Commonwealth war grave (1 Viewer)

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Feb 24, 2013
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we are coming back from Calais tomorrow, given the date and the area we are in seems right that we should spend a few minutes at a war grave

we have found one near Etaples, it will be a sombre end to our holiday. but also a less than subtle reminder of how things might have been
 
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DavidG58
Feb 24, 2013
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DuxDeluxe

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Thanks. Much appreciated

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Jan 24, 2010
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I have a photo of my Great Grand father at etaples, whilst he was convalescing following injury or illness, not sure which. He served with the cheshire regiment, and survived the horrors of vimmy ridge, the somme, messines and passchendale and a number of other battles, alongside one of his sons. His 3 other sons (my grandfather included) had to stay at home to look after the farm. he joined up in September 1914...when he was in his late 30s

Quite a powerfull place, a lot of the graves for men who died of wounds or illness, one step from going home but didnt make it.

Also graves from a number of countries ( germany included) and faiths from around the world, and from both world wars.

A very special place in my mind because it is so mixed
 
Jan 24, 2010
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DavidG58 has a pretty rubbish internerd connection right now but we both thought it a good idea to post up the link to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission finder.

Broken Link Removed

Beware, the site is very slow, presumably due to the amount of traffic.

Also specific to WW2:

http://www.fallenheroesphotos.org/Home

the also have an app for android, ios and windows which is quite good..available from the cwgc home page
 
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2657

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My Dad's Uncle is buried at Etaples, he was named after him. I have been a few times the last time I took Dad and my Brother and have a photo of him standing over the grave. Apart from me he was the first member of the family to visit since the 1920's, Dad had a photo of the original grave before the current marble headstones were erected but he passed away last year and I am not sure what happened to it.
My son now has the service medals.

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Apr 22, 2013
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On our way back from the Romantic Road we detoured to find Linda's great uncle's grave at Ancre Cemetery, Beaumont Hamal. I had never been to any of the cemeteries before, the pictures don't convey the extent of the killing. It was very moving. We took a bowl of water and a cloth to spruce up James's head stone so we could get a better photo, a simple thing but we just had to do it. We hadn't planned our visit so didn't have anything to leave on the grave.
James was only one of the many but Linda recalls how older family members said the his death had a devastating effect on his mother and other family members. We must not forget and we must learn from the past.
Thank you for this thread.
 

Wyaye wires

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Coming back from France earlier this year we drove up to Calais along the 'Western Front'...

It was the saddest journey I have ever been on...

We didn't stop at any of the cemeteries as I was reduced to that 'manly' quivering stiff upper lip that doesn't allow you to speak for fear of sobbing uncontrollably...

The unselfish sacrifice of a generation of young men; many who went as volunteers prior to conscription...

Such a humbling sight of all of those grave markers from all nations involved...

I have just acquired two books by Lyn McDonald about the First world War which really bring home the horrors of the conflict; I've read them before...

The poignancy of today is enhanced by it being my late Fathers birthday...


WE WILL REMEMBER THEM...
 

Emmit

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I've taken it upon myself over the last few years to pull up whenever I see the plaque outside the cemetary. It doesn't take long to give your respects.
There are many cemetaries where there is a single or few graves interring the fallen.

I regard it as a priveledge.
 
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DavidG58
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Well, we have been to the cemetery, forget the grit in eye bit, proper tears, no stopping them

10,700 graves, started looking at some, seeing how young in some cases, then realised a few were dated my birthday 18th December, but also 1918, loads died here after the war ended as it was a large hospital

600 Germans also buried here, died of their injuries or disease while we tried to mend them

War is a bad thing

I have taken photos, but for now you can share my memory

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Bailey58

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We stopped there last summer with Loujess (Ivy and Sandy) on the way to Honfleur. It was raining cats and dogs so we never stayed as long as we wanted or should. Graves as far as the eye could see and that is just one of so many.
 
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I am not a military man, verging on pacifist really, but I have always had a great interest in history and wars in particular, in order to try and understand both the reasons and the people involved.

I have the greatest respect for the combatants involved and have visited, and paid my respects, at sites from both WW1 and 2(and others) in Europe and the UK always with great sadness and a heavy heart.

Many years ago I read a book called 'The Hell they called High Wood'(part of the Somme battlefield) and visiting this site brought home to me the sacrifices made over a tiny piece of useless land.

On the other hand near to our mobile home in France is a Commonwealth War Grave in Escoublac near to St. Nazaire in which many of the Soldiers and Sailors killed in the very successful 'Operation Chariot' which put out of action the huge 'Normandy dry dock' the only dock outside Germany that could accommodate the Tirpitz.

As others have said the ages of the combatants is heartrending and never fails to bring a lump to my throat.

Incidentally my Dad's Uncle Fred was in his thirties when he died at the hospital near to Etaples, Camiers possibly, a few weeks after the armistice leaving two daughters who were brought up by my Grandad
 

magicsurfbus

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I don't know of any family members who died in war. My Grandad joined up in WW1 but we don't think he was posted to France. In WW2 he worked at Armstrong Whitworth's bomber factory near Coventry and fortunately was at home in Leicester on the night of the Blitz. My other Grandad was too young for WW1 and apparently too old for WW2, although he may also have been in a reserved occupation. On my wife's side were two uncles who were conscientious objectors in WW2, Brave people in their own way who doubtless had different battles to fight.

We don't have to visit any war graves for family reasons but we still do. There is no substitute for standing among the headstones and reading their names and ages - no amount of photos in history books can convey that sense of sacrifice. At Tyne Cot, near Passchendaele I walked the entire length of the memorial wall for those with no known grave, and have been to the Menin Gate service in Ypres. In Bayeux opposite the museum they buried aircrews together, and there are German graves there too. The huge camp at Etaples, mentioned above, is thought to be where the Spanish Flu virus first crossed from birds to humans then went on to kill more people than the war had.

Our world is by no means perfect, but when you visit these places you realise how much there is to be grateful for.
 

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