On this particular Remembrance Day, my thoughts are going to be with those men and women who survived the war but not the peace. Many British service personnel would die in the days, months & years following the cessation of hostilities, and this was recognised by the Imperial War Graves Commission who, one hundred years ago, were still burying those who died because of their war service beneath British military headstones, should their families wish, and would continue to do so officially until the end of August 1921, nearly three years after the Armistice.
And as we are currently looking at unusual headstones in British military cemeteries, here are three men who died in 1922, well after that cut-off date, all three nonetheless buried beneath CWGC headstones.
Remember the Dead
A timely new story three hours drive from me in Etobicoke Ontario, the first suburb on the west side of Toronto. Twenty-four Canadian veterans of the First War laid forgotten in unmarked graves, in the cemetery of a long closed psychiatric hospital. Four of them fought at the battle for Vimy Ridge. Their dates of death span from the 1920’s to the 1960s. Two diligent organizations Kudos to The Last Post Foundation, and Friends of CAMH (Centre for Addictions of Mental Health) who hunted their identities, and got them their regimental markers, installed just a month ago. . It’s not hard to posit the symptoms of what we would now call PSTD, and Concussive Brain Trauma, and the Great Depression might lead to some of these men being committed to asylum care. I’m glad that they now are remembered again.
Thank you very much indeed, good Sir. And how good to hear.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.
May the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Now that’s a great story and tribute Sendergreen. Very sad.
Pretty thorough work by those involved especially if the graves were unmarked, to their great credit.
That graveyard must be just one of many such around the world.
Any tracing and contact with any relatives of those twenty four men?
Would be interested to see any photos, perhaps via Magicfingers if he would be so kind.
Hello John. All I know at this point is the information from the newspaper story from that region. The Toronto Sun I believe. There are a dozen or more military markers in the cemetery local to me that date in those few years after the Great War. My daughter, and I pay our respects at each when we visit.
What he said!
A sobering reminder that the human costs of any war lasts long after the signing of an armistice or peace treaty.
Are there any figures of how many succumbed to injuries etc suffered during the Great War who died as a consequence of them after it ?
This is a subject close to my heart, Jon. It is also a can of worms that I have been working on for years – the only way (unless someone can think of another way??) to really find out would to be to consult all the coroners reports from all over the country for the twenties, thirties & forties, let’s say, and see how many mention the war, or injuries/illness suffered because of it. Sadly I know from personal experience that many of these have now been destroyed, and it would be an impossible task anyway, really. All I can tell you (at the moment) is that my research in just one county has found hundreds of men who died in subsequent years where war service is mentioned by the coroner (and btw, many of the reports I consulted I know for a fact have since been destroyed, so that evidence has gone forever, apart from my notes etc). Extrapolate that across the country, across the Commonwealth countries, and you have a lot of men. And they really are the forgotten ones, don’t you think?
Thank you yet again. My granddaughters love of history has been enriched since we first found your site and she loves to read about the articles you write. The royal Russell school hold a service every year and have had a new memorial garden outside the chapel last year ,so gives us hope for the future that their great sacrifice will never be forgotten. We will remember them.
Iris, can I say that this is one of the nicest, most rewarding, comments of the year! Thank you too! I am delighted to hear your grandaughter (and you) enjoy this stuff I write – actually :- Hello Granddaughter. Glad you like my site. Interesting stuff, eh? I know your school – although I no longer live there, I’m a Croydon boy born and bred, and proud of it. My school was Whitgift.
Thanks both! Keeeeeeeep reading…….
Thanks it’s a small world . Also born and breed and proud. Whitgift had a fab ww1 exhibition in 2016 .Definitely will keep reading. Hope you manage to get to tour around Hazebrouck area when things are better.