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Unknown Soldier's Cross

 
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Adam Brown
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:15 pm    Post subject: Unknown Soldier's Cross Reply with quote

Unknown Soldier's Cross
Location: Lady Haig's Poppy Factory, Warriston
OS Ref: NT 252 751

This cross originally marked the grave of an unknown soldier in Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium (Plot O.L.7) . It was presented to the Lady Haig's Poppy factory by the then Imperial War Graves Commission.





Adam
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kinnethmont



Joined: 19 Dec 2006
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Location: Aberdeenshire

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:52 am    Post subject: Unknown Soldier's Cross Reply with quote

Adam

There seems to be something odd in the reference to Tyne Cot. The cross appears, although unclear, to only mention the Western Front. Is the photo above it of the cemetery the cross came from? If so, it would be interesting to see if you have a close up of it
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Jim

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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Adam Brown
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim

No, no close-ups I'm afraid. There was a meeting being held in the boardroom at the time of my visit so I was very lucky even to be allowed in to snap these two photographs. It will have to wait for another visit for more detailed photographs.

My guide, the very helpful Arthur Sykes, confirmed the photograph was of the cemetery the cross came from and it has a label saying 'Tyne Cot'

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Adam
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dhubthaigh
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Picture 2 shows the bottom of the photograph. Am I right in saying it reads TYNE COT 1919 ?
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kinnethmont



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:31 am    Post subject: Unknown Soldier's Cross Reply with quote

It does look like Tyne Cot 19??.
The odd thing is that the Plot number quoted, " (Plot O.L.7) ", which is also on the cross, does not tie with the plot numbering at Tyne Cot Cemetery. They are in the usual format of number, row, grave.
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Jim

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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David McNay
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did they maybe change the numbering system when they merged a lot of smaller cemeteries?
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Adam Brown
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The photograph does say 'Tyne Cot 1919'

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kinnethmont



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:59 pm    Post subject: Unknown Soldier's Cross Reply with quote

The numbering of plots in IWGC cemetries used, and still use, roman numerals. This does not fit with the numbering on the cross which gives the plot as O or possibly 0. The plates on the cross are not original.

It could be that this cross was originally in a battlefield cemetery, or marked an isolated burial, later concentrated into Tyne Cot by the army, before IWGC became involved well after 1919.
Tyne Cot was a fairly small cemetery up to that time, having been established around a dressing station.

If we get a clear high resolution shot of the cemetery in the future it may help to confirm this is Tyne Cot and that this cross was there originally.
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Jim

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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spoons



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couldn't it also be that the body was first found in 1919, having not been previously buried?

\Paul
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kinnethmont



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:33 am    Post subject: Unknown Soldier's Cross Reply with quote

Paul

That would seem unlikely as a " missing " body located in 1919 would not have been marked with a cross or recorded by the Graves Registration Unit.
GRU markers had their details recorded on aluminium type strips which were made up in the field. It was these, or sometimes more elaborate markers, which were later replaced by the IWGC headstones.
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Jim

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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spoons



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Jim, for some reason I thought that GRUs were still operating in 1919 and IWGC did not start until a bit later. Thanks for the clarification.

\Paul
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kinnethmont



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:45 pm    Post subject: Unknown Soldier's Cross Reply with quote

Quote:
Couldn't it also be that the body was first found in 1919, having not been previously buried?


Paul

Not sure if totally clear. I took the above" first found " to mean a body which had not been located and marked before 1919. Prior to the Armistice, graves registration was the responsibility of the Army.

IWGC came in to being by Royal Charter on 21 May May 1917. They took over the cemetries from the Army as they became closed for burials.
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Jim

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

www.kinnethmont.co.uk
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