War Grave Rules

The term “war grave” does not only apply to graves: ships sunk during war are often considered war graves, as are military aircraft crashing into water; This is especially true if crew members have died in the vehicle. The classification of a war grave is not limited to the death of the occupier in combat, but includes military personnel who die on active duty: for example, during the Crimean War, more servicemen died of disease than as a result of enemy actions. Founded in 2008, the War Graves Photographic Project aims to create an archive of names and photographs of all military graves and memorials from 1914 to the present day of all nationalities, with a focus on Commonwealth soldiers. [3] The law provides for two types of protection: protected places and controlled areas. [14] The main reason for this designation is to protect the final resting place of British soldiers (or other nationals). Although it is often referred to as protection as a war grave, protected wrecks are not graves in the sense that they fall under the control of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and must not have been lost during the war. [3] Rupert Brooke`s poem The Soldier – “If I should die, think only this of me: / That there`s some corner of a foreign field / That is for ever England” is a patriotic poem about the possibility of dying during a war abroad. Brooke himself is buried in a war grave on Skyros in the Aegean Sea after dying on his way to battle in the Gallipoli campaign. Soviet World War II graves, Tehumardi, Saaremaa, Estonia A war grave is a burial place for members of the armed forces or civilians who died during military campaigns or operations.

In the United States, war graves are managed within the U.S. National Cemeteries System and the American Battle Monuments Commission. In Australia, the Office of Australian War Graves oversees the maintenance of war cemeteries, parcels, individual graves, post-war commemorations and battle memorials. In Germany, the state is responsible for war graves. In addition to soldiers, victims of National Socialism and the GDR also fall within the definition of “war grave”. Abroad, the Volksbund deutscher Kriegsgräberfürsorge (German War Graves Commission) deals with German war dead. War graves are protected by law and have permanent resting rights. War cemeteries are mostly integrated into civilian cemeteries and can be found in almost any cemeterie.

A common difference between war grave cemeteries and civil peace burials is the uniformity of burials. They usually died in a relatively short period of time, in a small geographical area and consisted of soldiers from the few military units involved. As far as the two world wars are concerned, the large number of casualties means that war graves can occupy very large areas. For example, Brookwood Military Cemetery in the United Kingdom is the largest of its kind in the country, with graves for more than 1,600 First World War soldiers and more than 3,400 World War II, covering an area of 15 acres (37 acres). In contrast, Finnish war graves tend to be small because after World War II, the Finnish government decided that every dead soldier would be sent back to their home community, meaning that virtually all Finnish cemeteries contain a war grave. [1] Civil War Graves, Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery The law was passed in 1986, in part in response to concerns about the excavation of military aircraft, in part because of public concern about the fate of sunken military ships, and also because public opinion after the Falklands War supported the idea that a maritime war grave should be sacrosanct. Among the ships hit was HMS Hampshire, where personal belongings of injured divers were reportedly looted and where the British government granted rights for the rescue of HMS Edinburgh, which had taken place without regard to the remains it contained. [19] Although the law provides immediate protection to destroyed aircraft, shipwrecks must be individually named in order to be protected. The Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 (1986 c. 35) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that protects wrecks of military aircraft and designated military vessels. [1] The law provides for two types of protection: protected places and controlled areas. Military aircraft are automatically protected, but ships must be specially marked.

[2] The main reason for the designation was to protect the final resting place of British soldiers (or other nationals) as a “war grave”; However, the law does not require that the loss of the ship occurred during the war. [3] Joint war graves of British and American soldiers killed during the American Revolution in St. Peter`s Church Cemetery in the Great Valley, Chester County, Pennsylvania In Spain, war graves are protected by Law 60/1962. Since the law was passed, investigators have been able to obtain licences for searches under certain conditions. The applicant must have thoroughly researched the crash and be able to identify the aircraft and the fate of the crew. This research becomes the property of the Ministry of Defence. The landowner of the accident site must have given permission. Special conditions may be imposed by local councils or heritage agencies. After excavation, all recovered material must be reported to the Ministry of Defence. The crew`s personal property may be returned to the next of kin, and military artifacts of historical interest may be placed in the custody of the Royal Air Force Museum, but the licensee may request ownership of other materials. Licenses cannot be issued for sites where unexploded ordnance is likely to be present, and the Department of Defense does not have licenses if human remains are likely to be found.

The Ministry of Defence reserves the right to attend all excavations. [16] In 2002[4] (amended 2003),[5] 2006,[6] 2008,[7] 2009,[8] 2012,[9] 2017[10] and 2019, there were seven legal instruments identifying wrecks under the law. [11] Thirteen wrecks are designated as controlled places where diving is prohibited.