Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

War Graves

From our Swindon Correspondent:

From the BBC

The government has apologised for failures to properly commemorate black and Asian troops who died in World War One fighting for the British Empire.

Some troops were commemorated collectively or their names were recorded in registers, while their white counterparts had headstones.

A report by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission found the reason for this was “pervasive racism”.

In the Commons, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace expressed “deep regret”.

He told MPs there was “no doubt” prejudice had played a part in what happened after WW1.

OK, sure. People in the early 20th century were a lot more nationalistic and racist.

Historian Prof David Olusoga, whose TV company produced Unremembered, told BBC Breakfast that apologies were not enough and resources would need to be committed if the commission was serious about restorative justice.

“If the Commonwealth War Graves Commission had set up a committee and discovered that 100,000 white British soldiers lay in mass graves – unmarked, uncommemorated – and the documentation proved that that had been deliberate, what would they do?” he said.

At this point, and if we’re talking about WW1, I’d rather they didn’t bother, quite frankly. Who is going to visit these graves? Their parents? No, dead. Wife? Dead. Brother? Also dead. Their children? Also probably dead. Their grandchildren who never met grandad? Are they going to do that? Should we go back and restore all the missing graves back to the Iceni fighting the Romans?
5 1 vote
Article Rating
Total
0
Shares
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
7 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
HJ777
HJ777
20 days ago

I think you’re wrong about this. Many schoolchildren, for example, ARE taken to visit the war graves in France and it seems wholly wrong that troops from other parts of the empire/commonwealth aren’t commemorated in the same way as everyone else.

Bloke on M4
Bloke on M4
20 days ago
Reply to  HJ777

They haven’t been that bothered about it for 100 years. Why start now?

HJ777
HJ777
17 days ago
Reply to  Bloke on M4

The children wouldn’t know and the people who should be commemorated aren’t in a position to say so.

Boganboy
Boganboy
20 days ago

I was under the impression that Australia, for example, paid for the war graves for its troops. Presumably those parts of the old empire that didn’t wish to do this don’t have such elaborate memorials.

jgh
jgh
20 days ago

There very likely *are* 100,000 unknown white soldiers buried in mass graves from WW1. Has he never read any history?

Diogenes
Diogenes
20 days ago

We can follow current practice. Every few years, when there is construction in Belgium and Northern France, a mass grave is discovered – the corpses of soldiers who died in the trenches and whose precise location was not remembered when the official graves were built in the 1920s. Most of these corpses are unidentifiable by now. These people, whose corpses were not located at the time, are still commemorated by name in cemeteries and monuments such as the Menin Gate and Thiepval Arch. Their names are remembered and recorded. I bet Olusoga has got it wrong

Pat
Pat
19 days ago

I you Gate look at the names on the Menin gate you will see many from Indian, Pakistani etc. Regiments.
Of course none of these have graves because these are the people that nobody could find the remains of.
It is somewhat surprising that we went to the trouble of commemorating everyone who died with no known grave, but only a proportion of those who actually got a grave.

7
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x