Monday 16 June 2014

War Memorial Gravestones in Silkstone Churchyard

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.

Silkstone Churchyard contains four Commonwealth War Graves.

Heritage Silkstone is an organisation which aims to preserve and further the understanding of the heritage of the Village of Silkstone.  It has a research room in All Saints Church in Silkstone with lots of information about the area. Visit their website for more details.

Silkstone Remembers is a partnership between the Barnsley War Memorials Project and Heritage Silkstone to remember the Fallen of Silkstone online.

In the list below, where the name is blue click to follow the link to a page with a larger photograph, more information and links.

 Gravestone Location
Section Row No.
Soldier's Name & Regiment
Date of Death
Edward Batley
York & Lancaster Regiment
1 July 1916

Arthur Batley
Manchester Regiment
27 September 1918
Joseph Bower
Welsh Regiment
6 November 1918

George Bower
York & Lancaster Regiment
12 October 1916
Frank Sturdy
Royal Engineers  

18 June 1918
George Brook
York & Lancaster Regiment
30 October 1918
Richard K Funnell
Durham Light Infantry
29 May 1918
David Williams
Royal Navy HMS Fearless
24 July 1941
Frank Basford
Royal Artillery  
22 June 1942
George Bostwick

Manchester Rgt

30 Jun 1917

Headstone destroyed by UDC

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