Burying the dead

Discussion in 'General' started by RosyRedd, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    I was reading a soldier's recollection about burying two young soldiers in a shallow grave because it was only temporary. That in itself was not a surprise, but then what happened to those who were killed weeks before they could have been laid to rest at one of the war cemeteries?
     
    Ron Goldstein likes this.
  2. FschJgBtl 261 Lebach

    FschJgBtl 261 Lebach Sch├╝tze

  3. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    All were collected and taken to military cemeteries. Sometimes miles from where they died. MY best mate is buried a long way from where we left him. In many cases they did not get buried and just melted back into the ground...Still being found today. Very sad. But true
    Sapper
     
  4. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Was that the norm to bury soldiers in mass graves before they were buried in the war cemeteries? After reading the account and then reading Cassino War Cemetery's Historical Information, it dawned on me that there are people buried there who died before it could be used as a cemetery.
     
  5. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Rosy,

    Some formal cemeteries were set up during the war (e.g. Bayeux), some after. Field burials were then located and moved into the formal cemeteries. There are, of course, exceptions, e.g. odd burials in churchyards.

    Here are a couple of threads on the subject: here and here.
     
  6. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Sorry Sapper I just read your post after sending my last one. I have been searching for information about a Great Uncle of mine and in my head he was killed and then buried at Cassino, but it was months later. It is only now that I have been reading WW2 Veteran's accounts explaining something about what you all had to go through, that it has brought it home that things just weren't as clean cut as that.

    It is very sad. Where is your best mate buried if you don't mind me asking?

    Jules.
     
  7. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Those threads pretty much clear it up thanks idler. Thanks for all the help again everyone.

    Jules.
     
  8. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Just to add not all soldiers were recovered later. I know of some bodies that are still missing from the fighting at Wormhout in 1940 and the area of the burial is known. One is believed to be buried under a post war house on the Cassel/Wormhout Road. They are remembered on Memorials like the one at Dunkirk for the France/Flanders 1940 campaign.

    Secondly not all are buried in war cemeteries. Many can be found in Communal Grave Yards and Church Grave Yards.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  10. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    Thought the attached pics from Imperial war museum collection might give an idea of how things were.
    The graves might have been a second burial after death and probably exhumed again to lay in a CWGC cemetery. 1st is taken at Anzio 1st March 1944. 2nd 2 x Jocks buried in the Sand. 3rd German POW's bury German dead.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Rosy -
    Many of my friends were buried at the Canadian cemetery at Riccione a week after the battle finished - 1st October '44 -as the next British cemetery was at Ancona - 50 miles away - at that time - Gradera was in construction. Then in 1954 they were all ( 2000) of all units moved to the new British cemetery at Coriano Ridge and the Canadian cemetery at Riccione was re developed - the Italian nation donated the land for the Coriano cemetery - and the local schoolchildren do the weeding every week and the gardeners cut the grass etc. There are seven cemetery's in the area with 14,000 dead.
    Cheers
     
  12. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Ron - thanks for the link. Everything needed planning for I suppose but wasn't it a bit of an unnerving thing to witness?
     
  13. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    ...I know of some bodies that are still missing from the fighting at Wormhout in 1940 and the area of the burial is known. One is believed to be buried under a post war house on the Cassel/Wormhout Road. They are remembered on Memorials like the one at Dunkirk for the France/Flanders 1940 campaign.

    Andy - It's tragic to think that someone is buried under a house. It doesn't seem right that he is left there...

    51 thanks for the pictures. My Great Uncle must have been exhumed and re-buried. One of the photos we have of his grave is very similar to the ones in the photo you posted of Anzio. I had not looked at it so closely until now.
     
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    He is reported by the local French population as being executed at the side of the road by a SS unit (LSSAH) and his body was kicked/thrown into a pond at the side of the road. After the war finished a house was built where the pond used to be and the body was never recovered. It is also thought that there maybe as many 50 bodies undiscovered in mass graves in an area called La Paine au Bois near Wormhout.

    Source: Guy Rommelaire - The Forgotten Massacre.

    La Paine au Bois
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  16. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The location and marking of graves is something that the Commonwealth forces took very seriously.

    If you care to delve into the Administrative History of 21st Army Group, there are references to teams who were dealing not only with the immediate deaths but it is clear that they were also actively seeking the 1940 burials as soon as the area was liberated.

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/unit-documents/19429-administrative-history-21st-army-group.html

    I think to be honest that for the armed forces, that was one of the reasons for going back.
     
  17. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Just seen this photo .
    22 December 1941
    The graves of three aircrew of No. 39 Squadron RAF, buried by the Germans, lie in front of the wreckage of their Martin Maryland Mark II south-west of Gazala
    [​IMG]
     
  18. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Many of my friends were buried at the Canadian cemetery at Riccione a week after the battle finished - 1st October '44 -as the next British cemetery was at Ancona - 50 miles away - at that time - Gradera was in construction. Then in 1954 they were all ( 2000) of all units moved to the new British cemetery at Coriano Ridge and the Canadian cemetery at Riccione was re developed - the Italian nation donated the land for the Coriano cemetery - and the local schoolchildren do the weeding every week and the gardeners cut the grass etc. There are seven cemetery's in the area with 14,000 dead.
    Cheers

    I had to google the places to find out where you were...It is somehow reassuring that the local people tend to these graves and they are so well looked after. Did you ever think after that they should have been taken back to their home lands?
     
  19. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Rosy -
    Bringing the dead back home is a new twist seemingly from the Afghanistan problem -why I don't know !!! Seemed to start with the Americans at Viet Nam ....

    that thought never entered our minds in those far off days as they were buried where they fell - as Monty in one of his famous lectures in the desert pointed out - if you are wounded - you will get first class treatment with Doctors and Nurses nearby - if you are deceased then you can expect a first class burial - the sick rate was less than 1%. Hospitals were emptied voluntarily not to miss the next battle ! Odd isn't it ?

    - Doctors and Nurses were nearly always just 25 - 30 miles away.

    The progress of the 8th Army is lined with cemeteries - "a spot in a foreign field that is forever England "
    Cheers
     
  20. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Tom, and there are huge areas around the world that remain a par of England
     

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