CWGC Cemeteries at Beja and Medjez-el-Bab.

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by bexley84, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    During a visit last week to Tunisia, I was able to visit Beja and Medjez-el-Bab CWGC Cemeteries to pay my respects to my father's friends and comrades who lie at rest or are commemorated at the two cemeteries and thank the gardening teams for looking after them... they do a great job in most difficult climatic conditions. I also noticed that the last entry in the visitors' book at Beja was dated November 2017.


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  2. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    At Beja, there are a number of men who served with 38 (Irish) Brigade including Lt Colonel Heaver Allen, who was killed at Jebel Mahdi, and Captain Nicolas Jefferies MC who was killed on Jebel Ang.


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    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
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  3. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    At Medjez a number of London Irish Riflemen... my father, CQMS Edmund O'Sullivan, attended a 78th Division Service of Thanksgiving at Carthage Basilica on 23rd May 1943 and he would later recall that day of intense emotion:

    "High above the city of Tunis, and dominating the skyline, were the twin white towers of one of the oldest basilicas of the Catholic Church. Leading the division to the Service of Thanksgiving were the pipes and drums of the Skins, the Faughs and the London Irish Rifles. To me, these parades were a duty I never avoided. It was both a pleasure and a privilege to march behind the pipes.

    My main prayers, apart from thanksgiving for survival, were for the repose of the souls of my many comrades and friends: Denis Griffin and Andy Gardiner, the gentle provost sergeants; George Rock and Ian Brooks; Captain Carrigan; Snootch McDowell, whom I escorted to his death, and Harry McRory. I thought of the hundreds of others from the battalion who had died, were missing or had been wounded. I also remembered those I had helped to bury, without due prayer, both friend and foe. What a waste. I also thought of myself and my constant terror which I had successfully hidden, except once when it showed in my eyes. I was with Doc Samuels, our beloved medical officer, who grasped my wrist and reassured me. My biggest fear was to show that fear to others. I had tried to serve my fellows and to act as their mother: feeding them, clothing them, finding them somewhere to rest, giving them comfort and often listening to their worries and fears for their families. From them, I received affection which was close to love.

    I was proud of them and, at times, I think they were proud of me...."


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  4. PHIL85

    PHIL85 Member

    Thank you for the photo of the cemetery in Béja. I visited my relative’s grave there in 2008 and I’m happy to see it’s still in good shape.
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  5. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member



    As you know, the CWGC cemetery at Beja is quite tightly enclosed now by residential blocks but, in my experience, the memory of those who fell and who are buried there continues to be sensitively respected by local residents.

    best wishes
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