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robertb

Exhumation and Reburial in India

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robertb

A number of men from the 8th Welsh (Pioneers), and others, were buried in Bombay (Sewri) Cemetery.  They were buried in identified individual graves with headstones. Their bodies were exhumed in January 1962 and 'reburied' in a mass grave at Kirkee War Cemetery (India) in February 1962.  Does anyone know what events led to this happening?

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clive_hughes

Just off the cuff and from hazy memory, it may have been one answer to the problem of maintaining graves in obsolete and increasingly overgrown Imperial cemeteries?  One of my Anglesey casualties was likewise reburied at Kirkee.

 

Clive

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rolt968

It is worth looking to see if there is any information on the FIBIS (Families in British India) site.  I agree with Clive. I have seen that explanation given somewhere. In a case I was looking at a while ago, I was a bit surprised since the cemetery seemed to be well  maintained now. Of course it may have been more at risk in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

RM

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Maureene

From the CWGC page for Kirkee

 

The KIRKEE 1914-1918 MEMORIAL was built to commemorate more than 1800 servicemen and women who died in India during the First World War, who were buried in civil and cantonment cemeteries in India and Pakistan* whose graves were considered to be unmaintainable after India gained its independence in 1947. For several years now, the Commission has been working to reinstate the original graves of a large number of these individuals and to date, the official commemoration of over 1000 individuals have been reverted back to their original burial location. However, their names will remain on the KIRKEE 1914-1918 MEMORIAL for the foreseeable future. This total also includes the names of 629 servicemen whose remains were brought from Bombay (Sewri) Cemetery for re-interment here in 1962, and are buried in the grassed area between the Memorial and the Cross of Sacrifice.

https://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/146500/kirkee-1914-1918-memorial/

 

As  per rolt968's comments, at the time the graves may have been considered unmaintainable at Sewri. This could perhaps have been due to weather reasons such as flooding during monsoons, unstable ground etc. Alternatively, perhaps the political situation was uncertain, or non cooperative, or the local Christian Burial Board was ineffective.

Perhaps it could also have been as cost saving measure?

 

Cheers

Maureen

 

Edited by Maureene

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robertb

I have just received a reply from the CWGC:

 

"With regard to your query, I would explain that in the 1960s the Bombay (Sewri) Cemetery was deemed unmaintainable by the Commission  and in order to ensure permanent commemoration of the war dead, decision was taken to exhume the remains and re-bury them in Kirkee War Cemetery.  This is not an unusual operation in India: as a point of interest, Delhi War Cemetery was created in 1951 when graves from many cemeteries in northern India were moved into the site to ensure their permanent maintenance. 

 

I hope this is helpful.

 

Kind Regards,
CWGC Enquiries Team"

 

Thank you CWGC for your prompt reponse.

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