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 Dependents' Cemetery

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Stephen Lock
Maj Gen
Maj Gen
Stephen Lock

Number of posts : 937
Age : 65
Localisation : Calgary
Cap Badge : Pads Brat
Places Served : Father -- Canadian Army. Served Hemer, Soest, and Wetter
Registration date : 2007-12-28

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PostSubject: Dependents' Cemetery   Dependents' Cemetery Icon_minitime27/2/2008, 02:43

There is a good-sized cemetery at Werl where the remains of Canadian soldiers, wives and children are interred who died while living in Germany under the Canadian military Brigade Area. I don't know if there is a similar British cemetery for dependents or whether, in the event a wife or child or husband died while serving in Germany, the remains were simply shipped back to UK.

For the Canadians, given the distance and expense to DND (Dept. of National Defence), the option of burying our loved one in Werl was the only option.

There is a tradition now in Germany, given the dearth of available land, I suppose, that gravesites are 'recycled' every 25-30 years...reused. I know, it sounds rather macabre, doesn't it?

I believe, however, the Canadian Government did eventually work out some sort of arrangement with the German authorities to leave the Canadian Dependents' Cemetery at Werl undisturbed. I think, actually, it may even be considered officially Canadian soil, but don't quote me on that one.
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Hardrations
Let Gen
Let Gen
Hardrations

Number of posts : 1038
Localisation : Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
Cap Badge : RC Sigs (RTG Op) / CF Logistics (Cook)
Places Served : Germany, Egypt, Cyprus, CFS Alert and some other strange places
Registration date : 2007-12-16

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PostSubject: Re: Dependents' Cemetery   Dependents' Cemetery Icon_minitime26/11/2008, 03:06

As with any community there were marriages, births and, unfortunately, deaths. Canadians serving with NATO were not exempt from any of these facts of life, the joy nor the sorrow.

There were 474 Canadians (124 Post-War military and 350 Dependants) buried in the Central Cemetery in Werl. Unlike most of North America, in most locations in Europe plots are not acquired in perpetuity but rather for a specific period of time, normally 20 to 25 years, after which the grave marker is removed and eventually the plot is reused. Fortunately, the two Canadian Sections in Werl were leased by Canada and there has been no loss of graves.

The Department of National Defence and the City of Werl worked to conclude a further 50-year lease for the Canadian Sections. Included is an option to extend a further 50 years. A technical report prepared concerning existing grave markers indicated that, these stones would not last too long in the future. A decision was made to replace all markers with ones of granite. This was done in 2003. Two Memorial Cairns were installed in the Canadian Sections and the names of dependants whose graves were lost both in Werl and the surrounding area were inscribed on the Cairns.

In 2003 a dedication ceremony was held at the Werl Central cemetery.

I was there in 2003, they've done a super job. Very impressive
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Stephen Lock
Maj Gen
Maj Gen
Stephen Lock

Number of posts : 937
Age : 65
Localisation : Calgary
Cap Badge : Pads Brat
Places Served : Father -- Canadian Army. Served Hemer, Soest, and Wetter
Registration date : 2007-12-28

Dependents' Cemetery Empty
PostSubject: Re: Dependents' Cemetery   Dependents' Cemetery Icon_minitime26/11/2008, 22:59

Thanks for this Hardrations. I was aware of the reuse of cemetery plots in Europe, as mentioned. I was also aware there were recent renegotiations between DND and the City of Werl about extending the lease, which I am pleased to learn of.

I was not aware the headstones were going to be replaced with granite ones. What were the existing ones made from? I did know about the Memorial Cairns as well. Quite pleased with all that, even though I don't have any loved ones buried at Werl, the mere fact they are Canadian dependents makes them "family."
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