Mass graves…

February 4, 2010

First of 250 WWI soldiers from mass grave reburied

FRANCE/FROMELLES, France, Jan 30 (Reuters) – The first of 250 unknown British and Australian soldiers whose bodies were dumped by the Germans in mass graves in northern France during World War I was reburied on Saturday with full military honours.

Your story states that the bodies of the soldiers were ‘dumped’ by the Germans.

This, and what it implies, is incorrect. We know from the positions of the bodies in the mass graves that they were laid out with care, head to toe, and that although the graves had two layers of bodies in them the German troops had put soil between the layers.

All evidence points to them being buried with a degree of care, and that it was clear that it was ‘soldiers burying other soldiers’, rather than them being dumped.

Can you correct this?

Victoria Beacon
Defence PR and Events
Ministry of Defence

No offense was intended by our use of the word.

While it might be inelegant, we did not think “dumped” was necessarily out of place when talking about a double-decker mass grave: GBU Editor

France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy walks past Christian graves as he arrives for a ceremony in the Muslim section of Notre Dame de Lorette’s World War One military cemetery in Ablain Saint Nazaire, northern France, January 26, 2010. REUTERS/Gerard Cerles/Pool

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