Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
pbrydon

Mystery of buried soldier

Recommended Posts

pbrydon

post-63-1181231593.jpg

My grandfather on my mothers side enlisted into the 2/5th kings Liverpools and was later transfered to the Herefordshire Regt ( and later the Suffolk Regt ).

I have a letter sent to my grandfather by the,then Imperial War Graves Commision dated 17th June 1924. I am attaching a scan but it might not be legible.

The letter says

" I am directed to inform you that a grave has been found about 500 yds North of Poelcappelle,Belgium which bears a cross shewing your late regimental details viz:

237620 R.H. Carter

1/Hereford Regiment

No information has been obtained as to the identity of the soldier buried in this grave.These particulars were taken fom a disc found on the body of a soldier who was killed in action about November 1917.

Can you please give me the name and details of any soldier likely to have been in possession of your disc who may be buried at this place ?............................................."

When I took this up with The Commonwealth War Graves Commission in 1998 they said that all correspondence including my grandfather possible response had long since been destroyed but that the grave in question was relocated to Poelcappelle British Cemetary Plot 49 Row B Grave 20 and now marked with "Unidentified British Soldier " headstone

Anybody any suggestions as to how this might have come about, or has anybody any similar stories ?

P.B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rugby-137

PB

Try a pm to Terry Denham he`s a bit of an expert on this sort of thing.

Regards

Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Terry Denham

There would seem to be few possible explanations...

1) Another soldier was wearing your grandfather's ID disc for some reason.

2) Another soldier's tags had wrongly been engraved with your grandfather's details.

3) When found, the tags were incorrectly deciphered.

4) The other soldier had found the discs and was carrying them when killed.

It looks like only your grandfather could have thrown any light on the subject and then only in the first scenario. I can't think of a legitimate reason other than by error when discs would be worn by another person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beau Geste

Hello Phil,

I would have loved to have been able to help you solve this very human mystery but I can't. I just wanted to offer you my support as a scouser who was born and brought up on the next bus stop to yours, in Old Swan, in Liverpool. Incidentally, I think you'll find it's Tuebrook (of Ken Dodd and The Diddymen fame) and not Turbrook.

My fingers are crossed that someone on the Forum will be able to help.

Harry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pbrydon

Thanks Terry,

Those were some of the answers that I had thought of.

P.B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Michael Johnson

1) Another soldier was wearing your grandfather's ID disc for some reason.

Possible, but why? Unless it was the disk on the gas mask carrier, and the man had picked up the wrong one

2) Another soldier's tags had wrongly been engraved with your grandfather's details.

Unlikely that any soldier would not notice that his disks had completely incorrect information

3) When found, the tags were incorrectly deciphered.

Unlikely that they would get two items wrong that just happened to match another person

4) The other soldier had found the discs and was carrying them when killed.

I think this is the most likely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pbrydon

Thank you for your reply Michael,the only thing I wonder about is, during the great war would anybody have gone to the trouble of picking up somebody elses tags he came across,and if he did where were his own tags ?

Regards

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
keithfazzani

Presumably if he found tags he would pick them up, presuming they belonged to a dead soldier, to hand them in at a convenient moment and meanwhile he was killed with them on him. Perhaps his body was mutilated and these were the only tags left on what they found.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roel22

Or R.H. Carter had been with your grandfather when he was killed and took his disc to hand them in, like Keith said. Before he could do so he was killed himself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SiegeGunner
Or R.H. Carter had been with your grandfather when he was killed and took his disc to hand them in, like Keith said. Before he could do so he was killed himself.

I thought that R H Carter was PB's grandfather.

I presume there is no doubt that the man who returned from the war was the true R H Carter? I am reminded of 'The Return of Martin Guerre'.

It's interesting to see that the IWGC was sufficiently alert to spot that the grave was inscribed with the name of a man who wasn't dead, and it's a great shame that the papers on this case have evidently not survived. I wonder if any of the correspondence was copied to R H Carter's service record file, where it just might have survived? My great-uncle went missing, presumed killed, in March 1918, but the last paper added to his service record was dated 1922.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pbrydon

I am attaching a picture of my grandfather,it did momentarily go through my mind at one stage as to whether somebody had tried to take his identity. I am sure that he was the person who returned from the war

P.B

post-63-1181283844.jpg

post-63-1181283884.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...