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Although the British remain fixated on their own wartime activities, especially those on the Western Front, it was a global war with global consequences, which still reverberate today. So this is the last inscription in the project, one that acknowledges the casualties on all sides. Over the past 1, days I have tried to give 'life' to the deaths of a tiny fraction of the many multitudes who died as a tribute to every one of them. Thank you for being my companions along the way. History tends to emulsify the past, to render it into a single voice when in fact it consists of myriads of voices.

Epitaphs of the Great War has shown us 1, of them. Regret permission to visit him cannot be granted. James Gow enlisted on 9 November and disembarked in France on 22 February This is such rapid training period that I wonder whether he was already a territorial soldier. He served throughout the war with the Cameron Highlanders being invalided home with cellulitis in December and hospitalised for 74 days with malaria in On recovering he was sent to France again, disembarking on 21 June and joining the 5th Battalion Cameron Highlanders.

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He was wounded on 5 October and died just over a month later. All this information comes from Gow's service file which is one of the few to have survived. The families of 'dangerously ill" soldiers were regularly given permission to visit them in the base hospitals in France. The Army would even pay the fares of those who would otherwise have been unable to afford it.


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Why Mrs Gow should have been refused permission to visit her son cannot be known but it is unusual. Andrew and Jemima Gow had five children, four of them sons, James was the fourth child. The family lived in Glasgow where Andrew, the father, was a prison warder. At the time of his enlistment, James was a clerk. Jemima chose her son's inscription - plain, simple and so affecting, the Scottish dialect adding to its simple honesty.

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Was he her favourite child? William Fletcher Jones, which occurred in Flanders on November 9th. He was drafted to Ypres in with the 2nd Canadian Division of which they formed part of the Artillery. Sometime afterwards the 55th Division was formed with which they were embodied, and he was with the famous Division through the battles and hard fighting they experienced. After the battle of the Somme, he became attached to the Royal Engineers, having during the quiet periods made a special study of signalling, coming through the various examinations with the highest honours, and at the time of his death he was away on special duty in charge of the Brigade wireless.

Jones was educated at Vaughan Road School, and for several years was a member of the 4th Wallasey Emmanuel Scouts, in which he took a most active and enthusiastic interest. As his inscription records, Jones enlisted on 8 August , four days after the outbreak of war. He died of wounds two days before the end. Jones was 17 and three months when he enlisted and 18 and four months when he disembarked in France on 29 September He was therefore underage.

Soldiers were meant to be 19 before they could go to the front - unless they had their parents signed permission. It's not possible to tell exactly when Jones was wounded but he is one of only six First World War soldiers buried in Chercq Churchyard. John Fletcher Jones signed for his son's inscription. The second part is a quotation from the last verse of the hymn, 'O Jesus I have promised to serve thee to the end': Oh, let me see Thy footmarks, And in them plant mine own; My hope to follow duly Is in Thy strength alone.

Oh, guide me, call me, draw me, Uphold me to the end; And then to rest receive me, My Saviour and my Friend. William Hansen came from Argentina to fight for Britain. Argentina was resolutely neutral throughout the war despite the fact that there was huge pressure on the president, Hipolyto Irigoyen, to support the Allied cause. Hansen was one of them. Hansen and nine other men of Squadron were killed in an accidental bomb explosion on the 8 November The accident is said to have occurred at Roville - there are no other identifying hints as to its location.

Hansen and five others are buried in what looks like a communal grave, their headstones standing touching each other. Whilst Hansen and Linley have individual grave references - I. It was obviously not possible to distinguish one body from another. Jane Hansen chose her son's inscription; Rudolph was dead.

Despite its poetic ring, the inscription does not appear to be a quotation.

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Honour motivated her son's decision to return to Britain - to help, to fight, to die. I have not been able to find out anything about the accident but The Division had crossed the Sambre the previous day and was in pursuit of the retreating Germans. However, the German rearguard made a stand at Limont Fontaine, which was "strongly garrisoned and stoutly defended", and there was some fierce hand-to-hand fighting.

Moore's obituary in The Times describes how he had been 13 years with the Cape Mounted Rifles in South Africa, joining it as a trooper and rising to the rank of sergeant, before returning to Britain in to take a commission in the Durham Light Infantry. He served originally with the 3rd Battalion and was wounded on the Somme in September On recovering he returned to the front and on 15 June led a daylight raid on the German lines at Loos with the aim of capturing some prisoners. The raid was successful and for his actions that day Lascelles was awarded a Military Cross.

Six months later, on 4 December , he was severely wounded in an action for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

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The 'terrible day' is very vividly described on this English Light Infantry website Lascelles' right elbow had been smashed in the action and his right arm was useless. Nevertheless, when he recovered his strength he insisted on returning to the front. He joined his unit, this time the 15th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, on 27 October and was killed eleven days later.

In whilst in South Africa he married Sophia Hardiman. They had one son, Reginald George. He was named after Arthur's younger brother who had drowned in India in whilst serving out there with the Durham Light Infantry. Sophia Lascelles chose her husband's inscription. He died nine days later in a Casualty Clearing Station in Cambrai. Kingsland's father, John Padden Kingsland, a Congregational minister and an artist, chose his son's inscription.

Whilst I can imagine that the family called John junior, Jack, I feel sure that the first line of the inscription is a reference to Rudyard Kipling's poem, 'My Boy Jack'. The poem may apply to sailors but the sentiment is appropriate to any grieving parent: "Have you news of my boy Jack? The second part of the inscription is a quotation from Luke On the Sunday after the crucifixion the Mary, Jesus' mother, and Mary Magdalene, arrived at Christ's tomb to find that the body had gone.

The distressed women found themselves addressed by two figures in shining garments who asked, "Why seek ye the living among the dead. He is not here but is risen". This evidence of the resurrection, of the fact that in Christ there is no death, brought great comfort to many mourning families.


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Esther Jane Draisey died in Her husband, William Mark Draisey, died of wounds in The mother of his three sons - Donald, Trevor and William - Mrs Draisey had been a widow for 66 years. She will not have been the only wife in who faced a long future on her own. I do not know when he was wounded but for Draisey to have been buried in Swansea, as he was, he must have died in the UK, in other words he must have been so badly wounded that he was hospitalised in Britain.

Obviously his wife did not choose this inscription since she was dead. However, the War Graves Commission's paper records show that the inscription she chose was: Greater love hath no man Than to lay down his life For his friends This has subsequently been crossed out and replaced with the new words - with a note beside it saying, "PI added by authority". The family had therefore received permission to alter the personal inscription for this a new headstone. I'm going to make a sweeping statement here but, based on observation, it would appear that if a man were buried in the UK his inscription could be altered so as to refer to the subsequent death of a parent, wife or child but that this is not, or has not to date, been permitted in the cemeteries abroad.

Mr and Mrs William Hawdon had five children, four sons and one daughter. Three of the sons died in the war, two in action and one of influenza five days after it ended. The inscription belongs to Rupert who was the third son. He served with the Royal Garrison Artillery receiving his commission in September and joining his unit the following September. Rupert served throughout the war and was killed near Le Quesnoy seven days before the end by German rifle fire whilst reconnoitering for new positions for his guns.

He was Their youngest brother, Cecil, had been killed with three of his men on 27 June Delayed trying to cut the German wire prior to a trench raid, they were killed when the British artillery opened up. Cecil's inscription, like Rupert's, was signed for by his father: His two brothers also fell In death they are not divided The last line comes from 2 Samuel "Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.

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William Hawdon, an engineer, was the managing director of an iron works in Middlesborough. Written by Isaac Watts , the hymn is based on a passage from the Book of Revelation 'And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? The brigade had been in action throughout October , the battalion diary reporting on the 12th that they had either been fighting or under enemy fire for the preceding seven days during which time they had advanced 13 miles, taken three villages, captured over prisoners and many enemy guns.

Their casualties had been 4 officers and 76 other ranks killed, and 24 officers and other ranks wounded.

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The attack met unexpectedly high resistance in the taking of the village of Bazuel. I think this is when Robinson would have been wounded. By the 3 November, the day he died, the battalion were 13 km away further east. Mr George Henry Robinson signed for the inscription for Gordon, his middle son. At the time of the census the family were living at 42 Queen Street, Derby. The Robinsons had named their new home after the cemetery where their son was buried. It was not an unusual custom. I wonder if the house still has that name today?

On 28 October the 2nd Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment were in billets at St Armand having been withdrawn from the line on the 20th after a period of fighting.