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christine liava'a

CWWG grave in Eua Tonga

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christine liava'a

Hi everyone I'm back, after 2 weeks sun and bugs in Tonga! I didn't actually manage to get to Eua, a small island of the main island Tongatapu- there were no available seats on the plane, and it was pouring with rain for about 8 hours, which made the prospect of a 2 hour boat trip, and then a climb up a mountain covered in wet tropical forest pretty unappealing- but a nephew of one of my relations, who comes from Eua, said he knows the grave, and it is in the national Forest park and is cared for by the forest wardens, and last time he saw it, fairly recently, it was in perfect order. So, hardly unmaintainable!

The other WW2 graves are in ordinary well kept cemeteries on the main island.

Paddy, I did go to Vava'u, where I spent hours in the hot sun looking for all the European graves in various cemeteries, while my daughter learnt scuba diving!

The locals thought I was very strange!

post-19-1071883753.jpg

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Terry Denham

Christine

Welcome back.

In the CWGC Annual Reports in the 1960s, there is always a 'thank you' to a Mr H.Rickelman for looking after the single grave on Eua Island. Presumably he is no longer around.

The 'unmaintainable' probably means too difficult for CWGC staff to get to on a regular basis or that the location of the grave was under some sort of threat at some time.

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john w.

Fascinating read... I am not being funny... just the thought that somewhere in the world there are isolated CWGC burials, often being looked after by people who have respect for the fallen.

Perhaps that's a thought for next years Remembrance Day, send crews out to those places where it is known that there are soldiers buried across the world often remotely. We often get shots from the easy places, why not somewhere further afield?

It might give a sense of "bringing them home"

John

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christine liava'a

If you like graves, here is a photo of a typical Tongan cemetery, with graves being piles of sand, sometimes covered with small black pebbles only used for graves, no markers of any sort, but surrounded by decorative streamers, sometimes, especially when new, with a large embroidered quilt erected on a framework at one end of the grave. This usually has the deceased's name on it or a large decorative design. These quilts are replaced on the anniversary of the death for a few years, but eventually wear away and just become tatters

2nd picture is of part of the "European cemetery" in Vava'u. Most of the people buried here are the original German settlers in Vava'u and their often part Tongan descendants. The graves themselves are interesting, the original ones have memorial stones with names and dates on them, sometimes in German, and are surrounded by little fences- the stones on some came from places in Hamburg; some have wooden crosses, now illegible,

post-19-1071964688.jpg

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christine liava'a

European cemetery, Nei'afu , Vava'u, Tonga

This cemetery was not very well cared for. Quite a few graves were overgrown, and I still have a rash on my arms from brushing away plants. There was a family of pigs hiding under one large bush, and a mother hen and chickens under one of the graves with a roof.

In the background is the Port of Refuge harbour, where many travelling yachts come to in the winter (dry)season. It is summer now, and the time of heavy rains.

post-19-1071965699.jpg

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