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War Grave Cemeteries

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War Grave Cemeteries

Postby meekhcs » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:05 pm

Today my Family and I visited Kandahar Farm Cemetery, south of Ypres in the Heuvelland District,on the 100th anniversary of my Gt Grandfather's Death, to see his grave for the first time. I had never visited a War Grave Cemetery before. Kandahar is a small cemetery containing only some 400 graves, a mixture of British and Commonwealth soldiers and also 5 German soldiers. The cemetery is beautifully maintained, it's tranquil and peaceful, the graves are interspersed with roses and it is set on the side of the road in the midst of a Farm.
To get an overall view we also visited a German War Cemetery. Total contrast. We chose Langamark as it was close by. This cemetery holds over 40,000 graves, 25,000 of which are buried in a mass grave in the middle of the cemetery. It was very moving to look at all the pillars with the thousands of names written on them.The cemetery is very austere, there is no colour, and the saddest thing is that there were no German memorials.Those that were there had been placed by the Belgians or British.
We ended our mini tour with a visit to Tyne Cot, another stunningly beautiful setting. Some 11,961 souls lay at rest here, again a mixture of British and Commonwealth, but sadly only 3,591 are identified.
If any of you have Family buried in War Grave cemeteries I would urge you to visit if you possible can. Despite some of the things I have mentioned here, and some of the thoughts the visit provoked, I am glad I went.
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Re: War Grave Cemeteries

Postby JaneyH » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:06 pm

I visited Tyne Cot Cemetery 11 years ago while on a short trip to Belgium. It was before I started researching my family history, but the whole setting was very moving. The same evening we watched the Last Post at the Menin Gate in Ypres ... again, it brought a tear to my eye.

Having since embarked on family history research I now have a list of places with WW1 connections to visit, on my husband's side at least. His great-uncle was taken prisoner of war at Bullecourt in France in early 1918. After returning home at Christmas he then served in the British Army of the Occupied Rhine, where he was tragically killed in a friendly fire incident. He's buried in Cologne in Germany, so that's on our list too!

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