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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

A Visitor's Centre for Tyne Cot?

Hedley Malloch

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Re. Chris at Poperinghe, can I say that a Tommy at the same place in the same conditions would have been obsessing about a cup of char just as much as Chris. For any Brit ,the morale boost of getting a brew, both then and now , just cannot be over-estimated.

I think we tend to get a bit over precious about things - I know I have this tendency ! I think that loos, a limited range of refreshments and perhaps access to the CWGC database at places such as Tyne Cot would be a welcome development just so long as the cemetery itself is kept sacrosanct.

The new development should be totally screened from the cemetery and we should be very circumspect about new access points.

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The 'big red volumes' to which you refer were entitled 'Their Name Liveth'. They were a sort of early part-work published in the 1950s with lots of photos of cemeteries and quite a lot of text.

Alas, no longer produced but I know there is a stock of them on the shelves at CWGC if anyone is interested. I have about ten of them on my shelf.

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What Charlotte writes about the planned excavation is very interesting, i.e. that "archeologists from all countries involved in WW I should dig the foundations of the new building together".

Is it only an idea sprung up by the private developers? Or is it "an absolute condition of permission", stated by Belgian authorities, as Hedley mentions?

Anyway, anything quite like that has never occured.

Aurel, you do not mention any archaeological plans - do you have any information?


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Chris, you should have gone to Talbot House. Best tea in Belgium.

Earlier in this thread it was mentioned and has also been on others about the tendency to always visit the more well known places. (i.e Tyne Cot, Thiepval.) Paul's comments about American cemeteries (very true Paul) reminded me how frustrated as an Englishman I sometimes get about the amount of people I know who have visited the Omaha Beach American Cemetery (sometimes more than once) but have never set foot inside a Commwealth one. It's frustrating, but perfectly understandable and I guess that's the way it will always be.

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Well then you have me who has spent a great deal more time in foreign ones than US. If you are a real Great War buff you must. Also there is an immense amount of inforamtion in British Cemeteries. ALways should go to register if not stolen, see why the cemetery there and where war time graves are there. See what units were heavily involved and why.

At Gallipoli I must have heard about the Lancashire lads at W ? beach, six VC's before breakfast and every time I reply, when you have won six VC's before breakfast you are having one hell of a bad day!

ALso lots of information on British headstones and the wonderful words chosen by the families. I mention those from time to time on the forum. Here's another from Adelaide Cemetery near Amiens, an Australian man:

Hark! I must go!

I am ashamed to ber seen without the uniform of a soldier!

What in the world was this family thiniking?

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Your mention of the words placed on British headstones reminds me of the inscription ( of which Marc T. very kindly sent me a photograph) for Sapper John Rees Davies Royal Engineers.

"Tread softly and doff thy cap for such as he stopped the gap."

In the area of Mid Wales in which JE Davies lived before he went to war, the community, which was mainly English speaking, used "thy and thou" in everyday speech.


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