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John Condon


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#126 Frank_East

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Posted 25 May 2003 - 09:16 PM

This is good news regarding the availability of past issues of Stand To!

I joined the WFA a few years ago and bought as many of the back issues of Stand To! that were available but still have many gaps.

Looking at the Stand To! Index there are many interesting articles which I thought I would not see.

It is not often one can obtain a full set of perodic magazines from an organisation's inception. Full marks to the WFA.

As Bruce Simpson has said that is why quality research such as the article on John Condon should be published in the Stand To!.It will be a permanent record in a well acclaimed historical magazine.

Regards

Frank East

#127 mick

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Posted 12 July 2003 - 04:39 PM

Personally I find the whole argument distasteful. Short of digging up the remains in the grave attributed to John Condon and performing a DNA test on them for comparison with the DNA of his nearest relatives, nobody can prove conclusively that John Condon isn't buried in Poelkapelle. Indeed if he wasn't believed to be the youngest British casualty of the war nobody would have any interest in the subject. Perhaps all these master detectives would be better employed trying to identify the occupants of all the graves marked An Unknown Soldier of the Great War. The bottom line is that Pte John Condon volunteered to fight for King and Country at the cost of his life and he doesn't desereve to have his memory tarnished almost a century later.

#128 Aurel Sercu

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Posted 12 July 2003 - 08:17 PM

Mick,

Sorry, no comment.

Aurel Sercu

#129 Marco

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Posted 12 July 2003 - 08:24 PM

You are too kind Aurel, but I'm not:

Memory tarnished by finding out and trying to prove that his name is over the wrong grave and that he wasn’t 14? Hollow words and a load of BS, is what I find personally.

Regards,

Marco

#130 john w.

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Posted 12 July 2003 - 10:12 PM

If it wasnt for the work of Aurel and the diggers and many others then we would be a lot worse off in the depth of our knowledge.
There is going to be questions asked and this will regenerate itself as younger people grow old and ask again. We have a duty to answer those questions as best we can and it is only through painstaking research that the answers can be given.
To trivialise the work done on John Condon is unforgivable and extremely narrowminded, as the work completed can help with the possible identification of those soldiers who were unknown through the establishment of a known procedure.

What I would like to know is in what way would John Condons memory be tarnished with the work being carried out?

Having read the thread, I fail to see how Aurel's work will do that in any shape or form...


John

#131 CROONAERT

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Posted 12 July 2003 - 10:22 PM

In my opinion, if the occupant of just one grave (be it an unidentified or a misidentified grave) can be positively identified, then it is a job well worth doing.

I can only heap my praise on Aurel and co for what is being and what has been done.This also goes for anyone else who may be working on similar projects.

Dave.

#132 Aurel Sercu

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Posted 12 July 2003 - 10:36 PM

Marco, John, Dave

Thanks for the support.
And that I was "too kind" ? Yes, in what I wrote ("No comment"). But maybe I was a lot less kind in what I thought... However, as I did not see the point in wasting time and energy in explaining why I did not agree with someone who has a different opinion ...
But that I was charged with having tarnished John Condon's name ? Well... this was ... new to me. But I'm sure that somehow Mick can clarify.
However I'm afraid that again I will reply with "no comment". Or : "I don't agree."

Aurel Sercu

#133 mordac

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Posted 12 July 2003 - 10:40 PM

Hi Mick:

Suggest you check (The Diggers) for an overview of what Aurel and the team are doing. Also check the site and see what efforts The Diggers make to identify the remains of those Known Unto God.

Garth

#134 john w.

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Posted 12 July 2003 - 10:42 PM

Will wait and see what Mark has to say... I raised the question as that can be applied to any work that anyone does.. and I think of the recent thread elsewhere of the researcher charged to find out information on someone and they find skeletons.. I believe it was the one where it was felt that such searches should carry a health warning...

Now that might tarnish a memory I feel...

Will wait and see the response

John

#135 Conor Dodd

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 12:43 PM

I think perhaps you should think about the soldier that is buried in what has been thought for so long John Condons grave. I would love to be able to find out that my relitives grave has been Identified but I know I would not like if his headstone was to be over another soldiers resting place.



Conor

#136 mick

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 01:29 PM

Firstly nobody has any real evidence to support the theory that John Condon isn't the soldier buried in Poelkapelle. No more than anybody can conclusively prove that every grave in every War Cemetery contains the remains of the man named on the headstone. The concentration on the grave of John Condon is, I'm very much afraid, self aggrandisment on the all sides, based on the belief that Pte Condon was 14 when he died. If he was 24 nobody would pay any attention to him. Has anybody investigated whether Pte Thomas Carthy who is buried next to John Condon is, in fact buried in that grave? No, because Pte Carthy has no fame accruing to his name. I think this whole crusade, whether based on fact or not, is absolutely pathetic. As for the thought of anybody hanging around a cemetery waylaying people who come to pay their respects to the dead and belabouring them with his conspiracy theory. I'm lost for words. I shall be visiting Poelkapelle in October and I certainly hope my privacy will be respected.

#137 Ian Bowbrick

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 03:40 PM

Aurel,
I hope you and your team carry on with your excellent work - Keep it up!
Ian

#138 John Hartley

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 04:20 PM

Mick

Welcome to the Forum. It's not often that a new member's first post contributes to a contaversial issue. When it happens, it certainly tends to liven up a debate

I hope that, like many others, you become a regular contributor. As you do, you will find that your own knowledge of the Great War will increase. You will also come to know the interests, skills and knowledge of other regular contributors. You'll also become aware of the research that they might be undertaking (and come across their websites).

Certainly I am not going to be one to criticise you for your lack of knowledge of Aurel as a historian and researcher of the War and as a man of integrity. Nor am I going to criticise you for your comments about his work on John Condon. His research has not yet been published (I understand that it is scheduled for the September issue of Stand To) and, therefore, you cannot know the facts.

As you gain this experience in the future, I am sure you will want to offer Aurel an apology for some of the language you have used.

John

#139 ianw

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 04:34 PM

Having a great uncle with no known grave on the Salient , I welcome any honestly undertaken work that sheds any light on the last resting place of any soldier. I am sure that establishing the truth of these matters ultimately assists the process of Remembrance of the men concerned , no matter what information is revealed.

#140 Conor Dodd

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 04:53 PM

QUOTE (Mick @ Sun, 13 Jul 2003 13:29:59 +0000)
Has anybody investigated whether Pte Thomas Carthy who is buried next to John Condon is, in fact buried in that grave? No, because Pte Carthy has no fame accruing to his name.

Well actually it has been investigated and I'm sure just as much time and effort has gone into Carthy as Condon


Conor

#141 mick

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 05:05 PM

QUOTE
Well actually it has been investigated and I'm sure just as much time and effort has gone into Carthy as Condon


I'm sure it hasn't.


There doesn't appear to have been much real debate going on and contrary opinions seem to be unwelcome so I will bid this topic adieu.

#142 Simon Bull

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 05:42 PM

I am so sorry to see Aurel's sincerity under attack. Keep up the good work Aurel. I am sure that you have the support of the vast majority of the Pals.

Simon Bull

#143 Michael

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 06:22 PM

Mick

Hang in there. The fact that there are 10 pages on this thread means that there has been a great deal of debate going on.

I admit to knowing nothing about this issue until I saw it on this Forum. I therefore welcome everyone's point of view. I guess I'm not the only one.

I also look forward to Aurel's article being published soon.

Michael

#144 Aurel Sercu

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 06:22 PM

Mick,

Though you said that you "will bid this topic adieu" (and so will not read it), just a few words in reply.

You say : "Nobody has any real evidence to support the theory that John Condon isn't the soldier buried in Poelkapelle."
I disagree. (No further details yet.)

You say : "No more than anybody can conclusively prove that every grave in every War Cemetery contains the remains of the man named on the headstone."
I agree.

You ask : "Has anybody investigated whether Pte Thomas who is buried next to John Condon, is in fact buried in that grave ?"
Yes, I have. Spending a lot more time on Private Carthy than on Private Condon. Not on whether he is buried there (for he is not), but on who is buried there instead.

You write : "I think this whole crusade, whether based on fact or not, is absolutely pathetic."
I tend to disagree.

You write : " As for the thought of anybody hanging around a cemetery waylaying people etc..."
I have not hung around any cemetery waylaying people etc... And I have no conspiracy theory.

You write : "I shall be visiting Poelkapelle in October and I certainly hope my privacy will be respected."
It will never be my intention not to respect your privacy.
Which also means that we will never have the opportunity to exchange some thoughts...

Aurel Sercu

#145 Chris_Baker

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 06:54 PM

Dear members

This subject has obviously proved to be of interest, and there appears to be a wide spectrum of opinion.

Please do not allow the thread to descend to personal comments. It would be a pity if the moderators had to take steps to inhibit discussion.

#146 Conor Dodd

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 06:58 PM

QUOTE (Mick @ Sun, 13 Jul 2003 17:05:12 +0000)
QUOTE
Well actually it has been investigated and I'm sure just as much time and effort has gone into Carthy as Condon


I'm sure it hasn't.


There doesn't appear to have been much real debate going on and contrary opinions seem to be unwelcome so I will bid this topic adieu.

I'm sorry to see that you cannot open your mind to see the wider picture and to listen to other peoples views.


Conor

#147 Marco

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 07:04 PM

“There doesn't appear to have been much real debate going on and contrary opinions seem to be unwelcome so I will bid this topic adieu.”

Mick: lot of wind, not much substance is there? You’ve certainly not contributed to a debate.

Good luck with your October commemoration in what might be the wrong place and if you like you can debate this on your own (phrased in the style you prefer):

“Pte John Condon volunteered to fight for King and Country at the cost of his life and deserves to be commemorated where he lies for whom he was.”

Regards,

Marco

#148 Clive Maier

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 08:31 PM

It is obvious from the numbers and the circumstances that there will mistakes of attribution in World War One cemeteries. What counts is that people did their level best to provide a respectful burial for as many as possible. I can’t be sure absolutely sure that my uncle Oscar lies under his headstone in Dantzig Alley but it is very likely that he does. And if he does not, there is no great harm done. As far as I know, my son and I are the only people ever to have visited his grave, and I still have the knowledge that his colleagues did their best for him. The John Condon grave is quite different. It receives many visitors precisely because of the accepted circumstances of his life and death. If these are not as they have been thought to be, then they are visiting on a false premise. If, almost 90 years on, there are grounds for reasonable doubt then this surely forms a proper subject for investigation by World War One historians. It has been suggested that it is somehow unworthy to look into the matter but I simply can’t agree with that. History is the attempt to recover the lost knowledge of what happened and why.

On the wider dispute I am not competent to comment so I will merely generalise by saying that good manners and natural justice demand that the initial right of report lies with those who initiate a work or who perform the bulk of it. That said, no one has proprietorial rights to a topic. I am afraid it is very common for people in offices, factories, shops and every other walk of life, to find their projects pre-empted or worse, highjacked. It is upsetting and the impulse to walk away is understandable. But that usually fades and gives way to a determination to provide the definitive account. I am looking forward to it.

#149 ianw

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 08:54 PM

Pretty extraordinary that anyone can claim there has "not been much debate" regarding a thread that has had approaching 7500 viewings and 150 postings !

Mick, read the postings, reflect and then make your points. Plenty of room for divergent opinions here but all points need to be well considered and will then receive a fair hearing.

#150 John Morcombe

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 09:28 PM

Mick

You clearly haven't seen the Condon & Carthy evidence presented at http://www.cwgc.co.uk

I would like to hear your opinion after having seen the evidence for yourself, i.e. the original Commonwealth War Graves Commission Burial Return, which was sourced by Mr. Sercu.

John