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  • Headstones

    I recall seeing some discussion before about the origins of the standard Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone which can be seen from time to time in Irish cemeteries. A few queries that somebody might be able to help with:


    1. When did this pattern come in to use?

    2. Was it optional for a certain period or could soldiers be buried in a family grave.

    3. Was it reserved only for those who died in action or from wounds in action or was it available to any military personnel who died in service whether in frontline or in depot duties?

    Thank you in anticipation.

  • #2
    Hi CP
    I think it came into use after WW 1, to standardise.They were used regardless of the casualty's demise.If you look at the ones in the Curragh, some of the older headstones relate the cause of death (accident, disease,etc) whereas the later ones don't. Some of the dates relate to the post WW1 influenza epidemic or the 1916 Rising or the War of Independence.In the case of British combat deaths in Ireland, a lot of the wealthier families brought their deceased back to the UK, a practise also prevalent following deaths at sea (torpedoings.etc)

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    • #3
      On a similar note, Just a couple of hundred yards down from Mkee Bks Dublin, is a cemetery which has the graves of British soldiers from colonial days .I,and others were unaware of this and only discoverd their existance while on a visit with the Uk branch of the IUNVA several years ago.

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      • #4
        There is a German cemetary in Wicklow with the graves of soldiers who died during WWII.

        As far as i know the head stone is standard and the familiy had the option of paying to have a personal message engraved on to it.

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        • #5
          Some pics of WWI and WWII Cemeteries in France

          Muzzle
          Lieutenant
          Last edited by Muzzle; 25 July 2006, 12:45.

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          • #6

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            • #7

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              • #8
                The headstones are a standard size but there is some variety in the material used to make them and in the inscriptions. Two religious symbols are allowed, a Cross or a Star of David. The cross can be of two sizes a large one with the soldier's regimental badge in the centre or a small one with the badge above it. If the soldier was a holder of the VC, a representation of the award replaces the religious symbol. If the soldier was unknown or the family requested it no religious symbol appeared. There are two Unknowns in Charleville Cemetery Co. Cork. Personal inscriptions by the family were carved at the foot of the headstone, maximum 66 letters including spaces and paid for by the family. The New Zealand government refused to allow these-there are 9 Kiwis and 21 Aussies buried in Ireland- and the Canadian government picked up the tab for it's citizens. If the family requested it the soldier was buried under a family headstone and this is still considered a CWGC grave. In other instances a CWGC headstone was erected on the family plot in addition to the family marker. In Kilkenny a CWGC headstone also records the later death and interrment of a wife and child. And finally anybody who dies on service during the two world wars was entitled to the CWGC headstone.
                sigpic
                Say NO to violence against Women

                Originally posted by hedgehog
                My favourite moment was when the
                Originally posted by hedgehog
                red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

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                • #9
                  Thank you to all who replied and especially to Groundhog for his comprehensive reply. Just a query re Groundhog's last comment: is the entitlement to the headstone confined to service during the two world wars. Surely those who were in service at other times also qualify for such headstones? Or perhaps not?

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                  • #10
                    Those who died outside of wartime do not come under the responsibility of the War graves people. This caused the loss, up to recently of the final resting place of those killed in a Royal navy training accident in Cork Harbour in around 1902


                    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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                    • #11
                      Hi all
                      Anyone know if the graveyard behind Collins' Barracks in Cork is maintained? It's years since I saw it but it was scruffy then.
                      regards
                      GttC

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                      • #12
                        I didn't even know there was one.


                        Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner
                          Hi allAnyone know if the graveyard behind Collins' Barracks in Cork is maintained? It's years since I saw it but it was scruffy then.regardsGttC
                          I believe the grass has been cut and the place tidied up. All the headstones ahave been moved to the boundary walls.
                          sigpic
                          Say NO to violence against Women

                          Originally posted by hedgehog
                          My favourite moment was when the
                          Originally posted by hedgehog
                          red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

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                          • #14
                            Hi all
                            Goldie, the graveyard, as I remember it, was behind the prison, facing the Glen housing estates and had a pillared gate and a tatty fence. You could see it from the road. At the time, early Eighties, it was possible to walk from the front of the barracks around to the back of the jail and past the grave yard.
                            regards
                            GttC

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                            • #15
                              I know that in Grangegorman british military cemetery, Dublin, there is a plaque listing those buried in 'Cork military cemetery'. I cannot remember whether in fact it refers to burials transferred from Cork to Grangegorman. Perhaps this is relevant to the current status of the Cork cemetery?

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