05 March 2018

Burial and rededication services in March

The following burial and rededication services are due to be held at CWGC cemeteries this month.

Stone of Remembrance at Tyne Cot Cemetery 

Sunday 11 March

On the 75th anniversary of his death, a rededication service will be held at Le Crotoy Communal Cemetery, France, for Tadeusz Stabrowski, of 308 Squadron, Polish Air Force.

Tadeusz was brought down by anti-aircraft fire on 11 March 1943. He was last seen ditching his Spitfire in the Channel and although it was reported that he escaped his sinking aircraft, a rescue seaplane found no trace and it is presumed he died of hypothermia. His body washed ashore in April 1943 and was buried as an Unknown Polish Airman in Le Crotoy Communal Cemetery.

In September 2017, following a request by the Polish Department of Cultural Heritage and Wartime Losses, experts from Pomeranian Medical University carried out an investigation into the identity of the Unknown Polish Airman in Le Croy. Their investigation, which included DNA comparison, confirmed the identification of the previously unknown airman as Flying Officer Stabrowski.

The service has been organised by the Polish authorities and will be attended by his son and grandchildren. The CWGC will be providing a new headstone inscribed with his name.

Wednesday 14 March

A burial service will be held at Perth Cemetery (China Wall), Ypres, Belgium, for Private (Pte) Thomas Edmundson.

Pte Edmundson was killed in action on 26 April 1915, during the First World War while serving with B Company, 1st/7th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry. His remains were discovered near the town of Zonnebeke and were identified using DNA testing.

He will be buried with full military honours. The service has been organised by the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre and will be attended by British Defence Staff, members of the family, regimental representatives from the Rifles Regiment and local dignitaries. The CWGC will be providing the headstone, which will be engraved with a personal inscription chosen by family members.

Thursday 15 March

A burial service will be held at Orchard Dump Cemetery, France, for two soldiers of the First World War.

Their remains were discovered separately during excavation work near the town of Gavrelle. One soldier belonged to the Durham Light Infantry; intensive research and DNA testing has been carried out but unfortunately, to date, his identity has not been established. The other soldier served with the Bedfordshire Regiment, but it has not been possible to identify him.

They will be buried with full military honours. The service has been organised by the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre and will be attended by British Defence Staff, regimental representatives from both The Rifles and Royal Anglian Regiments and local dignitaries. The CWGC will be providing the headstones.

Tuesday 27 March

A burial service will be held in the morning at Bailleul Road East Cemetery, St. Laurent-Blagny, France, for a soldier of the First World War.

The remains of a soldier of the Royal Scots were discovered by a team of workmen near the village of Athies. Given the location of where the remains were found it is a possibility that this soldier was killed during the Battle of Arras in April 1917. However, there are too many soldiers of the Royal Scots missing from that battle to identify this soldier.

The service has been organised by the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre and will be attended by British Defence Staff, regimental representatives from The Royal Regiment of Scotland and local dignitaries. The CWGC will be providing the headstone.

One hundred years since his death, a rededication service will be held in the afternoon at Anneux British Cemetery, France, for Serjeant John Mackenzie MM & Bar, of C Company, 1st/6th Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders.

Serjeant John MacKenzie was just 21 years old when he died on 25 March 1918, a few days after the start of the German Spring Offensive. Having been wounded, he was taken prisoner and died of his wounds in Inchy-en-Artois. Until recently the location of Serjeant MacKenzie’s grave remained unknown and he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. However, research has shown that he is in fact buried in Anneux British Cemetery.

The service has been organised by the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre and will be attended by British Defence Staff, members of the family, regimental representatives from The Royal Regiment of Scotland and local dignitaries. The CWGC will be providing a new headstone inscribed with his name and a personal inscription chosen by his family. His original commemoration on the Arras Memorial to the Missing will also be removed now that his place of burial has been identified.

Wednesday 28 March

A burial service will be held in the morning at  St Mary’s A.D.S. Cemetery, Haisnes, France, for three soldiers of the First World War.

The remains of two soldiers of the Royal Scots were discovered by a farmer near Haisnes. The location of where the remains were found makes it possible that these soldiers were killed during the Battle of Loos in September 1915. However, there are too many soldiers of the Royal Scots missing from that battle to identify these soldiers.

These two members of the Royal Scots will be buried alongside an unidentified soldier of an unknown regiment. His remains were found by a farmer near Auchy les Mines, in the area of the former Hohenzollern Redoubt, a German defensive position which was fought over several times.

The service has been organised by the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre and will be attended by British Defence Staff, regimental representatives from The Royal Regiment of Scotland and local dignitaries. The CWGC will be providing the headstones.

A burial service will be held in the afternoon at Woburn Abbey Cemetery, Cuinchy, France, for a soldier of the First World War.

The remains of a soldier of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders were discovered by a farmer in Cuinchy. Given the location of where the remains were found it is a possibility that this soldier was killed during the Battle of Loos in September 1915. However, there are too many soldiers of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders missing from that battle to identify this soldier.

The service has been organised by the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre and will be attended by British Defence Staff, regimental representatives from The Royal Regiment of Scotland and local dignitaries. The CWGC will be providing the headstone.

Latest News

The recent Typhoon in Hong Kong, Typhoon Mangkhut, has caused damage to CWGC cemeteries.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is marking the end of the First World War Centenary with 120 personal stories of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the last months of the war. One remarkable story is that of Risaldar Badlu Singh, from Dhakla Haryana, who died on 23 September 1918. The CWGC commemorates nearly 74,000 members of Indian forces who served in the First World War.

The grave of 26-year-old Flying Officer David Stein, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, was rededicated in France on Wednesday 19 September.