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WW1 - A Century On



Today we're looking back 100 years, since the start of World War One. How the funeral proceeding were like during this time. The scale of deaths in World War One was simply insurmountable, with drastic figures never dealt with before. As a result of this, there was no real method of recording the dead, no system in place, as the sheer amount of casualties were unmanageable. This left many of the graves unmarked and many bodies left in enemy territory without official record. Unrecorded Deaths Usually in wartime, soldiers were buried on the battlefield, with communal graves or even buried where they fell in action. At the start of World War One the British Army had no official register, leaving many departed soldiers with no funeral and no recorded name or location of their body. This happened with many battles during the start of World War One. Those who died in hospital away from the enemy lines where usually buried in a graveyard/cemetery closest to the hospital, usually in that town. There was a basic funeral but nothing too extraordinary. Luckily, those who died within a town or city were recorded for their families and loved ones. After the war was over the battlefields were cleared of any possible dangers and many attempts were made to find the bodies of the fallen. Unfortunately, with such devastating numbers there was nothing in place to facilitate this type of venture and no way for the bodies to be traced. As this was the first war to have such extreme causalities there were measures put in place to stop this ever happening again. Things like dog tags and identification discs were used at the later stage of World War One and future warfare. After the war was over many funerals and ceremonies were held, even though many bodies were not found. Still being found today With many fallen soldiers being buried on the battlefield there are still many bodies still to be found. Even today, 100 years later, there are still discoveries being made of shrapnel, equipment and remains. Each discovery researched and each body is identified. Honouring the dead The unrecorded dead is a huge issue that it's still being reprimanded today. With many memorials, graves and ceremonies to respect the unrecorded dead. There have been poppies worn in respect to the soldiers in World War One and all soldiers who have fallen. Recently, there has been the launch of the Every Man Remembered Database, allowing people to leave a tribute for anyone they know who died in World War One. This allows no one to be forgotten and dedications to be made. World War One was one of the worst events in human history. The thing that makes it worst that the dead did not get the funeral they deserved. Fortunately this has been reprimanded somewhat over the last decides with shrines, graves and funeral arrangements for the MIA.
National Federation of Funeral Directors