Military Graves in Civilian Cemeteries


Who is responsible for the upkeep of these sites?
I spied one in Birkbeck yesterday and it was sadly overgrown.
I saw at least 5 headstones from the boundary and recognised RAF and RE capbadges.


Book Reviewer
British war grave commision or military attache,s office at embassies, I visited some war graves last sunday in Bulgaria, the grounds and Headstones are kept beautifully.


Book Reviewer
Probably the local authority; if they run the cemetary.
Pararegtom said:
British war grave commision or military attache,s office at embassies, I visited some war graves last sunday in Bulgaria, the grounds and Headstones are kept beautifully.
I thought it was the Commonwealth War Grave Commission?

Web Page Name

Yep, I believe it is.

If you contact them and give them the locstat of the burials they will send someone out to rectify. Or alternate option is they are unadopted graves ie no known family and they are local to you, then you can adopt one or more of the fallen and spruce up their resting place. It doesn't take much of a time commitment in the greater scheme of things.
There's RMLI and RAF in my local cemetery, and they seem fairly tidy and looked after. I remember years ago when I was in scouts we spent a weekend clearing and tidying up the place.
HI ugly
I was working at an ex Methodist chapel in Huddersfield that had a cemetery at the rear and in the cemetery were about 3 or 4 war graves and the then house owner said that the first 2 or 3 rows of the cemetery were maintained by the war graves commission due to there been some war graves in the rows hope this is of help also try contacting them through this linky :D


I was walking the track alongside the cemetery when I saw them, they looked tattily overgrown from that angle and I too remember seeing the military ones in my local cemetery in Cornwall which always looked well cared for!
I will visit again next week possibly then get in touch with CWGC to ask!
Not sure who is responsible, but here in Belgium, not far from Brussels, there is a whole Halifax crew buried in the local churchyard, the graves are well kept.

They are listed on the CWGC site so they may have some responsibility, or the locals may have taken the responsibility on. Whichever it is good to see that someone still cares enough to ensure they are maintained.
The National Arbotorumn (excuse spelling) may help
E-Layer has expressed the correct general rule Ug. :wink: The CWGC control CWGC military cemeteries and memorials. The rules were no overseas repatriation, but, depending on the circumstances and individual rulings made, (usually after petition by the NoK), burials need not necessarily take place within CWGC grounds.

I’ve said ‘generally’ as variations occurred for fair reason. e.g. Those in planes and boats may have actually died well away from Britain. ‘British’ servicemen with family in France, Belgium, Holland, Italy etc, who happened to be killed on service in those countries may have been claimed by their family in that country – the rule was no repatriation to another country, but it was permissible for the body to be moved within the country of death. Then you have Orde Wingate. Killed with his British ADC and eight Americans in a B25 crash in Burma. Recovered remains, not individually unidentifiable, buried locally, then reinterred to CWGC Imphal, then reintered in Arlington USA as the majority of the remains were American, and that was the rule in these cases. 8O

If in a private plot, or tomb, maintenance is down to the family. There may not be a CWGC headstone as the individual may be intered with family, but their inscription should include name, rank and serial number and usually their Unit. CWGC try to have an associate visit and report on gaves every year, and perhaps this may appear to be easier abroad as there are probably fewer than in Britain. If a grave is in decline, it’s policy to try and contact the NoK and offer assistance. If untraceable, CWGC will approach whoever has responsibly for the cemetery and seek to assist in that way.

Interesting question as I pass Tooting Cemetary in Sarf Lundun regularly and there are many military stones, given that Tooting Military Hospital was across the road, part of what is now St Georges. Same if you go past Fulham Cemetary.

Oldest person I have seen so far is a 53 year old C/Sgt from one of the London Regiment battalions.

They are all 'official' headstones, but based on No.9s response, presume it's down to family
I saw a number of War Graves in the junction cemetary in Reading, a few of them were overgrown a tree had fallenon top of one. I called the local council and spoke to a nice lady who dispatched a number of gardeners etc.. to square it away. The following week, all sorted. Job jobbed.


Ford Park Cemetery, Pennycomequick, Plymouth

"Submariners in the West Country hope to restore monuments to Royal Navy pioneers to mark the centenary of an early Silent Service tragedy.

Only four sailors were saved when a battery explosion destroyed HMS A8 off Plymouth Breakwater in May 1905, killing 15.

One hundred years on from the disaster, the gravestones of 11, in Ford Park Cemetery in Plymouth, are in a poor state – some have fallen victim to the weather, others have been attacked by vandals.

The state of the stones has prompted Plymouth Submariners’ Association (PSA) to launch a £4,000 appeal to honour the men who paved the way for today’s Submarine Service."
Dec 08 2008
"Scores of people attended a memorial service at Ford Park Cemetery to see the dedication and blessing of the joint grave of Flying Officer Frederick Kingsley Wood and Leading Aircraftman William Sydney Rutledge. The two young Plymouth-based airmen, of 209 (Flying Boat) Squadron, died in a flying boat accident near Mount Batten exactly 77 years ago."

T E Lawrence (RAF) was stationed on Mountbatten: ceremony for airmen News.pdf

Just a few of the military burials at Ford Park.
tich23 - "They are all 'official' headstones, but based on No.9s response, presume it's down to family."-

I believe the CWGC always offer the family a headstone whether or not the individual is to be transferred to his families location. Understandably I'd say many feel it's what they would have wanted? Re gave care, from the beginning or over the years the family may have requested the CWGC to accept care of the grave. If someone from say Newcastle is buried in Tooting, makes sense.


ps. you talkin Garratt Lane or Blackshaw?

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