This Sunday marks the 94th anniversary of the end of the Great War. In honour of the Armistice, this week’s post pays tribute to the many servicemen and women, and civilian war dead, whose burial records can be found in the Deceased Online database.
Over 1,700,000 men and women of Commonwealth forces died in the two world wars. Thousands more were killed in the numerous battles and wars that have taken place across the world over past centuries.
Deceased Online’s database includes not only official Commonwealth burial grounds like those in Shooter’s Hill, Greenwich, and Chester (Blacon), but records of individuals whose service is long forgotten and whose graves now lie neglected. There are collections of Allied forces from outside the Commonwealth, such as the Norwegian section in Greenwich and that of 86 Polish airmen whose graves lie in Chester, far from home.
|Register of Canadian Air Force burials at Blacon, Chester (from the database)|
There are also burial details of men killed in Victorian conflicts, like the Crimea and the South African Wars. Besides these are victims of more recent conflicts: Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan. Some service personnel have no known grave but are remembered by memorials, often at a family plot.
|The database holds details of the 91 known casualties remembered in Kettering (London Road) Cemetery|
In previous posts, we have remembered Bertie Mee, who served with the Royal Army Medical Corps, GeneralSir Arthur Holland D.S.O., and Admiral Sir Watkin Pell of the Royal Navy.
There are others who survived, in some cases whose service in the armed forces or contribution to the war effort is long forgotten.
|Memorial to the Fallen at Newark-On-Trent Cemetery in Nottinghamshire|
And we remember those especially brave men and women who received medals of outstanding gallantry, such as Gunner Alfred Smith and Thomas Flawn, both recipients of the Victoria Cross.
This week, we uploaded burial records for Tonge Cemetery in Bolton. We will be looking more closely at this cemetery and the six other Bolton Council cemeteries in future posts, but on this occasion we would like to draw attention to the 95 known casualties of the two world wars who are buried here. The full list of Tonge Cemetery’s War Dead can be read at http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead.aspx?cpage=1&sort=name&order=asc
Not all who served in war are remembered. Blacon Cemetery in Chester contains the grave of an unidentified airman of the Royal Air Force, for example. Sadly many of the names on headstones and war memorials across the country now have no meaning to any living person.
This database seeks to provide an opportunity for family historians and others to remember those who might otherwise be forgotten. Please do let us know of any individual, relative or not, who you would like to commemorate on this year’s Remembrance Day.
Sources: Commonwealth War Graves Commission www.cwgc.org