WW1 Grave Marker Photograph

Tonight’s postcard is a sombre one, depicting the grave of Corporal H W Mundey of the London Regiment (Queen’s Westminster Rifles):SKMBT_C36416071909190_0001This grave marker is typical of the wooden crosses erected in early cemeteries before the Commonwealth War graves Commission took over the running of all Empire military cemeteries. These early wooden crosses vary in design and seem to have been made at a unit level, this example is particularly well done with a circular strengthening loop around the arms and detailed painted insignia, with the portcullis badge of The Westminster Rifles in the centre of the cross:SKMBT_C36416071909190_0001 - CopyFrom the information on the cross it can be seen that Corporal Mundey was 24 years old and killed in action on July 21st 1916. The Westminster Rifles were part of the London Division who were involved in the fighting on the Somme during July 1916, it was presumably as part of this on-going battle that Corporal Mundey was to be killed.

Corporal Mundey’s grave marker has since been replaced by a Commonwealth War Graves headstone and can be seen at Ecoivres Military Cemetery, Mont St-Eloi where the graves of those members of the London Division can be seen in Plot III, rows A to H. The foot of the grave is inscribed ‘Until the Day Breaks’. The choice of wording was made by a Mrs L Chaplin of 60, Stanley Road, West Croydon who was presumably his next of kin, the different surname suggesting perhaps either a sister or aunt.

The photograph of his original grave marker would have been taken and posted to hi next of kin so they could see the final resting place of their loved one, the thick vegetation in front of the grave suggests that this was taken at least a year after he fell, and likely at the end of the war. Today Ecoivres Military Cemetery is a calm and sombre area for remembrance and reflection:dbImage

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