Monday, 18 November 2013

Great War Cemetery

This is on Mount Scopus, now close to the Mormon University building which is very visible from the Old City on the skyline along from the Mount of Olives .

There are 2415 burials here, all dating from the tme when the failing Ottoman Empire, which ruled Palestine, came into the war on the German side; once Britain had taken Jerusalem we remained the occupying power for over thirty years.

This looks back at the Old City so is actually another different view of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (with its two domes just right of and below the crossbar of the cross).

This illustrates the standard Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorial stone as we would recognise it from our own churchyards and war cemeteries in England and across France and Flanders.  Shakespeare was an Army train driver born in Derbyshire.

We knew from examples we have seen in Lincolnshire (including Scartho Road, Grimsby) that a slightly different shaped stone is used when a German burial is in one of our war cemeteries, but here we came across for the first time a distinctive memorial stone used for Turkish graves in our war cemeteries ...

... and, almost more surprisingly, also discovered that for Italian burials the variation on the standard stone is simply the addition of this symbol on the side (which I now learn is fasces, a bundle of sticks with an axe, a symbol of Roman magersterial authority, the use of which in the Italian war context gave rise to the term 'fascist').

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