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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Photo-a-Day Archive
Photo-a-Day Archive

Photo-a-Day  (Tuesday, 7th October, 2014)

First World War Graves

First World War Graves
Wigan Cemetery.

Photo: Thomas Walsh  (Canon PowerShot A1200)
Views: 5,001

Comment by: Lizziedownunder on 7th October 2014 at 03:24

Love cemeteries....so much history of life...nice photo Thomas...cheers!!!

Comment by: Mick on 7th October 2014 at 08:01

10 War Graves all the same, then somebody who wants to be different gets one up on the others by putting on there own little flower pot.

This might go unnoticed in Ince but just imagine if everybody started to put on the own flower pots in the big War Cemetery's of the World

Comment by: kath on 7th October 2014 at 08:44

I stopped to look at these headstones last year. Doesn't it say that it's actually a mass grave? it was very well kept in a quiet corner.
Lizzie - I like cemeteries too

Comment by: Jod on 7th October 2014 at 09:39

My sentiments too, Mick, these graves should be kept unadorned except for plants growing around them!
Does anyone know why just these 10 were put together, there are many, many more scattered around the cemetery?

Comment by: Joseph on 7th October 2014 at 10:26

Silly comments about a war grave. These men died for freedom, and freedom of choice is not getting "one up" on fallen comrades.
I am never surprised by the disrespect voiced on WW.

Comment by: irene roberts on 7th October 2014 at 10:57

I think it would be nice if poppies were planted there.

Comment by: Fred Mason on 7th October 2014 at 10:59

Well said, Joseph...!!!

Interesting pic, Thomas.

Comment by: Maureen on 7th October 2014 at 12:20

Again,well said Joseph.

Comment by: Rev David Long on 7th October 2014 at 12:25

There seems to be two sets of ten graves set out in similar fashion in this cemetery. The set I've seen and photographed is in the south-west corner. Above their name and rank is inscribed "Buried near this spot" - and it looks as if this set are similarly inscribed. I've always thought it very odd that graves of soldiers buried here would not have been precisely marked at the time of burial. You would expect such vagueness where soldiers were hurriedly buried on the battlefield, or in graveyards subsequently disturbed or destroyed in later actions - but why such seeming lack of care by the authorities of Wigan in WW1.

Comment by: Maggie K on 7th October 2014 at 15:41

Are these graves in Wigan or Ince Cemetery? And where abouts are they in the cemetery?

Comment by: Mick on 7th October 2014 at 15:49

Fighting for freedom dosent mean you can break the rules.

Just imagine if all of those graves had different coloured flower pots on them, now try and imagine if all the war graves through out the world had different flower pot on them mmmmm.

Comment by: peterp on 7th October 2014 at 17:53

Not been to the graves but looking at the picture the pot could be for a loved one who's ashes could be in the same grave as the fallen soldier

Comment by: Thomas (Tom)Walsh. on 7th October 2014 at 19:12

I must admit I hadn't seen these headstone until recently ,The Musium of Wigan Life organised a tour of of WW1 graves lead by Rita Musa, it was very interesting ,and I believe a second one is in the planing,this time at Ince Cemetery, I can recommend it .One thing we learned on the walk was that if families wanted an additional inscription there was a charge .The original inscriptions on them were engraved to a depth that allowed them to be read at two paces. In the aftermath of the war, families were allowed, for a small fee of 3.5 pennies a letter, to add an extra inscription at the bottom of the headstone,quite extraordinary !
Maggie the graves are situated on the left hand side of the crematorium as you leave the main gate .

Comment by: ann21 on 7th October 2014 at 19:48

Tom How can I find out when the next one will be

Comment by: irene roberts on 7th October 2014 at 22:09

Tom, I have sent you an email but am unsure if you've got it as I seem to have two email addresses for you. Irene.

Comment by: Joseph on 8th October 2014 at 12:14

Rules? It's a pity there isn't different coloured flower pots on them all, it would show they are still remembered for their sacrifice. I don't think anyone would have a problem with that except the lemon suckers of this world.

Comment by: Cyril on 8th October 2014 at 16:53

I and I'm sure many others wouldn't mind if there were multi-coloured flower pots along with multi-coloured flowers placed on war graves around the world, it would indicate that folks still recalled and respected their gallant act of giving their lives in fighting against dictators; whose sole resolve was to inflict their evil intentions and unjust rules onto the world.

Comment by: irene roberts on 8th October 2014 at 18:34

Is that you, Our Joseph? What a stranger! Agree with what you say.

Comment by: Joseph on 8th October 2014 at 19:35

It is, Our Irene. Nice to hear from you, all is well I hope.

Agreed on that, Cyril. Far too many wishing to forget our past and the effort made by those generations.

Comment by: Rev David Long on 8th October 2014 at 19:47

Looking more closely at these stones, I think I was wrong about there being two sets of very similar memorials in Wigan Cemetery - especially given the location Tom gives for them. I took a series of pics of these graves in the snow in January 2010.
At first I thought perhaps Tom's pic had been reproduced wrong way round here - the ceramic pot is in front of the 3rd grave from the right, whereas it is in front of the 3rd grave from the left in my pics. But I can see that the names appear with the initial before the surname, as they do in my 2010 pics. Also, the name on the 2nd grave from the left, J Ascroft, appears in my pic too.
I have also spotted that the trees immediately behind the graves are facing the front of the graves in my series of pics.
My conclusion? The graves have been turned round so that they can be seen more clearly. Unfortunately, I can't decipher more of the names to check this is so.

Comment by: Rev David Long on 8th October 2014 at 20:59

In my first response to this pic yesterday I wrote about my wondering why these graves say "Buried near this spot", and that I thought it made the Wigan authorities of the time look rather neglectful about knowing where they'd buried these soldiers. After sending my earlier response today I decided to look up the names of these men in the Wigan Cemetery Registers to see if their burial places are recorded there. I looked up four of the names I can read clearly on my pics - and found that they are all buried in different unmarked common, or paupers', graves in that area of the cemetery. The authorities knew full well where their bodies lay - but were obviously too ashamed to admit that these casualties had been given paupers' burials - presumably because their bodies were returned for their families to bury, and they couldn't afford to pay for a grave.
It's good that they were eventually given memorials, and even better that someone thought more recently that they should be turned round so that they are in full view... but, what does it say about the 'Land Fit for Heroes'?

Comment by: Thomas(Tom)Walsh.. on 8th October 2014 at 21:16

anne21, the next WW1 Cemertary walk is at HINDLEY CEMERTARY on the 12th of November 10-0 am book through Museum of Wigan Life, I think you would enjoy the event.
Reverand David, I took quite a few photographs on the day ,if you let me have your e mail address I'll forward them to you . Regards Tom.

Comment by: Rev David Long on 8th October 2014 at 22:15

Thanks, Tom. It's david@scars.org.uk

Comment by: Grannieannie on 9th October 2014 at 20:12

Re. the comments above about inscriptions. I was told that it was 3.5 pennies a letter. Spaces between words also cost 3.5 pence. Now inscriptions are added free and so they should be!
My gt grandfather is buried in N. France, near the Somme where he was killed in 1915, in a beautifully kept municipal cemetery. He lies in the CWG section. The guide told us that it was possible my gt grandma visited the area soon after the end of the war as trips were organised for war widows but I have no evidence that she did go.

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