Joint Military Grave

Discussion in 'War Cemeteries & War Memorial Research' started by Grasshopper, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Member

    Hi everyone!

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    My great-uncle BERTIE EDWIN COOK was wounded in the Battle of France in 1940 and transported back to England where he subsequently died (presumably from his injuries).
    His remains are buried in a war grave in Chester (Overleigh) Cemetary.
    However, he is not alone as he shares his grave with another soldier who appears to have absolutely no connection to my great-uncle. They didn't even die on the same day and were not from the same regiment .
    I have asked everyone I can think of, including the CWGC but they bounced me back to the MOD. I am reluctant to speak with the MOD as although I could gain access to his war records (my mother is his oldest surviving relative) I am not sure that it would even be mentioned.
    Can anyone shed any light?
    TIA
    Carol
     
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Just putting up links and details:

    Casualty
    Private COOK, BERTIE EDWIN
    Service Number 6402570
    Died 03/06/1940
    2nd Bn. Royal Sussex Regiment
    Buried at CHESTER (OVERLEIGH) CEMETERY
    Cemetery/memorial reference: New Portion. Joint grave 3842.

    Casualty
    Private COLEMAN, PHILLIP
    Service Number D/16867
    Died 04/06/1940
    Aged 53
    6th (H.D.) Bn. South Lancashire Regiment
    Buried at CHESTER (OVERLEIGH) CEMETERY
    Cemetery/memorial reference: New Portion. Joint grave 3842.
     
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  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    This is not showing as joint grave on the headstone although they have the same grave number 3842 usually both casualties are named on the same headstone
    Although they share the same grave number they have separate headstones.
    Could I suggest you contact the cemetery who will have a burial register and will be able to advise you further.
    Burials and cremations




    Private COOK, BERTIE EDWIN
    Service Number 6402570

    Died 03/06/1940

    2nd Bn.
    Royal Sussex Regiment
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    [​IMG]
    https://images.findagrave.com/photos/2015/223/146181306_1439407122.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
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  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I cannot as yet see any connection via family trees, the only similarity at the moment is that both seem to have been single when they died possibly not married with no children
    Bertie had spent quite sometime in Canada learning farming, but it seems both of them were 'old men' 53 & 36 years old.

    Perhaps there is some commonality in what they died of ??

    Have you spoken to the church


    England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
    Name: Bertie E Cooke
    Death Age: 36
    Birth Date: abt 1904
    Registration Date: Jun 1940
    Registration district: Wirral
    Inferred County: Cheshire
    Volume: 8a
    Page: 1052

    Name: Philip Coleman
    Death Age: 53
    Birth Date: abt 1887
    Registration Date: Jun 1940
    Registration district: Chester
    Inferred County: Cheshire
    Volume: 8a
    Page: 924

    TD
     
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  5. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

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  6. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Member

    Thanks everyone, I know that Bertie never married and he never intended to leave Canada but somewhere along the way he did!
    It was the authorities who said it was a joint grave and I just went along with it!
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I wonder if there is something in the fact they are the first ones buried there, maybe they were expecting more and decided to keep the graves close together as they might need the room later on, i.e. they were allotted so much ground for 'X' number of possible graves so 'Y' feet & inches for each one - its a guess, as CL1 says speak to the church/local authority who may have details as to why they were placed so close

    TD
     
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  8. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    CWGC shows it to be a joint grave:

    upload_2019-3-18_19-33-28.png
    The closeness of the two gravestones also indicates they are not separate graves.
    As to the reason they are in the same grave the only one I can think of is that they were unable to identify which remains were which despite the dates of death being one day apart. Death certificates might have a clue.

    Tim
     
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  9. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Not so TD, CWGC lists several buried in Chester (Overleigh) New Portion prior to June 40.

    Tim
     
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  10. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Casualty List No. 225 Dated 7 June 1940
    Home & Stations Abroad
    Died
    Cook 1.jpg

    Casualty List No. 287 Dated 21 August 1940
    Corrections
    Cook 2.jpg

    Casualty List No. 227 Dated 10 June 1940
    Home & Stations Abroad
    Died

    Coleman.jpg
     
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  11. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Interesting that CL 287 in August and presumably long after the burial, not only amends Pte Cook to Died of Wounds but also changes the date of death from 4 June (same as Pte Coleman) to 3 June.

    Tim
     
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  12. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  13. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK and Ireland, Find A Grave Index, 1300s-Current
    Name: Pvt Bertie Edwin Cook
    Birth Date: 1904
    Death Date: 3 Jun 1940
    Cemetery: Overleigh New Cemetery
    Burial or Cremation Place: Chester, Cheshire West and Chester Unitary Authority, Cheshire, England
    Has Bio?: Y
    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/146181306

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
    Name: Bertie Edwin Cook
    Registration Year: 1905
    Registration Quarter: Jan-Feb-Mar
    Registration district: Wandsworth

    Parishes for this Registration District: View Ecclesiastical Parishes associated with this Registration District
    Inferred County: London
    Volume: 1d
    Page: 816

    TD
     
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  14. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    Has anyone thought if its worth asking the CWGC why two (apparently) unconnected persons would be in a 'joint' grave?
     
  15. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    I believe the originator has.
     
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  16. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Cwgc just confirmed for me they are buried together with separate headstones. They do not have any further info on why they were buried in the same grave
    As suggested contact the cemetery they will have a burial register and might have a note why they are buried together
    Regards
    Clive
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
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  17. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Member

    Yes. I don't why this would be so. Dead's dead,right?
     
  18. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Member

  19. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Bertie Edwin Cook
    Attested Royal Artillery 21.6.1920, age 15 yrs 110 days
    Discharged 25.3.1921, medically unfit, middle ear infection.
    Service No. 1025588 & 296548
    Address 21 Northcote Road, Clapham Junction
     
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  20. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Classification in the Casualty Lists is important. The main ones for death are Killed in Action (KIA), Died of Wounds and Died. Died implies death from a cause other than enemy action ie: accident, disease, natural causes, etc. This classification has implications such as right to a Widows War Pension, exemption from liability to Estate Duty etc.

    Tim
     
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