Tuesday, 21 October 2008

We will remember them

Talking of war cemeteries, the Old Bat and I visited a couple on our way back from our holiday in Alsace earlier this year. We had time in hand before our ferry and were able to fit in a visit to the Lens Memorial, which is in Dud Corner cemetery, to find the name of one of the OB's distant cousins who is commemorated on the memorial. He has no known grave, so it might have been one of those we was marked simply "Known unto God". Of course, it might be that his body has never been found and never will be, although I believe that it is not uncommon for the remains of soldiers killed during World War I to be discovered. I seem to remember reading that the remains are then given a military funeral at the nearest war cemetery.

We also visited Trois Arbres cemetery and found the grave of one of my distant cousins.

Although of course we never knew these men, somehow it pleases me to be able to pay my respects to them. As far as I am concerned, they were all heroes.

Trois Arbres cemetery

I find the rows of white headstones (they are all made from Portland stone) in their unfussy shape, all in sight of the cross of sacrifice, intensely moving. And it is strange: I have visited quite a few of these cemeteries over the years and rarely have I been in one without somebody else stopping, perhaps just for a few minutes.

They are not forgotten.

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