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Memorial to the combatants at Talavera

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Memorial to the combatants at Talavera

Postby OXFORDMON » November 24th, 2011, 7:35 pm

One of the most impressive monuments in the Peninsula, dedicated to all protagonists.

Andy.
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"Thus the war terminated, and with it all remembrance of the veteran's services" Gen W F P Napier.
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Re: Memorial to the combatants at Talavera

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » December 22nd, 2011, 1:56 pm

It's good to hear that someone likes the Talavera memorial, Andy. PW guides often dismiss it as ugly or inappropriate. Actually it's quite appropriate inasmuch as the monument was erected when the Talvera bypass [A5] was built. The three girders started life as bridge spans.

The original monument, commemorating the Battle of Talavera, is on private property.
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A new, bicentennial memorial was unveiled in 2009 in Talavera's Jardins del Prado. During the unveiling a time capsule was buried which contained, inter alia, the buttons of all the (modern) British regiments/battalions that fought there two hundred years ago. For more information: http://peninsularwar200.org/talaverasummary.pdf

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Re: Memorial to the combatants at Talavera

Postby OXFORDMON » December 22nd, 2011, 4:30 pm

I must say i quite like the memorial, i didn't realise that they were bridge spans, an excellent bit of recycling! :)

Andy.
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Re: Memorial to the combatants at Talavera

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » December 22nd, 2011, 4:49 pm

It wasn't really recycle. A Battle of Talavera mass grave was unearthed when the highway from Madrid was built, bypassing Talavera.

Sarah
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Re: Memorial to the combatants at Talavera

Postby Mark » December 22nd, 2011, 5:25 pm

What happened with the mass grave discovery?

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Re: Memorial to the combatants at Talavera

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » December 22nd, 2011, 5:40 pm

The mass grave was covered over again and the monument erected near it.

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Re: Memorial to the combatants at Talavera

Postby Mark » December 22nd, 2011, 5:45 pm

Makes you wonder how many Napoleonic mass graves there are around Europe that are still unknown :shock:

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Re: Memorial to the combatants at Talavera

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » December 27th, 2011, 9:19 am

Lots, if you consider that the British were all considered to be Protestant and not allowed burial in Catholic European cemeteries. That's what makes the burial of Maj.Gen. Daniel Hoghton in the British Cemetery, Elvas so remarkable. http://british-cemetery-elvas.org/cemetery.html

Another problem 200 years ago was that many of the bodies could not be identified. The names of new recruits were often unknown to those who buried them even if the bodies were recognisable. Dog-tags weren't introduced until the American Civil War and, even then, were a private initiative.

If the dead could speak, there would be no more war.
Heinrich Böll 1917-1985

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Re: Memorial to the combatants at Talavera

Postby Dominique T. » May 7th, 2012, 8:43 pm

Even worse : in the late twenties, early thirties, a Bavarian company visited nearly all battlefield of Europe and emptied the mass graves in Waterloo, Eylau, Friedland, Austerlitz.

Millions of bones were transported to Hull, then transported to a factory in Yorkshire where they were grinded to powder and send to Doncaster, where they were sold as fertilizer.

So most dead soldiers of the Napoleonic wars ended up in England as fertilizer.
(V. Hugo, Journal de ce que j’apprends chaque jour-5 december 1847)

The dead from Leipzig arrived in Lossiemouth from Hamburg on 26 october 1829. (L'Echo de la Frontière, 11 November 1829) Another cargo from Leipzig arrived in May 1830. (L'Echo de la Frontière, 26 May 1830)
Even then, it was considered a scandal for some people, mostly in France, but nobody could do a thing.
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Re: Memorial to the combatants at Talavera

Postby OXFORDMON » May 7th, 2012, 9:22 pm

Dominique T. wrote:So most dead soldiers of the Napoleonic wars ended up in England as fertilizer.


That is awful :shock:

Andy
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