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Old 09-10-2008, 03:21 AM
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Default A Bit OT: British Casualties In Afghanistan

Poor Merchant 06-09-2008, 05:10 PM Hi There,

An interesting piece today on the BBC website as British forces in Afghanistan record their 100th fatality:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/5121552.stm


Apart from the obvious sadness of the piece, the part that interested me was the statistical element on the second tab - quite a few of the soldiers killed were older than I expected (I guess this down to the reservists tend to be older than their regular counterparts).


Also it gave a breakdown of cause of death (although the loss of 14 dead in the Nimrod crash rather distorts the accident segment) - although this could be improved by breaking down the categories rather more.


I'm hoping that (a) there won't be too many more deaths, and that (b) the BBC will continue to update this page as time goes on - it struck me that the photo of each man, date, cause of death etc was, in a small way, like the war memorials that are in every British town and village.

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Targan 06-09-2008, 11:55 PM I'm hoping that (a) there won't be too many more deaths, and that (b) the BBC will continue to update this page as time goes on - it struck me that the photo of each man, date, cause of death etc was, in a small way, like the war memorials that are in every British town and village.Well said PM. Every country town in Australia has a little war memorial in it too, as do all the little towns in New Zealand and I expect (though I've never been there) in all the little towns in Canada and the USA as well. I was born in New Zealand as were both my parents but two of my great grandfathers were Australians and strangely enough at Kings Park here in the city where I live the name of my great great uncle is on a Boer War memorial.

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Raellus 06-10-2008, 02:34 PM In the U.S., some of those local war memorials can be pretty hard to find. Plus, they tend to be scattered around- one in a park here, one by a library there. There are the big national ones in Washington D.C. and elsewhere that are pretty spectacular, though.


I think the Dominion countries do it right, not just at home, but abroad as well. In the Anglican cathedral in Montevideo, there are large memorial plaques dedicated to the British sailors who died fighting the Graf Spee, as well as several dedicated to early 19th century naval engagements in and around the River Plate.

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thefusilier 06-10-2008, 11:44 PM The webpage for the CBC (Canada's version of the BBC I guess) is very similar. All 85 are on a single page. Chris Stannix was in my regiment. I was his section commander during his basic.


It strikes me how so many are road accidents or other non-combat related.


http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/af...ties/list.html

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Poor Merchant 06-11-2008, 01:18 PM Well said PM. Every country town in Australia has a little war memorial in it too, as do all the little towns in New Zealand and I expect (though I've never been there) in all the little towns in Canada and the USA as well. I was born in New Zealand as were both my parents but two of my great grandfathers were Australians and strangely enough at Kings Park here in the city where I live the name of my great great uncle is on a Boer War memorial.


Actually the Australian and New Zealand War Memorials in London are very nice:


http://www.londonlogue.com/places-to...al-london.html


http://www.londonlogue.com/places-to...al-london.html


I walk past these a couple of times a month and I always stop at the Aussie one - what I like about it is that etched into the stone are the names of the places these people came from (24,000 placenames across Australia), and that the big cities are no more prominent than the smallest village - Perth near Narrogin, Warrnambool and Melbourne etc. People coming from little places I'd never heard of to give "the last full measure of devotion".

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TiggerCCW UK 06-11-2008, 02:24 PM In my first year at Uni we were given the name of a Soldier who died on the Somme, and asked to find out as much as we could about him. It was designed to teach us how to use historical resources prior to the internet becoming the primary tool for such things (it was 1992-93). I managed to find out a fair bit about my given soldier, and as a finale to the project we went to the Somme area to some of the cemetaries and battlefields. It was a tremendously moving experience to actually visit the grave of the man I'd been researching, L/Cpl Frank Parsons, buried at Hannescamp New Military cemetary. The massive memorials out there are something that has always stayed in my mind, especially the memorial to the missing at Thiepval - 275,000 names, and they were just the people who were never found/identified. Another very moving part was that my lecturer took a detour to go to the Ulster Tower, specifically for me. The Ulster Tower is a memorial to the 36th Ulster Division, and is an exact copy of Helens Tower, a folly built in the Clandeboye estate just outside Bangor. The estate was one of the main training areas at the time for the 36th. This had an added degree of poignancy for me as it was an area that we used for field training when I was with the cadets. It was strange seeing this memorial in France, built to commemorate men who had trained in the same area as I had.


Sorry for the thread hijack, but as people were talking about war memorials it seemed to fit in.


L/Cpl Parsons was leading a group who were resupplying the forward trenches when a British artillery shell fell short and hit his group, killing all of them. He was awarded the Military Medal.

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Raellus 06-11-2008, 04:52 PM That's a really cool project, Tigger. Seems like a really great way to both apply historical research skills and make history more personal.


The internet is a great tool for research, but it's kind of sad that most of my students (15-17 years old) have no idea how to use books, encyclopedias, databases, and other resources. They are simply used to Googling everything and in many cases there is no need to look elsewhere.


Sorry, I'm getting this thread even further off course.

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Targan 06-11-2008, 11:52 PM Perth near Narrogin, Warrnambool and Melbourne etc. People coming from little places I'd never heard of to give "the last full measure of devotion".Heh heh, it should probably be "Narrogin near Perth" as Perth (the city where I'm typing this right now) is the capital city of Western Australia (and is the most isolated State capital in the world) while Narrogin is a tiny little wheatbelt town. But you're right, just as many country boys as city boys went off to fight. Back in the times of WWI and WWII Australia (especially Western Australia) was a largely agrarian and mining based society. The AIF (Australian Imperial Forces) in WWI recruited all of its Light Horse units in the bush because those lads could all ride, were often master horsemen and excellent shots with large calibre rifles because of the nature of life on an Australian farm.


Most Australians these days are fat and weak but in the first half of the last century most Australian males were really, really tough blokes. My paternal great grandfather was a professional bare knuckle prize fighter for instance. My dad has a photo of him on his wall, he was a huge, mean lookin' dude.

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Targan 06-12-2008, 12:03 AM That's a really cool project, Tigger. Seems like a really great way to both apply historical research skills and make history more personal.I agree with what Raellus said. Good work Tig.


An Australian archaeological team are currently excavating a mass grave at Fromelles in northern France which contains the remains of 170 Australian soldiers and several hundred British soldiers killed during WWI and buried by the Germans.

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