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Chris_Baker

What are your experiences?

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Chris_Baker

I'll begin this new forum section by asking the question, "if I believe I have identified a war casualty who is not yet commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, what evidence do I need to provide in order for it to be accepted"? What experience is there out there, of having done this?

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clive_hughes

I'm not sure if this qualifies, but here goes...

In about 1996 I discovered that an ordinary civilian gravestone in our local cemetery was that of a man whose death was certainly connected with the War, and who I tried to follow up.

He was called ALFRED GOBLE, if memory serves. An old ex-regular RA veteran ("Elephant Battery") who had participated in the Kabul-to-Kandahar march under Lord Roberts during the Second Afghan War 1880.

According to the local newspaper in Carmarthen, he had first of all assisted the Army Remount Service in that area in some capacity in 1915. At some later stage he went north to the Kinmel Park Camp near Rhyl in North Wales, in some sort of instructing capacity (?did they have Civilian Instructors). He died (of natural causes) in the Camp Hospital in 1917, and was given a military funeral back in Carmarthen. His obituary photo in the newspaper showed him (looking decidedly over-age) in khaki with the Welsh Regt. cap badge.

This sounded worth following up, so I sent a copy of the newspaper article to the CWGC; but though a letter was received saying they would look into it, I heard nothing more. I moved away from the area in 1997 and felt disinclined to take the matter further. I also felt reluctant to part with £10 (or whatever) for a copy of the death certificate, since though this might have described him as an Instructor it wouldn't have altered his probably civilian war-worker status in the eyes of officialdom. The photo of him in uniform and the article in itself would also not have been accepted as proof that "Sergeant Goble" was serving as a pukka member of the Forces when he died. Given his anomalous status, I'm not at all sure what would have constituted "proof" anyway. Finally, in excuse, the online and other resources which we rejoice in nowadays weren't available then to be checked.

It has to be said, I don't think he subsequently got entered on the Parish "List of those who served", or the book which accompanied the CountyWar Memorial's unveiling.

I'm not necessarily griping at the CWGC - they do a splendid job all round, and they must receive a fair few odd enquiries which would keep them eternally busy if they researched at length into each and every one of them. I'm just adding this to the thread as an experience of trying to work out if an individual deserved a War Grave.

LST_164

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PBI

Try Googling CAMPAIGNERS FOR WARGRAVES

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