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  #1  
Old 07-03-21, 01:52 PM
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Default Commonwealth War Graves Part II - CAREY

Further to my recent post on becoming a volunteer for the CWGC - and becoming "responsible" for 20 cemeteries and 74 graves. I thought I'd share a "success" with you. The last grave I found required three visits and a fair deal of research despite having the mans details - Lance Corporal George Edward Carey - 503rd Field Company Royal Engineers Serial Number 128 - Killed on 4 Jan 1916. The reason it was so difficult to find was that is was a private memorial long fallen into disrepair and the name was no longer legible. The last part is the critical one, for as previously stated the CWGC will not intervene in a private memorial as long as the name of the "war grave" is still legible. Having photographed the grave and filled in the required paperwork - I was told that it would be "passed to the Regional Manager for assessment". I had no expectation that anything would be done other than it be "noted" - however less than a month later I found out that there is a local search going on for surviving relatives to inform them that the CWGC is producing a headstone for Lance Corporal Carey and later this year it will be erected over his grave. I now feel as if I have a proprietary interest in his grave and will be there for the stone raising if allowed. I subsequently found this:
Casualty of the First World War, George was a Lance Corporal with 503rd Field Company, The Royal Engineers, service #128
He was 39 and the son of Samuel Joseph and Hester Carey. He left a widow, Lizzie Harvey Carey of 1 New Buildings, Strode Road, Clevedon, and four children.
Lance Corporal Carey died as a result of a tragic accident at Exeter, whilst serving with the Wessex Engineers. He fell down a flight of steps leading to the basement of the Grapes Inn, South Street. He had worked for 26 years as a compositor at Clevedon Printing Works. His funeral took place on Saturday 8th January 1916 with full military honours, his body being transported from Exeter on a Royal Field Artillery gun carriage.

Tim
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Old 07-03-21, 02:01 PM
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Bravo, well done Tim! Please do post an update when the CWGC headstone is erected!

Best regards,
Jay
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Old 07-03-21, 03:43 PM
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Great work and a really worthwhile job.

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Old 08-03-21, 03:57 PM
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Thanks Mike - it will be really nice if they track down a relative for the stone setting.
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Old 09-03-21, 06:29 AM
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Well done Tim.

Chris
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Old 09-03-21, 08:51 AM
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Wonderful effort Tim and fascinating reads.
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  #7  
Old 12-03-21, 09:21 AM
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Default Relative found !

I'm delighted to say that ( via Ancestry.com ) we've managed to track down George's Great nephew ( 92 years old ). The Carey family will now be attending the headstone setting and indeed have been asked to consider what words they might want on the headstone. " At the bottom of the headstone is space for a personal message. The message had to be composed from a mere 66 characters including spaces. Each character used to cost the family 3pence halfpenny. A nice epitaph could in effect cost a family member half a years salary" No payment was ever chased by the commission although the potential cost undoubtedly prevented some families from "personalising" their loved ones stone. Later the Commission made the payment "voluntary" - quite possibly under pressure from the Canadians whose Govt covered the cost of personal inscriptions for the Canadian dead from the very start. Tim
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Old 12-03-21, 09:29 AM
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How fantastic for the family and what a great reward for all your work, Tim. Very well done to you, sir!
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Old 12-03-21, 11:12 AM
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Tim
Great work
May I ask a question in the Cemetery locally their are many Commonwealth Head Stone some pristine indeed the area with cross of remembrance
is spotless

However some near by are filthy should these not be monitored and cared for by.the commission?

Can I report the grotty state,there is an area of around Six graves one has been cleaned whilst the others the only standing stones in this area have been ignored!

There all with in 30 meters of each other and others spread around the cemetery

Happy to discus by email so as not to name cemetery

Keep up your amazing work

Regards

Stephen
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Old 12-03-21, 12:00 PM
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Hi Stephen - some of "my" graves are in need of a good clean as well. Ones that are under trees tend to go green quite quickly - However the cleaning is on hold at the moment - hopefully soon to recommence. ( I haven't had my training yet otherwise I'd be happy to make a start now ) - The whole point of the "eyes on, hands on" programme is to ensure that the "scattered graves" are looked after and maintained and none slip through the net. There are some 150,000 such graves in the UK - with another 150,000 in CWGC cemeteries in the UK. Volunteers should have noted the graves that need cleaning although I'm assured that a lot of the "green" self cleans once the bad weather goes away ? - I think if there's no CWGC works to "your" cemetery in the Summer then you could contact them via their web site and I'm sure they will take action. Cheers Tim
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Old 12-03-21, 02:24 PM
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Well done Tim.
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Old 19-03-21, 08:56 PM
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Tim, in the case of a grave with a private headstone, where that headstone has been removed from the grave and placed against the cemetery wall, well away from the grave itself, would that entitle the man to a CWGC headstone?. I only ask because I know of such a case local to me. Sorry if I'm being a pain. Hoot.
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Old 20-03-21, 10:28 AM
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Hi Hoot - no problems at all - its an interesting question and I don't really know the answer, but I'll ask the CWGC and come back to you. Tim
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Old 20-03-21, 11:39 AM
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Tim,
Thanks for the reply I have contacted CWGC and they are to inspect, the grass is cut by Cemetery Staff.

The state of these graves has caused me concern in the adjacent cemetery there is a specific war graves area with cross of remembrance which is immaculate the difference in a few hundred yards is unbelievable.

Keep up your great work I intend to visit all local grave yards and raise any issues I find. And indeed praise them.

I will add images

Regards

Stephen
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  #15  
Old 20-03-21, 02:57 PM
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Hoot, I've had a response from the CWGC which is "potentially yes". They have a similar issue in Jersey which they are currently investigating - but if there are no plans to re-instate the Private memorial then the CWGC could raise a new headstone. If you can send me the details of the individual and the cemetery I'll pass them onto the CWGC. Tim
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