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Private memorials and CWGC memorials

 
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adb41



Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 1539

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:08 am    Post subject: Private memorials and CWGC memorials Reply with quote

From TWGPP newsletter, Winter 2012

Since mentioning in the Autumn Newsletter the fact that CWGC are looking at replacement headstones, [...] a couple of replies [were received] to clarify the situation from CWGC HQ. [...]

Further to your article “Who will replace the headstone?” in the October issue of the TWGPP newsletter, I would comment as follows as your article suggests we cannot replace a private memorial (PM) with a Commission headstone (CH) unless we have the Next of Kin (NOK) permission. This is not strictly accurate.

In the UK, Commonwealth war burials were often commemorated by the family of the casualty who chose to mark the war grave with a PM. Where these memorials provide adequate commemoration of the war casualty they have been adopted by the Commission. However, over time the condition of some of these memorials has deteriorated and in such circumstances the Commission must consider how to ensure appropriate commemoration. Sometimes it is possible to add a CH commemoration to the existing private memorial, but on occasion the replacement of a dilapidated memorial is the best option.

When our Regional Supervisors have identified a PM not adequately commemorating a casualty we look to replace the PM with a CH. It is in fact the burial rights (BR) owner who can decide on what is placed on top of the grave. This is not necessarily the same person as the NOK. In some instances we ourselves are the BR owner. However, in all cases we appeal for the NOK as a courtesy as they are the one’s usually affected most deeply by any change to a grave. It is usually possible to obtain the permission of the relevant burial authority, but contacting the grave owner or casualty’s next of kin can often be more challenging.

We are now using the method of advertising for contact on our website. If contact is made from anyone reporting to be NOK we then take up communication with them on the replacement of the headstone. If we do not receive contact, we will pursue replacement of the PM with the local authority/church authority responsible for the site and ask their permission to replace the PM. If they are in agreement, we proceed with the replacement, usually with a proviso that should there be objections at some future point from the grave owner, the Commission would seek to resolve the situation whilst ensuring the casualty’s appropriate commemoration.
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kinnethmont



Joined: 25 Mar 2008
Posts: 121
Location: aberdeenshire

PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:34 pm    Post subject: Private memorials and CWGC memorials Reply with quote

Quote:
It is in fact the burial rights (BR) owner who can decide on what is placed on top of the grave.


In Scotland this will be the Lair Holder / Owner. In some cases burial rights were transferred to IWGC / CWGC. Where the Lair Holder is deceased with no survivors and there is no legal family claim on the lair, CWGC can make arrangement with a local authority / burial ground owner to erect a Commission headstone, if required, to commemorate the casualty.
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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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