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Old 12th March 2008, 21:59
BIG TYKE BIG TYKE is offline
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Exclamation unknown war graves? or are they?

Unknown war graves? or are they?
this is a question i would like to throw out to everyone. I have been researching the loss of a Halifax V LK635 of 428 Sqn RCAF 6 Group bomber command on 22/23 Sept 1943. Aboard was my wife's great uncle F/Sgt James Wright RAF.
LK635 was one of 26 bombers lost that night in a raid on Hanover. but she was listed as lost without trace. a short while ago i made contact with a researcher in Germany, he has located 4 graves amongst his archives that state "An Airman of the 1939-1945 war, 22 September 1943". it seems that LK635 is the only aircraft that a crashsite cannot be allocated and those 4 graves are the only graves that he cannot attribute to a particular aircraft.
in order to verify his research we must firstly know the original burial place for these men, before they were reinterned in Hanover.
Now i have been in touch with the CWGC and according to them under the Data protection act and the freedom of information act they will not give out the original burial place. but one cancels out the other or is that just too simplistic? having the burial places would not contravene the data protection act surely.
Has anyone come across this problem during their research? has anyone overcome any bureaucracy of this kind? or does anyone know what my next step should be?
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Old 12th March 2008, 22:49
Andy Saunders Andy Saunders is offline
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Re: unknown war graves? or are they?

I am surprised that the CWGC will not give original burial place. They have certainly provided me with this sort of information on numerous occasions. In any case, if you put a formal request to the Joint Casualty & Compassionate Centre of the MOD I am sure they will look into things officially for you.

PM me!
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Old 13th March 2008, 11:05
B.F.M. Droog B.F.M. Droog is offline
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Re: unknown war graves? or are they?

This reminds me of a 'bigger' issue. In the CWGC-database no information can be found regarding the 'unknown soldier/airman/sailor' graves on CWGC cemeteries.

I'm sure that by combining data from different sources many 'unknown' could be identified.

So what's needed is a site/online database where all CWGC-'unknown' graves are listed, with all additional existing information. I've read some complaints about the unwillingness of the CWGC to put this information online. So why not do it ourselves?

It's an immense job, which can't be done by one person. I'm prepared to cooperate in such a project with anyone who thinks such a site should exist.

Regards,

Bart
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Old 14th March 2008, 10:07
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Chris Goss Chris Goss is offline
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Re: unknown war graves? or are they?

You could also try the Air Historical Branch. My Boss' Uncle was reported missing in Jan 44 but with their help, we discovered that his Uncle's body and the body of the pilot were the only 2 recognisable in a crash on a Berlin suburb and they and the rest of the crew were buried only for the cemetery and records to be lost when the Russsians attacked Berlin at the end of the war hence they are now listed as missing
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Old 16th March 2008, 05:30
edwest edwest is offline
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Re: unknown war graves? or are they?

Here's an RCAF related link:


http://www.rcaf.com/6group/links.html



Ed
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Old 16th March 2008, 10:40
Andy Saunders Andy Saunders is offline
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Re: unknown war graves? or are they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG TYKE View Post
Unknown war graves? or are they?
this is a question i would like to throw out to everyone. I have been researching the loss of a Halifax V LK635 of 428 Sqn RCAF 6 Group bomber command on 22/23 Sept 1943. Aboard was my wife's great uncle F/Sgt James Wright RAF.
LK635 was one of 26 bombers lost that night in a raid on Hanover. but she was listed as lost without trace. a short while ago i made contact with a researcher in Germany, he has located 4 graves amongst his archives that state "An Airman of the 1939-1945 war, 22 September 1943". it seems that LK635 is the only aircraft that a crashsite cannot be allocated and those 4 graves are the only graves that he cannot attribute to a particular aircraft.
in order to verify his research we must firstly know the original burial place for these men, before they were reinterned in Hanover.
Now i have been in touch with the CWGC and according to them under the Data protection act and the freedom of information act they will not give out the original burial place. but one cancels out the other or is that just too simplistic? having the burial places would not contravene the data protection act surely.
Has anyone come across this problem during their research? has anyone overcome any bureaucracy of this kind? or does anyone know what my next step should be?
If you present a case, formally, to the CWGC setting out what you have then they will review each case presented. The CWGC will then decide whether the matter should be referred to the appropriate Government Department who will ultimately decide on the outcome. This will be the definitive view that the CWGC will then act upon as regards to the naming of any unknowns. This has been the process since Sept 2001. Prior to that, the CWGC made its own decisions as to the naming, or not, of unknown graves based upon evidence submitted to them without reference to the MOD.

In this case, however, it seems you have four "unknowns" in graves that may be from this crew. Unfortunately, there are seven men unaccounted for from this crew. It could have been that MREU already looked at this case circa 1946ish and could not attribute the four to specific crew members and so had to leave them as unknown. I think four unknown graves set against seven missing crew is likely to mitigate against any positive i/d being made unless you can come up with more specific evidence which can be tied to each specific grave.

Good luck, though!
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Old 17th March 2008, 14:53
BIG TYKE BIG TYKE is offline
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Re: unknown war graves? or are they?

Many thanks for the replies.

will be looking up the leads and hopefully get back to everyone with what come of them.

Regards

Nick

Andy have pm'd you cheers
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