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Desecration of Graves

#1
Ok I know this is Navy but thought it might be of interest. Copied from the Mortimer group on facebook.

Two Dutch salvage ships are desecrating the wrecks of HMS Cressy, Hogue and Aboukir, sunk in 1914 in the North Sea looking for copper and bronze. The issue is complicated because the MOD seems to have sold the wrecks to a salvor in the 1950's. However a group of Dutch divers are organising a petition to get the salavage stopped and the wrecks treated with respect as the wargraves and important parts of the marine environment that they are.

Mortimer says please sign the petition here...stopdesloop.nl It is in Dutch but is easy to understand. This is an International issue- these could be the sailors or service people of any nation
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
Signed.

Here's some basic info about the sinkings:

Loss of HMS Aboukir, HMS Cressy and HMS Hogue

Before the sinking some at the Admiralty didn't take the submarine threat seriously enough.

Here's some info on the current state of the ships.

Q & A Wrecks August 2004 - Divernet

...all three cruisers are almost upside-down, with severe damage to their bottoms. Though some of this can be put down to the torpedoes, there was heavy salvage in the 1950s, with all the sterns blown off in recovering the propellers and shafts. Midship sections have been opened with explosives to reach the condensers and in the bows the torpedo tubes have been blown out. Showing are the powder and shell magazines and the bases of the engines and boilers. The bottoms of the lower 6in gun casemates on the port side of HMS Cressy can be seen.
The items mentioned would have contained copper alloys of varying descriptions - particularly the propellers. They've got a significant value with the present values in the commodity markets.

But it is remarkably distasteful to salvage from war graves. The ships went down quickly with men trapped below decks, so the hulks will almost certainly still contain human remains.

Wordsmith
 
#3
I agree with the distasteful part but I'd also say the case for reestablishing them as war graves 60 years after our own government has sold them on and they have already been subject to "heavy salvage" somewhat weakens the argument here.
 
#4
When does grave desecration/robbing become archeology?

Is it just a function of time only and if so how long has to pass before it becomes ok?
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#5
Sorry, let me get this straight? RN flogged the wrecks containing their dead in the 1950's. The salvors then blew the sterns off to recover the propellers and shafts. Midship sections were opened with explosives to reach the condensers and in the bows the torpedo tubes have been blown out.

And now a bunch of Cloggie divers are getting their smalls in a bunch about respecting our dead? Our glorious dead have been blown to dust for 50 years or more judging by the evidence.

Not signing.
 
#6
...........and the victor of this action is commeorated in a barracks in his home city of Herford and has been home to a BAOR unit for most of the last 70 years
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
Sorry, let me get this straight? RN flogged the wrecks containing their dead in the 1950's. The salvors then blew the sterns off to recover the propellers and shafts. Midship sections were opened with explosives to reach the condensers and in the bows the torpedo tubes have been blown out.

And now a bunch of Cloggie divers are getting their smalls in a bunch about respecting our dead? Our glorious dead have been blown to dust for 50 years or more judging by the evidence.

Not signing.
All true, but still not an argument for a wrong to be perpetuated.
 
#11
...........and the victor of this action is commeorated in a barracks in his home city of Herford and has been home to a BAOR unit for most of the last 70 years
Harewood isn't a boxhead name...

Interesting note, 9/12 Lancers were teh first and the Last unit to be housed in the barracks (excluding ints current encumbants the Sgts Mess singlies of 1 Div and Sig Regt and the vehicles of 211 and 212 Sig Sqns (part of 1 ADSR).
 
#12
Harewood isn't a boxhead name...

Interesting note, 9/12 Lancers were teh first and the Last unit to be housed in the barracks (excluding ints current encumbants the Sgts Mess singlies of 1 Div and Sig Regt and the vehicles of 211 and 212 Sig Sqns (part of 1 ADSR).
...Weddigen Kaserne is though!

There used to be a plaque on the house in Petersliestrasse to Otto Weddigen.

The Stadt Herfore had a huge painting of the sinking of the Cressey Hougue and Aboukir in storage with other paintings that cannot be exhibited for one reason or another. I had the miosfortune to be the property member for the Wentworth officers Mess after it had been rebuilt after a fire in 12986(?) I managed to get permission from the stadt to borrow the painting to hang on a bare wall in the dining hall at Wentworth. Unless you kneww the story it would look just like a big naval battle and not arouse any comment. But useful if and when any visiting naval chappie made "senior service" remarks. I left the Army before it happened and my successor might not have followed through with the idea.
 

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