Sunday, 9 November 2014

"For Our Tomorrow They Gave Their Today"

I can only imagine that it is down to the Centenary of the beginning of the First World War, but lately whilst driving around the Borders, I have noticed many churches having a green Commonwealth War Graves sign at their entrance. After seeing these quite a few times, I made a point of stopping and going into one which then lead onto others.

Having had a keen interest in, mainly, the Second World War, and having been to War Graves in Europe, I was still amazed that there are so many Commonwealth War Graves in this country, and indeed within the Scottish Borders.

What has always struck me, even when I have visited Commonwealth War Graves in Belgium and France, is how the headstones are so simple, yet powerful at the same time, and always beautifully kept.

Andrew John Hogarth, born in 1886 was a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery, 20th Reserve Battery.  Their responsibility was for howitzers and medium calibre guns, and were normally deployed close to the front line.  Unfortunately I have yet to find out what injuries he sucumbed to.

John Fraser Young, was only 20 when he died.  He was a Private in the Kings Own Scottish Borderers.  He was badly injuried, I believe at Gallipoli, Egypt in 1917 and was discharged from the Army as a result, but sucummed to his injuries on 20 June 1918.

Having found that there were numerous Commonwealth War Graves in the small hamlet of Fogo, near to Duns, I went and was amazed to find that there were 16 of them, but the majority were not British.  There were graves from Canada, Australia and also New Zealand.  A quick search on-line also turned up that until the 1967, there had also been graves for 3 German airmen from World War 2, but were exhumed and re-buried at the German Military Cemetery at Cannock Chase, in Staffordshire.

Fogo Church Cemetry

Pilot John Morris, was with the Canadian Royal Airforce, when his plane crashed
near to Greenwood Farm, Reston on 24 October 1942.

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