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Thread: Groupes Lourds Casualties

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    Default Groupes Lourds Casualties

    Groupes Lourds comprised of 346 and 347 squadrons based at Elvington near York. In the book Halifax For Liberte some of the casualties are listed as being buried in Harrogate cemetery which I had assumed would be Stonefall but I cannot find any of their graves. They do not appear to be listed on the CWG site either. Please could any one provide further information.

    Thanks

    John

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    These French men would not likely be listed on their public database, check the database at

    http://twgpp.org/

    They have a wider database.
    Can you give a few of the names for us to check.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Hello,

    I confirm they are not buried in Harrogate (Stonefall) cemetery. I went there years ago, and didn't find them, while Chorley clearly stated they were there. I can only say that they were repatriated back to France post-war, and are likely to have been buried in a large number of cemeteries, at the request of their families. There are still a few French airmen buried in UK, but I just can't remember the name. I know that at least one or two Guyenne or Tunisie airmen are still buried there, as a friend of mine visited this cemetery, and passed me a picture of the grave of a Halifax crewmember.

    Frenchmen buried in CWGC cemeteries do not appear on the registers (like the Poles).

    The French ministry of veterans is putting up some files on the net, I think they are now doing WW2 casualties, on the site "mémoire des hommes". But I'm not familiar with it, as my field of research is the R.A.F. Sorry.

    http://www.memoiredeshommes.sga.defense.gouv.fr/?page=mpf3945_recherche


    Joss
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 29th March 2011 at 19:48. Reason: adding link

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    Here's an example:


    Target: Mimoyecques
    6 July 1944
    347 Sqn – Halifax LK728
    Sous-Lieutenant VARLET
    Lieutenant CHAPRON
    Lieutenant VIEULES
    Adjudant CHARAUDEAU
    Adjudant CHARLIER
    Adjudant ECKHARDT
    Sergent GODARD
    Returning from an attack on the bunker at Mimoyecques that housed the V3 long-range cannon aimed at London the aircraft crashed for known reasons at Thorne, Yorkshire, about thirty kilometres from Elvington. The crew died in the ensuing fire. All were buried at the cemetery at Harrogate on the 11th July 1944.
    Last edited by DCRanger; 29th March 2011 at 21:16. Reason: Corrected a/c serial.

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    Hello,

    Gilbert VARLET and Gérard CHAPRON are actually buried in Brookwood (that's the name I couldn't remember last night). I can't tell for the others so far. It's the first "Groupes Lourds" crew lost on operations, and the only one in a Halifax V (all the others were on radial-engine Halifaxes)

    Joss

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    Poles and French are not recorded in the PUBLISHED records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). However, if you pose the question to the CWGC Enquiries Section in a slightly different way, they will tell you about non-Commonwealth citizens in their care.

    For example, I asked for those buried in a particular cemetery whose deaths were between date A and date B, including non-Commonwealth and civilian casualties in their care. The response gave the answer I required.

    I have suggested to the commission that their on-line system - which I use very frequently - would be enhanced greatly, if they included all burials but so far this suggestion has not been taken up, although the data is there.

    Incidentally, the reason that Czechs, for example, are included relates to the manner in which the 'refugee' (no disrespect intended) air forces were reconstituted on arrival in UK or so I understand.

    By the way and regarding another Thread, I have always been extremely well served by the CWGC Enquiries Section over many years and am grateful for their help.

    Old Duffer

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    John,

    I'll confirm OD's comments, but rather than write or email you could try telephoning the CWGC directly - the number is at http://www.cwgc.org/contact_mailing.asp. I did this to trace the graves of a couple of German airmen and the person to whom I spoke was extremely helpful. I'd suggest that should you try the telephone approach you restrict your query to one or two names - say one from each of two crews.

    Brian

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    Many thanks for the contributions. I think I now have the answer, as an afterthought to posting I emailed the Yorkshire Air Museum last night and received a reply this morning. The reply is to the effect that post war they were all re-interred in graves, some military and some private, in France. I do though find it a little surprising that there is no stone or plaque in Stonefall to commemorate them. (Though there is one at Elvington.)

    Thanks again.

    John

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    According to CWGC there French Air Force Graves at Bournemouth (1) Brookwood (51) Fakenham (1) Market Drayton (1) Sutton Bridge (1). Chapron, Chareaux, Godard, Varlett & Vieules all buried in Brookwood. Repatriations to Brookwood & France explain 'gap tooth' layout of Stonefall and possibly Cambridge.Also Finale of 346 Sq. in Brookwood 10/9/1944.
    Last edited by John Larder; 30th March 2011 at 18:55. Reason: Extra information

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