelling, and later moved forward, so I have not yet any details of his burial. I am indeed sorry for you in your bereavement, your husband was one of our best officers – the bravest of the brave – and beloved by his command. I have lost in him one of my most valued and trusted officers. My deepest sympathy is with you in your bereavement, but no words can make your sorrow any lighter. Believe me, yours very truly, W.E. ST. JOHN, Lt.-Col., H.L.I.

One or two comments earlier in thread suggested that Gardiner's cross may have been a memorial rather than a grave marker but from these letters I cannot see any particular reason why his body may not have been recovered.

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This will not add anything new to the puzzle created by the initial and previous postings, but just for Sabine's information, as she probably wishes to complete the picture as much as possible, these are the names of the 12th Bn. HLI men who fell on 31 July 1917. Taken from SDGW. And from CWGC the place where they were (are) buried, or as you will see for 8 of them, commemorated (Menin Gate)

- Menin Gate : Thomas CONNOR, Malcolm M(a)cKENZIE, Donald McVICAR, William MOORE, Andrew WATTERS, Walter WHITE, David WOOD(S), Frederick GARDINER

- Brandhoek New Military Cemetery : William GREENWOOD (Died of wounds)

- Aeroplane Cemetery (begun on 1 Aug 1917, after Armistice 1000 graves concentrated) : James SYMINGTON.

- Potijze Chateau Grounds Cemetery : Joseph EWAN (plot 1)

So it appears that if Captain Frederick was buried at Potijze Chateau Grounds Cem., then there were only two of his battalion : F. Gardiner himself, and Pte Joseph EWAN. But : in different plots. And as someone has already mentioned in another posting (sorry, forgot who), plot II was not created until after the Armistice !

If Frederick GARDINER was buried there, he originally must have been buried elsewhere ?

Aurel

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