08 May 2017

Upcoming Rededication and Reburials - May 2017

The following rededication and reburial services are due to be held at Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) cemeteries.

Rededication Ceremony 10 May 2017 

A Rededication service will be held at 1600 hours on Wednesday 10 May 2017 at Sedan-Torcy French Cemetery, France, for the crew of Royal Air Force Fairey Battle L5523. 

Fairey Battle L5523 with its crew of Flight Lieutenant Harold Courtenay Sammels, Sergeant Frank Bernard Abbott and Leading Aircraftman Raymond Douglas Hughes was lost flying on a sortie in the Sedan area on 14 May 1940. Recent research has confirmed that the aircraft crashed near La Neuville-a-Marie and the crew were initially buried in the local cemetery. Following the war their remains were concentrated to Sedan-Torcy, French National Cemetery where they have lain as “unknown” airmen. 

The service has been organised by the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) and will be attended by family members, regimental representatives and local dignitaries. The CWGC will be providing the headstone. 

Rededication Ceremony 11 May 2017 

A Rededication service will be held at 1100 hours on Thursday 11 May 2017 at CWGC Hotton War Cemetery, Belgium for the crew of Royal Air Force Bristol Blenheim N6173. 

Bristol Blenheim N6173 with its crew of Pilot Officer Croydon Chamberlain, Sergeant George Seldon and Aircraftsman First Class Frank Hands was lost without trace on 13 May 1940. It is now known that it crashed at Neerwinden and the crew all buried locally. The church cemetery register at Neerwinden records the burial of three unknown airmen with a date of death of 13 May 1940. By process of elimination the aircraft lost was Blenheim N6173. 

The service has been organised by the JCCC and will be attended by attended by British and Commonwealth Defence staff, family members, regimental representatives and local dignitaries. The CWGC will be providing the headstone. 

Burial of WW1 Soldier Private Henry Parker, 5th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, CWGC Warlencourt British Cemetery, France – 17 May 2017 

A full ceremonial burial will be held for Private Henry Parker 3183, 5th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment at 1100 hours on Wednesday 17 May 2017 at CWGC Warlencourt British Cemetery, France with 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment providing support. Private Parker was 22 years old when he was killed in action on 26 September 1916 when his battalion was engaged in an attack on enemy trenches near to Martinpuich, France. 

Military insignia recovered with Private Parker’s remains enabled the Ministry of Defence’s JCCC to trace the soldier’s nearest living relatives and determine his identity via the use of DNA. The service has been organised by JCCC and will be attended by family members, British Defence Staff, regimental representatives and local dignitaries. The CWGC will be providing the headstone. 

As access to the cemetery will be controlled on the day of the burial, it is essential that anyone wishing to attend the service should contact JCCC in the first instance (Tel: 01452 712612 Ext 6082/Ext 7330).

Latest News

Monday 23 April will mark 100 years since the Zeebrugge Raid. One of the most celebrated episodes of the First World War at sea, the Royal Navy attempted to block the Belgian port and prevent the German navy from using it. More than 200 sailors and marines were killed and over 300 wounded. The dead are commemorated by the CWGC at sites in the UK and in Belgium, including Zeebrugge Churchyard which will be visited by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal over the weekend.

Today (18 April) is the International Day for Monuments and Sites, which aims to raise public awareness about the diversity and vulnerability of the world’s built monuments and heritage sites and the efforts required to protect and conserve them. We have asked the Commission’s conservation team to tell us about four of CWGC’s impressive, but lesser-known sites from around the world. Which one would you like to visit? Vote in our Twitter Poll.

A burial service was held at the Commission’s New Irish Farm Cemetery this morning for Captain H J I Walker and six unknown soldiers, more than 100 years after their death.