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Author Topic: Two unidentified Merchant Navy Seamen buried in East Dean, East Sussex  (Read 32 times)
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Craggs
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« on: May 05, 2018, 08:37:42 AM »

The Church at East Dean, East Sussex is dedicated to St Simon and St Jude.  In the churchyard there are six burials from WWI and WWII.  The identities of four of these casualties are known.  The remaining two, who are not identified, were both sailors with the Merchant Navy. They were buried on different dates so I'm sure that they are not connected except by their final resting place.

Their headstones show :

A SAILOR OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR   MERCHANT NAVY   BURIED 25th MAY 1943            KNOWN UNTO GOD

A SAILOR OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR   MERCHANT NAVY   BURIED 9th SEPTEMBER 1941   KNOWN UNTO GOD


The parish of East Dean and Friston is only a short distance from the sea and well known cliffs and shoreline at Birling Gap and "The Seven Sisters".  I'm pretty sure that it would have been in this area of the coast that the bodies of these men were recovered.  So far I haven't managed to find any newspaper articles regarding their discovery or burials.  There are another four unidentified merchant seamen buried in the neighbouring churchyard of St. Mary the Virgin at Friston.  I've done a separate post for them.

Another interesting point.  If you do a CWGC search for WWII burials in St Simon and St Jude's at East Dean and go to the 'Graves Registration' page you will see that there were three German wartime burials.  One German sailor and two German civilians. I haven't seen German 'civilians' on the index before.  All three now rest in Cannock Chase.  I've attached a copy.

In my photograph the headstone of the second unidentified sailor is leaning over a bit. It is the headstone - not my photography.

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