007 July 2018 - Graeme Cooper on CWGC
I have heard from Graeme who said how much he had enjoyed the afternoon. He is, of course a guide, who takes groups over to see the War Graves, so is very knowledgeable. His talk included information that I had not heard before.
SOME INTERESTING FACTS -
The intention was that the cemeteries should be like English country gardens.
Every third grave has a rose growing on it.
It was very important that no-one was forgotten so the missing were included [now – when remains are found and identified the name is removed from the ‘missing’ on the memorials].
There is one cemetery where the Sergeant-Major insisted that they should be buried as they went into battle with the officers at the front. Usually ‘rank had no privilege’, so an officer can be buried next to a soldier.
Soldiers only had cardboard dog-tags until 1916, when they realised that the metal ‘Australia’ survived on the bodies on the battlefields, whereas cardboard rotted.
Family inscriptions had to be paid for – see this one! https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/527871/willock,-guy-charles-boileau/
Pilots put hot potatoes in their pockets so they could keep their hands warm enough to work the controls.
In schools in Germany the ‘Hymn of Hate’ was taught http://www.greatwar.nl/kleur/hymnofhate.html
Canadian cemeteries are called Adanac [look carefully at the name].
This article tells you a lot https://www.britishempire.co.uk/forces/wargraves.htm