Monday, 9 August 2010

Desert Rest

Tucked away on the Internet, I found The South Africa War Graves Project, a volunteer-run enterprise whose goal is to archive photographs of every SA serviceman's grave from the 2nd Anglo Boer War onwards. This huge project is run by the indefatigable Ralph McLean, who lives in Canada and directs a small group of dedicated souls who travel and photograph graves all over the world. Unsung heroes, all...

I gave him my uncle's name, and Sidi Rezegh.
And with just those paltry facts, he found him. My uncle, with rank of Corporal in the SA Irish, aged 31, born and brought up in Cradock, son of my correctly-named grandparents, husband of a named young wife he left behind, died on 23rd November 1941. He is buried in Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya.
His Grave/Memorial reference is 5.B.22. As yet, there is no photograph of his grave.

I'm not sure my grandparents, his siblings or his young wife ever knew this. Otherwise I'm sure they would have tried to visit his grave in later years. Perhaps all they were told was that he was listed as missing-in-action - and never came home. And yet the family details are all correct. Surely they would have been informed? And how sad that none of us has ever visited the cemetery, or touched where he lies.
We never knew he was there.

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