Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 11 remembering

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For Armistice / Remembrance / Veterans Day let me show you where some of the soldiers of the Great War are buried or memorialized in Jerusalem.
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At the outbreak of the First World War, Israel (then called Palestine) was part of the Ottoman Empire, and it was not entered by Allied forces until December 1916.
The advance to Jerusalem took a further year.
The Turks surrendered the city to British General Allenby (but first to two British army cooks) in December 1917.
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The Jerusalem War Cemetery is the British military cemetery on Mount Scopus.
Of the 2,515 Commonwealth burials of the First World War in the cemetery, 100 of them are unidentified.
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For more about this beautiful place, see my posts under ANZAC.
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On Mt. Zion, in the backyard of Bishop Gobat School, under lock and key, is the Jerusalem Protestant Cemetery.
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It was owned by the British and German religious congregations and contained the graves of 114 British soldiers, buried from March to December 1917 by the enemy, and then, until February 1918, by the British forces.
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(Many famous Christian civilians are buried here as well.)
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The Protestant cemetery even has this (enlarge the photo if you can read German) for 15 members of the local congregations who joined the German-Austrian Wehrmacht and lost their life during World War I.
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In the Jerusalem neighborhood of Talpiot, you will find (if you know what to look for) a small park in front of a playground.
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The Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission was set up only toward the end of World War I. Before they starting making centralized and uniform cemeteries, it was common for their soldiers to be buried near the battlefield where they fell.
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So, as Yad Ben-Zvi Walking Tour Guide explains about these markers shown in the photo above,
"In World War I, the bodies of 290 Turkish soldiers were buried nearby in a common grave. Between July 1918 and June 1920 Indian soldiers serving in the British army were interred close to the common grave of the Turks.
They were buried in two different common graves since 31 of them were Muslims and 47 were Hindus, Sikhs, and Gurkhas.
The tombstone over the Muslim grave bears an inscription from the Koran, while above the other common grave is an inscription in Sanskrit.
The names . . . are recorded in the chapel of the British cemetery on Mount Scopus."
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Sigh . . . so many young men, sent from far corners of the world to fight and die and be buried in the Holy Land.
Let us remember them.
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12 comments:

Greensboro Daily Photo said...

Great tribute Dina. I remember selling Buddy Poppies as a child. I'd walk to the VFW building, get my kit, and walk the streets selling the poppies. At the end of the day, I'd walk my full box back to the VFW building. What a memory seeing that poppy in your first photo!

Jew Wishes said...

What a touching tribute, Dina.

May they all be remembered...

ρομπερτ said...

I'm sorry.



Please have a peaceful Friday.

daily athens

Petrea said...

My goodness, Dina. This post is so comprehensive, so well done. Did you plan ahead? How do you do it? Brilliant.

Catherine said...

So many names all over the world and so many unidentified so anonymous ! All religion taken together...
Great information Dina on this sad subject. As french, we use to forget that WWI raged far away too.

Dina said...

Jan/GDP, shalom. Yes, poppies seem to be the enduring symbol in every generation. Wish we had a photo of little you selling them.

Jew Wishes, thank you, but your post was personal and even more moving.

Robert, thanks, I am sorry too. I walk up and down the endless rows of military graves and murmur "What a waste."

Petrea, procrastinator that I am, I only write posts on the day that they are "due," and then on whatever subject "the spirit moves me."
However, whenever I see something I think will be of interest to the blog's readers, I take a picture. You readers are a very curious lot, so there are thousands of pics on file.
Whenever I come across information on a subject or a place in Jerusalem, I bookmark the link, or bookmark the book, and/or paste and copy to a document and file it.
So the pics and the info are handy, whenever I decide on a post.
If you guys have any requests for a place or subject, please submit.

Dina said...

Catherine, shalom. Merci for your good insights and input.
Yes, I think most Westerners do not think much about the Middle East's role in the two World Wars.

VP said...

I remember the story of the cooks... The rest is a sad story and a set of beautiful images of surprisingly well kept places.
I can't ay the same of ours, except for a few days of ceremonies.

Dina said...

Hi VP, well, I wish all Jerusalem's Jewish graves were so well kept. So much vandalism and destruction.
You know, one could start a whole blog just on the cemeteries of Jerusalem. hmmm ...

RuneE said...

A day to remember in every way - but have we learned something? No.

PS My personal reason for remembering that date and time (but another year... ) - I was examined for my Ph.D.

PPS Thank you for the comments :-)

Dina said...

Dr. RuneE, that must have been a big day for you!

JM said...

The poppy is such a lovely symbol. I've seen hundreds of them at a memorial in London when I was there one month ago.