The Green Bag & a little bit of Dud Corner

Apologies for the delay in posts; our week in Cornwall was quickly followed by a long weekend in Northern France commemorating the Centenary of the Battles of Arras and Vimy. There will, no doubt, be plenty more posts about the weekend to bore you with, but for now, I just want to share a couple of pictures that have been passed on to me by Alan, a fellow traveller who we first met several years ago on one of our first battlefield walks.

The first is a picture that he took which tells so poignantly how bereft a soldier’s sister felt when her brother didn’t come home from war. Green bag

The second one is a picture that Alan took of a headstone in the Dud Corner Cemetery, Near Loos. Captain Willock died on 25 September 1915 aged 23. What’s so interesting about his headstone is the sheer amount of wording detailed after his service details. Most headstones have little,  if any inscription beneath the official wording. The family of the deceased man was expected to pay for these additional words, apparently at a rate of 3d per letter. Many families would have been unable to afford this added expense, and a lengthy epitaph could be seen to indicate something of the financial status of the grieving family.  This one is undoubtedly the longest inscription that I’ve ever seen on a soldier’s headstone!  Willock

With a touch over 200 characters, this should have cost around £2.50, equating to about £100 in today’s monetary value. There may well be a bit more information about Guy Charles Boileau Willock later this weekend.

Thank you to Alan for allowing me to use his images 😉


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