Where did the railings go?

family-vault
This vault is the final resting place place of three brothers who were killed in World War I. Two were killed in the Battle of the Somme, France, in 1916. The younger brother was killed on the Western Front around Ypres, in western Belgium, during October and November 1914. The youngest was only18, and the others were 19 and 20. The tomb was built by public subscription, but unfortunately it was built from a soft stone, Consequently the details are barely readable now due to erosion by the elements.
If you look closely you will see the remains of the iron railings that were placed around the tomb, probably just to emphasise it’s importance, or to deter vandals.

removing-railingsDuring World War II there was a chronic shortage of iron to make the steel from which guns, tanks, bombs and other nasty weapons of war were manufactured, so the Government issued an edict that everybody must surrender their ornamental ironwork i.e., fencing and gates etc., but not essential items used for security. Cell bars at the the local prison? The workmen who came round with oxy-acetylene cutters and big sledge hammers and took every iron gate and railing in sight, mainly from the working and middle class areas, I have heard told, and even from church yards! The proof is in the first picture. I was also told that some of the workmen were disillusioned German POW’s on day-release! Didn’t they realise that these railings were meant for making bombs and bullets to be used against their families and friends in Germany?
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Many thanks to ‘Old Jim’ down at the local pub for most of the information above. It only cost me two pints!

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2 Responses to Where did the railings go?

  1. Keith says:

    You will notice that the railings were never replaced after the war, and I don’t expect they ever will be now. Shame.

    Further reading.
    http://www.londongardenstrust.org/features/railings3.htm
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/91/a3924191.shtml

  2. helen says:

    That explains a lot, I have often wondered why some of the graves in our local graveyard look like they once had railings.

    I have just read this on your side bar

    Whenever some one calls me an ugly old git I get really sad and give them a big hug, because I know life can be tough for the visually impaired.

    It made me laugh out loud.

    Bright Blessing for Mabon

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    Thanks for the Blessing, and may your Goddess be with you at this time. I actually did the above to someone who called me a “coffin-dodger” once, I gave her a hug and thanked her saying “So sorry you were born ignorant, callous and rude. It must be awful having to live with that!” – Keith.

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