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HOW I BECAME INVOLVED WITH THE CARR FAMILY

 

Back in 2013/2014, I was asked by a visitor to the web site, to check that her fathers name was on our War Memorial.
It also led to the question, "who are all lost servicemen ?".
It appeared there were no service records held by the British Legion or both Parish Councils.

I subsequently decided to research all the names and publish their details on this web site,
this is when I came across:
K. P. CARR

This led me to Katherine Parkhill Carr aged 20
from OverHall Farm, Bures
Now very intrigued I sought to find any living relatives that may shed any light on how she lost her life.
Amazingly, Trevor Richards who lives in my road, attended Bures Primary School with her brother Cameron.
A search of the BT Telephone Directory revealed Cameron was living in Sudbury

I made contact and he was absolutely thrilled, that someone after 73yrs had finally recognised the tragic loss of his sister.
Cameron also remembered Trevor very well.



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During 2014 I spent many hours talking to him about his family and their move from Scotland to East Anglia.
Cameron regularly visited the cemetery from the 1940`s until circa 2017

One thing that was uppermost in his conversation with me, was long-term upkeep of his sisters grave.

I took it upon myself and assured him that I would look after Katherine`s grave, as long as I was able.

Unfortunately in 2018, I lost contact with Cameron.

Sadly, the British Legion have never recognised this as a war grave and since 2014, I have laid a wreath/tribute on Armistice Day each November

I also regularly clean the stonework and make sure the memorial
is well presented.

This fulfills my promise to Cameron.

Photo dated 11th Nov 2020

Katherine's grave is located on the left side of the cemetery, as you enter by the gravel driveway.

 

In 2018, I contacted the CWGC and requested assistance in maintaining this Memorial.

This is part of their reply.
(a) It was a private memorial erected in 1940 so it was the responsibility of the family to maintain it
(b) It is regularly inspected by the CWGC every 2 years
(c) In the event of the engraving becoming unreadable the CWGC would seek some form of remedial action
(d) because its listed in the CWGC database, does not mean the CWGC maintains the grave.

Later in 2018, I visited the grave when I was passing through the cemetery,
to find the surrounding grass area covered in white dust ?
What on earth had been going on ?
To my horror, I found the grave had been cleaned probably with an angle -grinder and an abrasive disk.
You could see the circular abrasions in the stonework
They had removed so much of the monument material, the recessed engraving was now totally illegible
Shocked, would have been an understatement !

I again returned to the CWGC in 2019, informing them the grave was in urgent need of repair,
as it had deteriorated alarmingly.
I mentioned it had been cleaned, but obviously avoided the mechanical method used.
Again I reiterated, there were no remaining members of Katherine`s immediate family alive,
to pay for any expenses that may be incurred in restoring the obliterated engraving.
I reminded them of para (c) in their 2018 reply

I contacted them again during November 2019, requesting an inspection of the gravestone
I emphasised any negotiations between Steven and Marion Barr ( parents) and the CWGC in the 1940`s,
after 79 years surely by now must now be considered null and void.

I also found from their online CWGC records, the last inspection was 2017.

The CWGC contacted me during May 2020 and asked for photographic evidence of the damaged engraving.
Photographs were returned.

I also asked why Lt Cornard Cemetery which has three war graves, had CWGC signs at both entrances to the church.
The same signs were also erected at Gt Cornard Church.
Why was there no CWGC sign at Bures ?

In late August 2020, the CWGC replied to say the Regional Manager had visited the Cemetery and agreed they would erect a new Gallipoli style engraved headstone.
This would be placed amongst`t the green chippings, which prevents disturbance to the existing stonework.

They would also fix a green CWGC sign at the entrance to the cemetery
They would make sure it was visited every 2 years, as per their maintenance schedule.

In September 2020, the Cemetery Clerk received an application to carry out this remedial work,
requesting all cemetery fees should be waived

So thanks to extremely abrasive cleaning - this all worked in my favour

Alan Beales 09/11/2020