Monday 23 June 2014

War Memorial Gravestones in Grimethorpe Cemetery

During both the First and Second World Wars re-repatriation of the bodies of fallen servicemen and women was not usual.  The Unknown Soldier, entombed in Westminster Abbey represents those buried and commemorated overseas who could not come home.  For many families, deprived of a graveside at which to mourn, one solution was to add the name of their lost son (or daughter) to the family gravestone in their local churchyard.  

The Imperial War Museum's War Memorials' Archive defines a War Memorial as "any tangible object which has been erected or dedicated to commemorate those killed as a result of war, conflict or peacekeeping; who served in war or conflict; or who died whilst engaged in military service."  This includes gravestones which commemorate a casualty buried elsewhere.  There must be a clear statement on the memorial (or in a printed document such as a newspaper report from the time) that defines the commemorative purpose of the feature and reports its erection. The full wording of their definition can be found here.

Thus gravestones which include wording such as: died of wounds received in action, killed in action, fell in France, died on active service, reported missing in action, or even killed accidentally while on active service all count as War Memorials.  The wording is a "clear statement" that the purpose of recording that person's name on the gravestone is as a memorial.

Graves which are situated on the site of the burial of a casualty, such as Commonwealth War Graves, are not War Memorials, however the Barnsley War Memorials Project is also collecting their details for inclusion in the Barnsley Roll of Honour.

Grimethorpe Cemetery has twelve Commonwealth War Graves Commission burials in addition to the five war memorial gravestones shown below.  A soldier killed in Northern Ireland in 1971 is also buried in the cemetery, Clifford Loring. There is also the burial of a soldier who died in 2004, Charles David Sellar.

John Allott  WW1
C Bubb WW1
James Henry Buckingham WW2
Fred Chopping WW2
William Connor WW1
W Hall WW1
William Henry Hinks WW2
Lavinia Judge WW2 
George Kenchington WW2
Albert Prosser WW1
Charles Henry Snowden WW2
Thomas Henry Westhead WW2

Further information and usually a larger photograph have been provided where the name is coloured blue, click to follow the link.
 Gravestone Location
Section Row No.
Soldier's Name & Regiment
Date of Death
O 976
Clifford K Loring
Coldstream Guards

11 April 1945

C 501
Albert Waltham

1 July 1916
K 72
Tom Johnson

Durham Light Infantry

15 September 1916
F 365
Percy Lumb
Prince of Wales Own

29 August 1918
D 243
Albert B Chilton
Royal Corps of Signals

18 May 1943

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