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The primary objective of this website is to inform people of the omissions and errors in the records held by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Whilst much of the Commission's work is to be commended, we believe it is failing in key areas of its responsibilities. The efforts of the Commission's dedicated staff and contractors world-wide, who work tirelessly at maintaining its cemeteries and memorials are not brought into question.

An estimated 45,000 names are missing from the Commission's registers
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is charged with the duty of commemorating any officers and men from Great Britain and her Empire who so courageously and selflessly laid down their lives in the service of their country. There are an estimated 45,000 of "The Fallen" missing from the Commission's registers and memorials throughout the world.

Compounding this unfortunate situation, the records of those who the Commission do commemorate are marred by a very large number of errors in their name, rank, unit, date of death, age and next of kin. It is obvious that many errors have been in place since the Commission's founding, but in more recent years, the matter has been further complicated by the defective OCR (Optical Character Recognition) computer scanning of its records, resulting in a corrupted electronic database.

We do not take lightly the decision to produce this website, but something has to be done to bring this issue to public notice. Since the inception of the site, the majority of people who have contacted us have expressed their full support for this cause.

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SPONSORS CAMPAIGN RESULTS
48 CASES HAVE NOW BEEN ACCEPTED FOR COMMEMORATION BY THE CWGC
22 CASES WERE REJECTED BY THE CWGC
14 CASES ARE STILL PENDING A DECISION
ALL 100+ CASES ARE LISTED

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IRA MURDER VICTIMS
The forgotten Marines killed in Ireland in 1921

 

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THE AWFUL TRUTH
The bare bones of the problem

Listed below are the exact details of the CWGC's negligent disregard of their fundamental purpose for existence:-

 

GERMAN VIEW OF TREATIES

"A SCRAP OF PAPER"

The Imperial Chancellor is said to have expressed inability to understand the attitude of England, & to have exclaimed, "Why should you make war upon us for a scrap of paper?"
Sir Edward Goschen is reported to have replied that he understood the German Statesman's inability to comprehend British action, but that England attached importance to "the scrap of paper" (the Treaty guaranteeing Belgian neutrality) because it bore her signature as well as that of Germany.

A very similar position exists today in relation to another "scrap of paper". We attach importance to the CWGC's Royal Charter of Incorporation & are prepared to "make war" in its defence.
The CWGC are in contravention of at least three separate articles in their Royal Charter:-

V. Purposes & Powers of the Commission.
1. The purposes of the Commission are the following:-
(i) To acquire & hold land for the purpose of cemeteries in any territory in which any officers or men of Our military or naval forces raised in any part of Our Empire who shall have fallen in the present War may be buried.
(ii) To make fit provision for the burial of officers and men of Our said forces and the care of all graves in such cemeteries, to erect buildings and permanent memorials therein, and generally to provide for the maintenance and upkeep of such cemeteries, buildings and memorials.
(iii) To complete and maintain records and registers of all graves within such cemeteries.
(iv) To make fit provision for the care of all graves of officers or men of Our said forces who shall have fallen in the present war and may be buried elsewhere than in such cemeteries as aforesaid.
(v) To acquire & hold land for the purpose of providing or erecting permanent memorials elsewhere than in such cemeteries as aforesaid in honour of any officers or men of Our said forces who shall have fallen in the present War.

The above text repeatedly employs the phrase:- "any officers or men of Our said forces who shall have fallen in the present War."
The Charter specifically defines the "fallen" as: "died from wounds inflicted, accident occurring, or disease contracted, while on active service, whether on sea or land."

In the absence of any other criteria in the Commission's Charter regarding eligibility for commemoration, we must conclude that this phrase was thought sufficient to convey Their Majesties original purpose for the Charter, in that "any officers or men of Our said forces who shall have fallen in the present War" were to be commemorated.
The Commission are therefore charged with dereliction of duty in contravention of the above sections of their Charter, in that they (a) have failed to commemorate many 1000s of the 'Fallen' and (b) intent to deny commemoration to these men, in that they, despite full knowledge of the scale of the shortfall in their registers, choose to do nothing to rectify the situation.

V. Purposes & Powers of the Commission.
2. The Commission is hereby authorized and empowered for the purposes aforesaid from time to time-
(vi) To provide for the registration of all graves in such cemeteries, and for the method of keeping all registers or branch registers used for this purpose, and for their inspection by the public, and their safe custody.

The Commission are charged with negligence under the above section V.2.(vi) having failed in their obligation to provide for the 'safe custody' of the registers, in that they have (a) corrupted the information contained in the original registers to an unacceptable degree during their transfer to computerised records, and (b) have chosen to withhold useful information contained in the original registers (causes & circumstances of death & historical notes) to the detriment of the public interest.

V. Purposes & Powers of the Commission.
2. The Commission is hereby authorized and empowered for the purposes aforesaid from time to time-
(xv) To do anything not expressly hereinbefore provided for which may be incidental or conducive to the carrying into effect of any of the purposes or the exercise of any of the powers of the Commission.

The Commission are charged with gross negligence under the above section V.2.(xv) in that they have chosen to abandon the memory of the aforementioned 1000s of the 'Fallen', this being in contravention of the above section V.2.(xv) in failing to carry into effect the main purpose of the Commission: to commemorate ALL those who fell in the Great War.

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MEDAL COLLECTORS LEAD THE FIELD
Recent discoveries from the richest source of new cases for the CWGC
BRONZE MEMORIAL PLAQUES
Notes on origins, history & identification

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ARMISTICE DAY NOVEMBER 2006
Here we are in the 6th year of the 21st Century, 88 years after that day in 1918 when the guns fell silent. Whilst the majority of people once again prepare to honour the memory of "The Fallen", they remain blissfully unaware of the greatest deception ever perpetrated on our Nation: the confidence trick to end all confidence tricks, epitomised by the phrase "THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE" used so liberally in all CWGC cemeteries & memorials. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The terrible reality which belies the myth sold by "THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE" is that 1000s of "The Fallen" still remain uncommemorated, they STILL have no official grave or memorial, they are STILL not listed by the CWGC, nor recognised by any official source as casualties of The Great War.

Their names DO NOT "liveth for evermore", they are truly forgotten men, lost in the void between the truth & myth, a myth which constitutes the greatest ever hoodwink of our nation since Neville Chamberlain's 1938 "Peace in Our Time" assurance (The more recent Iraqi "Weapons of Mass Destruction" fantasy is also a fair comparison, although the CWGC myth remains largely intact).

Transient 'Powers That Be' have always left our nation to make the natural assumption that "of course all those who died in the Great War have graves or memorials". On thinking further, most people might reconsider & say "Well, I suppose a few men might have been missed". But nobody could imagine the true scale of the shortfall in CWGC records. It is nothing short of scandalous.

Culpability lies with a succession of faceless government officials, civil servants & semi-civil servants from 1919 to the present day. It is fairly obvious that the task of commemorating over a million men is no mean feat, but it should be equally obvious that mistakes would be made & men would be 'overlooked'. However, no effort has ever been made to audit or check the CWGC records. Even the most basic cross-reference, a comparison with HMSO's "Soldiers Died in the Great War", has never been attempted. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" was published in 1921 & contains a multitude of names missing from CWGC records.

The CWGC are well aware of the scale of the problem. In recent years a massive increase in the number of cases forwarded to the CWGC has followed in the wake of the PC-internet revolution, new research facilities & the general upsurge of interest in genealogy& the Great War. Despite this, the CWGC continue to ignore the root of the problem, no doubt hoping that "never the twain", & that individuals presenting cases will never see the whole picture.

In their defence the CWGC state that their task is merely to "Mark & Maintain" & that it is not their 'job' to go looking for the men missing from their records. They claim that the "member governments" were responsible for forwarding all the names in their care & that any fault lies with them in not providing all the names. So the CWGC are well aware that their records are incomplete, but its "not their 'job' to do anything about it. So who's job is it one might ask?

JOBSWORTH
Everyone is familiar with the term "Jobsworth" I hope? Made famous by Esther Rantzen in the BBC TV series "That's Life." It was a defining moment in the English language, to create a new word which describes a person or organisation that acts to the detriment of their purpose or the service they provide, whilst claiming to be 'only observing their own rules & procedures.' "I can't do that, it's more than my job's worth" is the phrase chanted by the minion denying justice or right, whilst simultaneously failing to apply any common sense to the problem.
I would nominate the CWGC for the first "Jobsworth" award of the 21st Century, in denying that it is their task to seek to commemorate those who remain uncommemorated (besides being in contravention of their Royal Charter which states they were to commemorate "in honour of any officers & men of Our said forces who shall have fallen in the present War.") see above GERMAN VIEW OF TREATIES.

A JOB WORTH DOING...
What the CWGC refuse to do (i.e. apply a proactive approach to the problem of men missing from their records) must fall to private citizens, as we are the only ones who seem duly worried by the situation. This task is made all the more difficult by the CWGC, who insist we jump through hoops to satisfy procedures geared to obstruct, annoy & generally discourage us from continuing this work.

Favouritism is shown to a relative presenting a case over a researcher with no family connection, which illustrates that the CWGC's primary emphasis lies in 'keeping relatives happy'. A relative presenting an enquiry gets preferential treatment & is not required to purchase a death certificate, whilst us 'cranks' & 'busybodies' ARE required to purchase the death certificate. Cases presented by 'us' are delayed for years on end, whilst a relative's query is fasttracked. By this action, the message is conveyed that the memory of any 'forgotten man' is not paramount, only that relatives are swiftly placated. The CWGC apparently most fear a relative's wrath for the 'bad press' which might otherwise be forthcoming, whilst losing the positive publicity gained when a thankful relative attends a burial or commemoration service.

The worst example of this occurred in 1999, when three cases of non-commemoration were forwarded to the CWGC. All three men were killed in action, two at Anzac Beachhead Gallipoli (RMLI) & one on the Somme (RNVR 13/11/16) & copies of their service papers were provided. We were informed that we had to buy their death certificates because we were not a relative. We argued that the death certificate was an unnecessary expense, due to the quality of the service papers we had provided, plus the fact that all three men were correctly listed in the indexes of Naval death certificates, but to no avail. 'Jobsworth' said they had to have death certificates & the CWGC didn't buy the death certificate unless you were a relative. We did not like being made to feel that we were now obstructing these three lads commemoration, & decided therefore to see how long the CWGC would leave their cases for want of the death certificate. After three years, we called time & appealed to Mr Peter Francis of the CWGC, & he agreed that the death certificates would not be required. All three have now been accepted & their names added to the Helles & Thiepval Memorials (see the next article below).

This episode proved to us that the CWGC don't really care how long a non-comemmoration case takes, as long as a relative isn't upset. The fact that Mr Peter Francis agreed with us about unnecessary death certificates vindicated our stance, & he was then able to reactivate the stalled commemoration process. 'Jobsworth' had been sitting on these cases for three years, unable to see any problem. We still feel guilty for having used these three lads to show the CWGC's indifference to the memory of the 'Forgotten Men', for having made them wait three more years to gain "CWGC status", but we didn't really believe the CWGC would abandon them for the sake of red-tape. After three years we finally accepted that the CWGC couldn't give a monkey's.

 

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HELLES MEMORIAL UPDATED
FIVE RND MEN FINALLY RECEIVE RECOGNITION

We are pleased to report that the names of five RND men have at last been added to the Helles Memorial Addenda panels. The Commission have kindly provided photos of the newly inscribed panels below (The five RND men are:- Jackson H. RMLI, Jennings J. RMLI, Baldwin H.R. RNVR, Graham E. RNVR, & Norris G.H. RNVR)

 

Sadly, a further five RND men STILL remain uncommemorated after four years sitting in the CWGC 'in-tray' & have yet to be added to the Commission's records & to this Addenda Panel. For full details click here:- HELLES ADDENDA


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"HIDDEN HISTORIES"
The truths & tragedies behind the headstones
No.1: "Shot whilst escaping, Belgium, 10th October 1914"
No.2: "The Row of Five 19th Batt. Royal Welch Fusiliers, 12th May 1918"

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Age 14, the youngest soldier killed in the Great War?
(Who put the 'Con' in John Condon?)
The John Condon myth explained

CWGC error occludes the true identity of the soldier in Condon's grave
Latest news from the CWGC regarding the case of John Condon

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TWO MORE 'FORGOTTEN MEN' ACCEPTED FOR COMMEMORATION
The Commission has notified us 18/4/2005 that the following two men, members of Lord Kitchener's Staff lost aboard the HMS "Hampshire" 5/6/16 have been accepted by the MoD for commemoration. Their names will be added to the Hollybrook Memorial, Southampton, in due course.

Temporary Brigadier General Sir Hay Frederick Donaldson KCB
Temporary Lieutenant Colonel Leslie Stephen Robertson
For full details click here: Kitchener's Lost Staff


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Other articles:

ADM/242 preservation appeal
Addenda Panels
(Men missing from the Memorials to the Missing)
Problems with Pozieres
Abandoned War Grave Desecrated

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More and more cases
The Commission claims that the blame for non-commemorations lies at the door of the MoD and relevant service authorities. This is made clear in the following statement by David Parker of the Commission:- "We were provided with details of casualties from the MoD and other service organisations and it is true to say that not all were accurate. Over the years, therefore, we have accepted evidence from people wishing to correct things. The problem is now that academic interest and professional researchers are now throwing up more and more cases."

One of our supporters has provided us with evidence which proves that names originally held by the Director of Grave Registration & Enquiries (DGR&E) were subsequently lost in the early 1920s. This evidence, provided from original service papers, shows that in the 1920's the DGR&E had the details of five deceased servicemen and shows correspondence which quotes the original battlefield map reference co-ordinates where they were provisionally reported buried. It is quite possible that their bodies still lie undiscovered at these sites. The names of these five men were added to the Thiepval Memorial Addenda panels in recent years, no doubt researched, presented and championed by a private citizen with a conscience.

Everyone makes mistakes, even the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, they are only human. Therefore their denial of at least some responsibility for the loss of details and names seems quite ridiculous.

Ongoing operation
The Commission's work is not complete, it is an ongoing operation. So huge is their task, that mistakes and omissions were bound to occur. However, as so much time has passed since the Great War, the Commission believe that their work is now that of solely maintaining existing memorials.

We do not criticise the Commission for losing information or making mistakes, but we strongly object to their present attitude to cases of non-commemoration. We are completing a necessary task in finding these lost names and are dismayed that we should have to continue this in the face of opposition from the Commission.

The British Public conceives the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to be a great and good organisation, incapable of any act to the detriment of their purpose. However, their lack of effort & refusal to accept any responsibility for cases of non-commemoration, leads us to think otherwise.

If the reader feels, after due consideration of all the information on this site, that they would like to voice their opinion or complain of the injustice to the memory of the "Forgotten men", please leave your comments on our message board and/or write to your Member of Parliament, or e-mail the Commission via this link, or contact anyone else you feel might affect this unfortunate situation.

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Gallipoli April 2001

I set out for the lands where the real Amazons of Greek legend lived - the steppes of the Ukraine, Moldova and Russia, the Black Sea coast of Turkey, old Anatolia. I was determined to trace the Amazon myth to its source. In these web pages I offer you a glimpse of what I found. The full story is in my book On the Trail of the Women Warriors:

A sad discovery at Kidney Hill, Suvla Bay sector.
Although this is not typical of what may be found on the Gallipoli Peninsula, it is quite common in certain areas of the former Gallipoli battlefields to see similar signs of the human cost of war. (There are at least three different sets of remains here, with several femurs visible).

These remains were found behind Turkish positions on Kidney Hill with another partial skeleton nearby, indicating that they may be Turkish dead. The battlefield visitor who reported the finds to us was understandably disturbed by what he saw, saying ...... "I think about those skeletons every day now and wonder who those guys might have been. We found hundreds of human bones lying about and another nearly complete skeleton, but we didn't find any evidence to indicate who he was. I nearly stepped on him; he was on Holly Ridge in the Anzac sector. Had we found anything close by which would have indicated the men were British, we would have reported it to the Commission".

 Instead of fighting, it is better to enjoy peace and relax in a luxury hotel with some confectionary. You can get the best sweets from quality sweet shop supplies covering all areas of UK.

Owing to the geographical isolation of the Peninsula, such finds may lie undisturbed indefinitely. The scene is in stark contrast to the battlefields of France and Belgium where such a find would not remain for long.


First World War: Weapons

Everyone wants a piece of the Amazons - feminists, male masochists, matriarchalists, bolshie little girls with big ideas, women investigating the history of female spirituality (like me). But, if we are going to use them, we ought to know them. We need to know:


Faslane event
04.7.13 : G8 action at Faslane

Faslane event, Coulport event
27.8.13 - 10.9.13 : Coulport Disarmament Camp

Base Of The Week !
Menwith Hill

The Menwith Hill spy base near Harrogate in North Yorkshire, England, is the largest electronic monitoring station in the world. Run by the National Security Agency (NSA) of the United States, it is one of a global network of Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) bases, which monitors the world's communications and relays information to NSA HQ at Fort Meade in Maryland, USA.

>>> View more...

RtB Column

What's this?

This website is a gateway to the informal Reclaim The Bases community, but mostly this website is a portal to information on military bases otherwise scattered around the web. You will find :

  • a list of bases with information on each base,
  • a list of campaigning groups who are involved against particular bases,
  • a list of developments for each military base,
  • and more for 2014

If you are aware of any information that is missing, don't hesitate to let someone know ! (See the Contact section)


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