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Mark Hone

Colne Valley Cemetery-closed?

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Mark Hone

I had been planning to visit Colne Valley Cemetery near Boezinge during my October battlefields tour but according to the CWGC website it is currently closed due to flooding. I know that the cemetery has suffered from this before. As suggested on the site I have contacted the Commission about this but in the meantime does anyone have any further information?

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Aurel Sercu

I passed there yesterday evening, but did not specifically look if it was closed or not.

Anyway, I did not notice anything special.

I'll go and have a look again tomorrow, and will let you know.

(Flooding ? That really would surprise me !)

Aurel

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Mark Hone

Thanks, Aurel. It may well be that the CWGC have not updated their website entry for the cemetery since it was flooded in 2012. There are no dates given. The great-grandfather of one of the boys on my October tour helped to bury his cousin, who was also his best friend, at Colne Valley in August 1915.

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AOK4

Hello,

Recent rains last summer have flooded it again apparently.

Jan

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Aurel Sercu

Jan,

Maybe, but I have not noticed. It hasn't rained for weeks now, so I guess : no problem. (And I entered a month ago, when we had had a lot of rain, and it was dry ...)

Anyway, I'll be there this (late) afternoon.

Mark,

Just curious... What's the grave ?

Aurel

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Mark Hone

It is that of Corporal Norman Hirst, 1/4th Duke of Wellington's, Grave C9. His cousin Private Harold Hirst formed part of the burial party for him and the three other men who died in the incident, including Captain M. Andrews, peacetime headmaster of Hipperholme Grammar School in Yorkshire.

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Aurel Sercu

Mark,

Colne Valley Cem. is no problem at all.

No flooding.

Not even a trace of it.

Grass had just been mown.

There is an old crack though in the wall near the entrance, and a stretch of the wall near the back left corner (about 6 feet) has been taken down (for later repairs).

That all.

No safety porblems whatsoever.

I marked Norman Hirst's headstone with an arrow.

Aurel

post-92-0-41626500-1410804075_thumb.jpg

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Mark Hone

Thank you very much, Aurel. Fingers crossed that it will be ok for our visit next month.

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Vicki1978

Just wondering if I can message anyone in these conversations as Hirst is my maiden name and I am related to these men. My grandfather is Norman Hirst 1922-1985. The story goes that he was named after Corporal Norman Hirst 1894-1915. Anyway if anyone has pictures I would love to see...or just have a few questions answered. Thanks!

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Aurel Sercu

Vicki,

 

I am not sure I understand your question. Do you want me to take a photo of the headstone ? If you want one, I can make sure today's or tomorrow's bike ride can take me there. (Even though the sky is very grey, too grey to take good photos ...). As to the man himself, I have no information ... Maybe Mark has ?

 

Aurel

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Aurel Sercu

Taken at a quarter to sunset (of an invisible sun) on a very dark day in Boezinge. Hence not very bright ...

 

Aurel

Hirst N 11-11-2017 (1).JPG

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Vicki1978

Hi, sorry I wasn't sure if anyone would even see these post because they were dated a couple years old.  I guess I was just curious if anyone had pictures of Harold Hirst or Norman Hirst.  One of the conversations was regarding a picture of Corporal Norman Hirst and I was curious to see it or if there is anywhere else I could access more Hirst family history.  My parents moved us to Canada in 1981 and I have very little family history.

Thankyou for the picture of Corporal Hirst resting place.

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Aurel Sercu

Vicki,

Actually I had guessed you wanted to find out more about Harold and Norman Hirst. But as I always "happen" to pass cemeteries during my bike rides, I thought that I might just as well ... :-) Moreover for many years I have been attracted very specifically to the area, the battlefield, where Norman Hirst fell in my village. So it was certainly no trouble at all ... Here one more photo of the cemetery (taken yesterday), without  that ugly arrow that you can see in the other posting. (N. Hirst = 2nd row, 5th grave from the left).

I'm sure that other GWF members maybe can give you more information. I see on Norman's Medal Index Card that he had arrived in France on 13 April 1915 ... (4 months before his death here). I'm not sure if I can post the card here (maybe you have access too ?) Anyway, I see that he had the three medals (Victory, British, Star), and I also read : "Officer in Command N° 2 Infy (?) Rees York requests instructions for disposal of medals of NCO's and men of W. Riding Regt. 19-8-20." (I'am afraid I don't really understand what this means exactly. Someone else can help ?)

There is also an address of Norman's father : Father James B. Hirst, Esq., 2, Foresters Terrace, Clifton, Brighouse, Yorks.

But I suppose nothing relevant for your search in all this ?...

 

Aurel

Hirst N 11-11-2017 (4).JPG

Edited by Aurel Sercu
Posting left unfinished. Wrong key.

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roel22

Hi Vicki, his name is in the 1901 and 1911 census. Do you have these documents?

 

Roel

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Vicki1978

Hi Aurel, Thank you so much for taking these pictures... I really do find it amazing to see the site of my ancestor especially because I will probably never see it in person as it is so far from where I live.  I have shown my father the pictures and he to is amazed as this is who his father was named after. He had never seen this grave site. Where would I be able to view Normans medal index card or be able to access the GWF members? Just even finding any little bits of information about our family history is fascinating to me. Thankyou so much!

 

Hi Roel, 

 

I don't have the 1901 or 1911 census but I have recently joined Ancestry.uk but I am still trying to navigate it.

Vicki

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Aurel Sercu

Hi Vicki,

Medal Index Cards ... Does this work ? :

https://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=1262

If not, let me know.

I'm not sure I know if your low number of posts so far allows you to send me an e-mail or a PM (so that I know your address), but anyway, this is mine :

aurel.sercu[@]telenet.be   (Drop the square brackets.)

 

Aurel

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Vicki1978

Thanks Aurel, I was able to look at them!

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Roger Thompson

Hello Vicki,

 

Now you have joined Ancestry you will find Norman's service record it is hard to read due to water damage.

You will find that the transcribers have put the wrong Regimental number down, they have it as 7166, instead of 1166.

He was a pre war territorial soldier.

 

Cheers Roger.

Edited by Roger Thompson

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