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Thread: Grave Tribute

  1. #1
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    Default Grave Tribute

    Hi All,

    A friend of mine will be visiting the grave of his Uncle in the near future and has asked if there are any rules and regulations regarding leaving a fitting tribute to his Uncle and the 2 crew members buried alongside him. They are buried in the Knightsbridge War Cemetery in Libya and he will only have time for a brief visit.

    If there are no restrictions on leaving something at the grave side would anyone care to suggest what he could leave there as a fitting tribute? He does not want to leave any flowers/wreath as it would not last.

    Regards,
    Simon

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    Simon,
    When I visited the graves of some lost friends overseas, I took a small container of soil from my garden and sprinkled it on the graves. That way, I felt, they would not be buried in completely "foreign" soil but would have a little piece of home with them.

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    I note, from the CWGC photograph, that most plots have one of the local shrubs planted on them. You might be able to find out if your Uncle (and/or his crew) has a shrub. In spite of the dry climate, a surprising number of plants/shrubs will grow there (provided there is a sheep/goat-proof fence!!).
    A small metal plaque, with a brief inscription (in English and Arabic), might be inserted in the "soil". But, as you can see from the photos, the "soil" is nobbut sand - and gets moved in the next "ghibli". If your Uncle already has a plant/shrub, how about doing it in reverse? Snip a few leaves and bring them back for rellies in UK?
    As a point of interest, the "real locals" respect (or did, when I was there) both the Allied grave sites and that huge German memorial outside Tobruk, despite the faith difference(s). What they do now (or what their leaders say they do now) I do not know. I was told that after WW2 the locals went round all the Italian cemeteries, dug the bodies up, and chucked them into the Med. The locals, in Cyrenaica, did not have very happy memories of the Italian occupation/colonisation!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Peter

    I cannot comment on whether some Italian graves were desecrated after the war, but the majority of military casualties were actually repatriated back to Italy in late 1970, following the Libyan expulsion of resident Italians, and the seizure of all their properties.

    A
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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    Amrit,
    I can only tell youu what I know. I was there (in Cyrenaica) in the mid-50's as an Airman. I was there (again) in the mid-60's as a Civilian Meteorologist. My (limited) contacts with the "locals" all gave the same stories. They were (on at least one occasion) the same person. In the mid-1950's the Met Office locally employed cleaner/shi-wallah turned out to be a Sgt in the Cyrenaica Defence Force when I went back in the mid-60's! Good bloke! I will not give his name!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    I visit war graves both here in the UK and overseas regularly, often on behalf of relatives unable to make the trip themselves. What I do is take a small wooden poppy cross. In advance of the trip I can pop it in an A5 envelope and send to the relatives who will then write a personal message and send it back to me. This is then placed on the grave. They are available either from your local British Legion or online from the British Legion Poppy Shop.

    Regards
    Linzee

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    Linzee,
    Agreed. But this is a Christian symbol. Not, possibly, the best symbol to place in these difficult (religious) times. Which is why I suggested a small plaque (in both languages) indicating it was from the deceased's relatives. Difficult problems! Not easy to sort out!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    You may have a point to consider there Peter but to be honest there is a huge cross of sacrifice towering over the cemetery and plenty of the graves have crosses on them and there are some with the star of David. An e-mail to the CWGC to ask advice on that particular matter if one wasn't sure about it might something to consider doing. In fact, I'm sure they would be able to advise what is and is not permitted and that might throw up some ideas of what to take.

    Linzee
    Last edited by Linzee; 22nd December 2010 at 18:01.

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    Linzee,
    All these 'cross', 'star of david', etc, symbols were put in place before the current problems were invented! All I am trying to do is to suggest a course of action that will (a) satisfy what the originator wants to do, and (b) upset the least number of people (least of all "officialdom in Cyrenaica") - and I speak as one who has been fined by the Cyrenaica Defence Force (Police Division) 1 (Libyan) pound, and 1 Piastre (the then VAT) for being stationary in the Italian Square in Tobruk whilst "frightening camels". I took the case to Court (against the advice of the Liaison Officer). Result: I was fined 2 pounds and 2 piastres! Y'can't win.
    This is quite outside of the fact that when I went to register my new car (in Libya) at the Inland Water Transport Office in Tobruk they said "But there is no Engine Number". At this point you went way (for 1/3/6 months). But my CYDEF Police Officer produced a piece of chalk and wrote on the top of the engine block "123456789". This was accepted (with a small "baksheesh") as being the engine number!
    You think I jest? I jest not!
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  10. #10
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    Default Poppies

    Hi
    The British Legion dont just do the larger wreaths they also do a little one of 7ins which might be more suitcaseable. If you go to http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/wreaths you can have a look.

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