Tuesday, 8 May 2018

War Graves

Whenever we take the footpath through the back of the churchyard we pass next to a war grave:


Inscription reads:
42564,  Private J W Turner, Durham Light Infantry, 2nd May 1918, Age 34
It looks a bit unkempt in the photo but has been tidied up recently.

War graves are cared for by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. A few years ago I saw a person from the Commission cleaning the headstone. This got me to look a bit further in to the CWGC. Their web site lists the war graves they maintain around the world, where they are and who is buried in each. According to the list there are four in our local churchyard.

On a nice sunny afternoon a few days ago we had a wander round the churchyard. I looked at every headstone in the newer section and those I could get near in the old part but so far only found one other war grave:


Here the inscription reads:
7615923, Private S A Forman, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, 12th March 1943, Age 21.

I will make another attempt at finding the other two on some future occasion.

As well as the actual graves there is also a memorial to all those from the village who lost their lives in the 1914-18 war:



The village was much smaller then.
The 1911 census returning just 280.
Now there are estimated to be around 1,000.

While I was looking at the headstones two others caught my eye.
This is the oldest person's grave I have spotted so far:


This one in the older part of the churchyard is almost buried under nettles and covered in lichen.
I was particularly drawn by the carving:


There is a wild variation in colour as some were taken with the 'full spectrum' camera.


  1. I enjoy grave yards. I must be morbid. The last stone I think belongs to a group with a special name. The carvings are often quite frightening.

  2. Such an interesting post and thanks so much for information re: the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. Recently when visiting a churchyard there was a sign there about CWGC graves - will now check out the website and see if i can find more information on them. The carving on the last grave looks fascinating. Would love to know if you find out more!

    Monday Montage this week is puzzling me! Will leave a comment soon! :)

  3. I can't do Monday's montage either John.
    I always think war graves are so desperately sad - such young lives. I went to Arnhem a couple of years ago but had to come out of the museum - I just couldn't bear the loss of live over something so futile.

  4. Very interesting post and I agree that war graves are sad. However so much better that they are in a church yard and not somewhere - possibly lost - overseas and out of reach of any family remembrances.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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