War Diaries Talk

Lost burial site

  • cyngast by cyngast moderator

    I just want to post this because I find it so sad and heartwrenching. The first entry on the list is a man who presumably was probably listed as missing, but has now been reported killed nearly one month before the date of this report. Date of death being given as 28 June 1918.

    The grid reference and map sheet for Pte. Amos' burial site are listed, so I used that trench map and google maps to try to locate it. Just to see. What I found is that, if the grid reference is correct, is that the site is now in a farm field just east of Caudescure in France. The CWGC lists him on the Ploegsteert Memorial, which contains the names of men from a very large area, including this one around the Forest of Nieppe which only saw fighting in 1918.

    It just seems like such a lonely place to be buried, with nothing to mark the grave. Even on the trench map, there is nothing that indicates it was any kind of a cemetery or notable spot.


  • marie.eklidvirginmedia.com by marie.eklidvirginmedia.com

    I wonder if his next of kin or relatives would have been aware of this burial information re the farm field at Caudescure in France. It would be quite a find for them if they were researching this diary of the 1 Btn DCLI. Although perhaps they were informed of this when he was reported killed.

    PS Good detective work Cynthia.


  • cyngast by cyngast moderator

    This is the first time I've seen a grave indicated with a grid reference like this. I've seen mentions of men being buried in various village cemeteries, or next to dressing stations, but nothing like this. So I wanted to check it out.


  • David_Underdown by David_Underdown moderator

    There are those using this type of data to get matches for those buried as unknowns (where of course the name will appear on a monument to the missing, but a headstone marking a grave which could actually be that person is marked "a soldier of the Great War, known unto God"), see http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/forum/176-recovering-the-fallen/

    Of course these were often investigated by exhumation parties after the war, but sometimes there was simply no sign of a body when they tried to recover it.


  • cyngast by cyngast moderator in response to David_Underdown's comment.

    Thanks, David. I've looked at a couple of those threads so far. The fourth one down about a man named Petty has quite a lot of discussion involving maps and grid references for identifying men. I also didn't know that their eating utensils were stamped with their service number and thus have been used on occasion for identification.

    This man from the 1/DCLI intrigues me a bit. You may remember that a few weeks ago I posted about men from the 1/East Surreys buried near Wulvergem according to the diary but who are now listed on the Menin Gate. In that case, they had been buried fairly early in the war and that ground changed hands at least once with German spring offensive in 1918 and probably suffered a lot of shelling. In the case of Pte. Amos, though, he died in June of 1918 and the burial location as given was behind the British line at the time of his death. This area may have been shelled some, but it remained in British possession until the end of the war, I think.

    I wonder what was at that spot where he was buried. Why there? A dressing station maybe?

    It's too bad this page doesn't say where he was when he went missing. Unfortunately, this diary only began with July and he was apparently killed in June.