Military Cemetaries

Visited the Somme with the family a little while ago and obviously went to the Cemetaries to pay respects.
We noticed that although the majority of the headstones were evenly spaced, there were some that were closer together in twos and threes, and some were even touching each other.
At first we thought those at rest may be brothers but the names are often different.

Anyone know the significance of the `clumped` and `paired` headstones?
Did you check the dates? Aircrews are usually buried together which is one example of grouped headstones.
Berlin cemetrys a funny place
there's seven graves and then a space
I thought for a while, and then I knew,
there was severn a bomber crew
Often a number of bodies were buried together in a shell crater, or a group of men killed and buried in a collapsed dug-out, etc. When the bodies were disinterred for reburiel, frequently the remains were intermingled - hence a common grave.


I believe you also get random gaps from where there used to be a French soldier buried there, who was then removed and buried in a French Cemetery.
Its from when there were several bodies mixed together usually.
Over the years since the end of WW1, many of those who died and were 'missing' were subsequently discovered and re-interred in the military cemetaries near where they died. If a group of remains were found they were buried together in sequential plots, unless they were identified as friend or foe.


Book Reviewer

With the Somme (and Ypres) cemeteries there is an added complication that affects the graves. The original cemeteries were overtaken in some cases many times during subsequent action in the war. Where possible the deceased were maintained where they first were interred but that was not always possible for obvious reasons.

I do hope that you visited La Boiselle and the cemetary near the Lochnagar crater. I visited it some years ago and found the grave of a Corporal Croft. I was stunnded to see his address. His address was my next door to my grandmother. The house still exists. I often think about him leaving that house and his travel to the Somme. I thank him and many others like him that I may visit that site in peace.
A lot of wounded soldiers were brought home to Blighty. Next time you visit a local cemetery look out for the row of military graves. I drove past one yesterday and clocked the row of about 15-20 tombstones near the railings
The cemetaries varied depending on type, Battlefield Cemetary (made immediatly after an action) Casaulty Clearing Station cemetaries (usually in close proximity to the clearing station) And Concentration cemetaries where bodies were collected after the war and smaller cemeteraries moved into one large cemetery like Tyne Cot.

In a lot of cases the headstones touching are the result of a large pit type burial and in a lot of cases the dates of death run sequencialy bodies was placed side by side as men died.


tropper66 said:
Berlin cemetrys a funny place
there's seven graves and then a space
I thought for a while, and then I knew,
there was severn a bomber crew
Visitors Book there too I seem to remember. Back in '89 (lamps and sandbags) we were corresponding with a family we met there from Blighty, and they thought it was great that someone brought flowers and tended the Graves while they were at home. Easier to keep in touch with photos and emails nowadays. Friends for years.

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