In somewhat random fashion, during War Graves Week last year, I went to Rosebank Cemetery in Leith, with an eye out for Commonwealth War Graves. Scottish cemeteries often have obelisks and tall headstones that make it less easy to pick out the CWGC headstones among them. I am always looking for the people who are overlooked—women, Allied soldiers and airmen, buried so far from home, seamen in the Merchant Navy and civilian dead.
On the following day, I tackled Edinburgh’s Eastern Cemetery, chosen because it is also within easy walking distance for me.
In both cemeteries, I photographed many CWGC headstones, but the ones I chose to research were chosen afterwards at home, almost at random, and when I set about researching, I found stories that I could never have imagined. In my research, I start with the information in the matching CWGC entry. Often the sparse details provided, prove incorrect, and other important, helpful details, like ages and the names of next-of-kin are missing. Don’t let that deter you. You start with broken threads, and end up with a fairly neatly woven tapestry.
You can find posts on some of those I found and researched on my newest blog, PassersbyRemember, set up to cover accidental discoveries, rather than the planned research that results in posts on my other War Memorial blogs.
Here’s the web address: