What is the best war memorial?

Not a memorial as such,but whenever I go to the Imperial War Museum, I shake off whoever I'm with and spend a few quiet minutes by Boy Jack Cornwell VC's gun. On one occasion a visitor from the US asked a question and I offered a summary of the story - or rather I tried. About half way through I was suddenly afflicted with a tightening of the throat and a watering of the eyes (as I am now just thinking about it). I eventually got the story across and he was suffering the same ailment.

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Thanks for that, I've now had a look at Wiki, I'm rather embarrassed to say I'd never heard of young Jack.
 
For British memorials, Red hander beat me to it. I go for a minute's silence whenever I pass through Paddington. But the most impressive I've ever seen is in Budapest: a much larger than life statue of a stormtrooper lobbing a stick grenade down one of the main streets.
 
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(Sorry if a repost) GWR WW1 memorial at London Paddington. It's a natural pose and I think the chap's reading a letter from home. 3312 dead GWR staff in WW1.
Are you sure that isn't a "cunningly worded invitation to partake in a World War "?
 
Did a few cold November parades there. There was always a march past with the town band at the front which was good fun.
Me too, as a cadet nearly 40 years ago........there aren't many towns with a WW1 memorial that has become such a centre piece to the whole town. I've often wondered why they chose to remember their WW1 dead with a building of such iconic presence; most chose statues and cenotaphs.
 
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bokkatankie

Guest
Not the best but the only WW1 memorial around here. Bleskop Memorial, Groot Drakenstein, Western Cape

Have been researching the 10 names on it, one of them we believe is misnamed, as there is a solitary War Grave just down the road in Pniel for A J Thrift and I have not been able to trace any one with initials C J Thrift.


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bokkatankie

Guest
Of the other names I have established with 99% accuracy the following:

1. 2nd. Lieutenant Basil George Hope Maclear MC, Grenadier Guards
2. 2nd. Lieutenant Eric Percy Johnstone Touche, 1st. SAI, Essex Regt, RAF
3. Gunner Stephen Geffrey Dahse, SAFA
4. Rifleman Kingsley Louis Strangman, KRRC (Rhodesian Platoon)
5. Trooper E V Baker 7th. South African Horse.

The others are:

1. R G S Wiltshire - nothing found.
2. C J Thrift - we believe this to be, in fact A J Thrift, Essex Regiment, as above.
3. P Turner - nothing found
4. T Parsons - nothing found.
5. G Prichard - nothing found
 
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Kanchanaburi Thailand

The main CWGC cemetery in the centre of Kanchanaburi Thailand
with excellent museum run by Aussie civil engineer Rod Beattie,
within a haunting monument to the courage & tenacity on the railway.
Two Malerias and a Cholera.

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As a war memorial the one just north of the mall with the imposing Crimean soldiers with bowed bearskin clad heads
Most moving type of in memories would be the tablets in my old school chapel listing the old boys who dies on active service, supra ring at those names for 6 years every day (bar Saturday and holidays) with locations dotted around Victorian battles has an effect
 
Of the other names I have established with 99% accuracy the following:

1. 2nd. Lieutenant Basil George Hope Maclear MC, Grenadier Guards
2. 2nd. Lieutenant Eric Percy Johnstone Touche, 1st. SAI, Essex Regt, RAF
3. Gunner Stephen Geffrey Dahse, SAFA
4. Rifleman Kingsley Louis Strangman, KRRC (Rhodesian Platoon)
5. Trooper E V Baker 7th. South African Horse.

The others are:

1. R G S Wiltshire - nothing found.
2. C J Thrift - we believe this to be, in fact A J Thrift, Essex Regiment, as above.
3. P Turner - nothing found
4. T Parsons - nothing found.
5. G Prichard - nothing found
I have the AJ thrift medal card PM me if you want a copy
Unfortunately it seems it is not a grave but a alternative commemoration see here for details
CWGC - Casualty Details
 
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bokkatankie

Guest
I have the AJ thrift medal card PM me if you want a copy
Unfortunately it seems it is not a grave but a alternative commemoration see here for details
CWGC - Casualty Details
Got it already, along with his service record, thanks!

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CWGC, are re-instating his original site as this is now accessible to the public, he is physically buried in Pniel and has an alternate account (CWGC term) at Plumstead Military Cemetery in Cape Town. He was Carpenter on the farm, he came to SA in 1903 on:

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He was married on the Farm to a girl from Stellenbosch, they had 2 children,sadly I have not been able, as yet, to trace them. These may be Grandchilden, at Pniel site, the Croc shoes date it as after 2006:

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Primrose Park, Llansamlet, Swansea. Cenotaph for fallen soldiers from the 2 great wars:




This war memorial holds a special place in my heart. I used to play here as a child for many years. There is a beautiful lawn for bowling in the middle of the park and a nice playground for kids with swings and roundabouts at the back. My Mother and Grandmother pushed me on those swings when I was probably not even walking yet and I still 'played' there as a teen with friends. My Great Uncle Joseph is named on the Cenotaph.

The London Paddington to Swansea line is only a hundred yards from the Cenotaph and not much further away is an industrial railway line that carries the coal to Milford Haven. That particular railway line (to Milford Haven) runs directly under where I grew up in my Gran's house. It would shake the room with a quiet rumble late into the night and early morning. A mysterious ghost train. It was never intrusive.

A little further away again (5 mins walk) was the first ever commercial Tram railway line in the world. Pulled by horses it went all the way to Oystermouth road. Mining in this village goes back 500 years or more, both coal (highest quality anthracite) and metals. It was at the heart of the industrial revolution and we helped to power the world. It was the Middle East of its day.

The Swansea and Mumbles Railway was the world's first passenger railway service,[1] located in Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom.

Originally built under an Act of Parliament of 1804 to move limestone from the quarries of Mumbles to Swansea and to the markets beyond, it carried the world's first fare-paying railway passengers on 25 March 1807. It later moved from horse power to steam locomotion, and finally converted to electric trams, before closing in January 1960, in favour of motor buses.[1]

At the time of the railway's closure, it had been the world's longest serving railway and it still holds the record for the highest number of forms of traction of any railway in the world - horse-drawn, sail power, steam power, electric power, petrol and diesel.


Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed and built the rare examples of railway arches of their type that are just feet from this Cenotaph. They are still there today shoring up the steep banks on either side with the trains to and from London passing under.

My Great Uncle Joseph is on the Cenotaph. He died in the first great war and was a private in the RAMC. He was 24 when he died. He was one of 74 of the 'Llansamlet boys' that did not return home.








Beyond the hedge on the left is the beautifully maintained bowling green. At the side of the hedge on the right is the London railway line.




[Original photos and full credit to Barry Mort]


For all my time growing up there, I can never once remember this Cenotaph being vandalised. Not that vandalism was a big problem in the area - it wasn't - but I always remember it being freshly tended and well looked after.


In this next photo you can see my Great Uncle's name: Joseph Walters. It is the sixth one up from the bottom.

Monumental mason, Mike Isaac, who is still able to carry out what is now a dying trade, as we have to continue with the same standard and type of work on the monument as the original text, done almost a hundred years ago.

Here is Mr. Isaac adding the names of two recently discovered 'forgotten servicemen' to the Cenotaph -





I thought I'd include this as well as I found it interesting and it provides some extra background information on the Cenotaph -

Forgotten heroes added to Llansamlet memorial

THE names of two forgotten First World War heroes' have been added to the war memorial at Primrose Park in Llansamlet.

When it was first built through public subscriptions in January 1922 the monument contained the names of 74 casualties who lost their lives in the conflict.

With 2014 marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of hostilities the Llansamlet Historical Society was involved in several commemorative events. It said a fair amount of research was required and during the year it was discovered that there were at least two names not on the memorial that should be.

The two men not included were Lance Corporal Charles Cherry, 1115, of 1st battalion Welsh Regiment, and Trimmer Robert Morgan Thornton, 1130/TS HMS Actaon RNVR.

Lance Corporal Cherry was an orphan who came from London. He left Leytonstone workhouse at the age of 10 and the historical society found he later lived in Heol Las with the Mathews family grocers. They found a photo of him with Hannah Mathews, delivering groceries in Heol Las with a horse and cart owned by the family 1913.

War was declared in July 1914 and Charles joined the Welsh Regiment. He was shipped off to the Western Front and was killed in August 1915 aged 18 years. He is buried at Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium, about six miles from Ypres.

Quite how or why he came to be in Heol Las is not known, but many chapels in the area had connections to orphanages.

Robert Morgan Thornton, who had worked at Swansea docks before the war, was born in 1884, the son of George and Eleanor of Lambs Row Foxhole. In 1914 he lived a few doors away from his parents with his wife Alice, and two daughters, Alice aged 8 and Eleanor aged 3.

He died aged 31 and is buried at Sheerness Cemetery, Isle of Sheppey

A spokesman for the historical society said: "We have been fortunate to have found a monumental mason, Mike Isaac, who is still able to carry out what is now a dying trade, as we have to continue with the same standard and type of work on the monument as the original text, done almost a hundred years ago."


Trimmer Robert Morgan Thornton, 1130/TS HMS Actaon RNVR:




Lance Corporal Charles Cherry, 1115, of 1st battalion Welsh Regiment:

 
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This off shoot of the display at the Tower of London, is at Woodhorn Colliery near Ashington, Northumberland. There are some 5,000 poppy heads in the display and follows the `Weeping` part of the Tower display.

It`s on until November 1st if anyone is in the area.
 
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This is the Newfoundland memorial to the their fallen of WW1 (just the one Caraboue) it’s worth looking at their site on Wikipedia.
Been there a couple of times and always brings a lump to my throught.
 
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Always liked the French war memorials, especially when they add the names of Resistance fighters murdered by the Nazi’s. Very poignant, very relevant especially when compared with the large numbers who claim to have served ‘on their balcony’.
 
Captain Charles Fryatt, shot for a watch. Memorial in Liverpool Street sataion

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Charles Fryatt - Wikipedia
The German who either commanded the firing squad, for Edith Cavell ended up being sent to Devils Island for his part in the crime (i’m Not sure what else he might of done). Where he later died, whilst on Parole, which meant he had to live on French Guyana for as long as his original sentence.
 
Me too, as a cadet nearly 40 years ago........there aren't many towns with a WW1 memorial that has become such a centre piece to the whole town. I've often wondered why they chose to remember their WW1 dead with a building of such iconic presence; most chose statues and cenotaphs.
One explanation I have heard, is that WW1 was the first industrial war, in which millions died as a direct result of the rapid advances in technology. Such was the enthusiasm of the country as a whole that it has been suggested that there was a collective guilt over the loss of so many men. Prior to WW1, there was either no memorial to the dead, or privately funded plaques in churches. Moreover prior to WW1, the dead were not buried but burnt on large bonfires. I am sure that there are exceptions to that, but there won’t be many.
I have also read in a book by Hart, of a similar reply to the question.
 

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