Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers.
Sons & daughters,…
…and more sons.
So many sons.
These family messages are always so moving. A true window into the reality of the losses and the grief caused to individual families by the War, all long gone too now. Haunting.
I often think it must have been incredible difficult for family members to decide what to have written on the headstone of a loved one. Even presented with a list of suggestions from the IWGC, it can’t have been an easy decision to make.
Do you have the list?
No, but I do believe there was very likely a series of standard lines suggested. For one thing there are too many identical ‘personalised’ inscriptions. Granted, many are religious quotes and so it is perhaps to be expected that there is a degree of common usage. However, looking at it from the point of view of the IWGC, they would have wanted as much standardised as possible. Every headstone that required individually designing would have been immensely time consuming. It therefore stands to reason that they would have pre-designed layouts covering a number of inscriptions that could then be suggested to grieving parents and widows. I wonder if there is a list in existence detailing all the number codes on CWGC headstone documents? Presumably the CWGC have a copy filed away in the bowels of the earth somewhere.
You see, I’m now becoming convinced that there was a list too, which means we need some sort of proof. Hmm.
I’m glad you said ‘we’ hahaha.
Certainly there are some very common personal inscriptions “his duty nobly done’ is one that immediately springs to mind, and is actually I think a good example of a phrase that sounds more suggested than arrived at. I wonder how many times that appears on headstones across France and Belgium? quite a few I’d wager. As to proof, you never know, but I think its unlikely there is any to be found. Perhaps I should have phrased my original statement “Even if presented”.
Perhaps you should, particularly as I am now so convinced of this (potentially, it seems, spurious) list that I am diverting huge amount of time and energy trying to uncover the damned thing. Heh heh. There will be a post that will include ‘duty’ at some point, btw. All sorts of different uses of ‘duty’.
Well before you go spending too much time on it, its worth bearing in mind that I haven’t personally seen anything on a headstone document to support this. And you’d think there would be…
Actually, I was possibly overstating, in my previous comment. For ‘diverting huge amount of time and energy trying to uncover the damned thing’, please read ‘spent about a minute considering looking for a list that may not exist and decided not to bother’. Lol!
Lol, probably best 😉
I figured you’d think so.
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