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Battle of Albuera grave at Valverde de Leganes

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Battle of Albuera grave at Valverde de Leganes

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » May 18th, 2013, 2:32 pm

After the Battle of Albuera, British soldiers who fell on the battlefield or died on their way to hospital at Olivença were buried outside the Valverde de Leganes cemetery. That cemetery was moved when civilian cemeteries were removed from Spanish towns for hygienic reasons. That may have been about 1930. The British remains were buried next to the Ermita del los Martires, the Hermitage of the Martyrs, and a huge cement cross was placed at the site.

Valverde cross 28.6 kb.jpg
Valverde cross 28.6 kb.jpg (42.05 KiB) Viewed 976 times

The cross is on the NE side of Valverde, up the hill from the intersection of the BA 006 and the EX 310, the ring road around Valverde. The EX 310 is the road to Badajoz. The BA 006 is the road to Albuera. The modern cemetery is on the other side of this crossroads.

Ermita and cross 41.6 kb.jpg
Ermita and cross 41.6 kb.jpg (43.77 KiB) Viewed 976 times

Valverde cross front view 76.2 kb.jpg
Valverde cross front view 76.2 kb.jpg (45.64 KiB) Viewed 976 times

Sarah
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Re: Battle of Albuera grave at Valverde de Leganes

Postby ctrunfree » May 4th, 2017, 3:57 pm

As a result of your interesting post Sarah I did manage to get to this site yesterday. I was a little surprised to see that the large cross is completely bare, with no commemorative plaque and absolutely nothing to indicate who are buried here and why. Does anyone know if it was always like this, or has something being removed since it was erected?

I think its a shame it is completely anonymous. I'd be happy to contribute a few quid to get something put up to indicate the memorials significance.
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Re: Battle of Albuera grave at Valverde de Leganes

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » May 6th, 2017, 1:17 pm

I've asked two members of the Friends of the British Cemetery who might know. At the time, I couldn't find anyone in Valverde who knew. A very good idea of yours to erect a plaque now.

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Re: Battle of Albuera grave at Valverde de Leganes

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » May 6th, 2017, 1:37 pm

The Chairman of the FBC, Maj. Nick Hallidie, replied:
To my knowledge there has never been a plaque. Celia has been quite incensed, particularly as it is generally believed that Col Sir Richard Myers who commanded the Fusilier Brigade, who, effectively turned the tide of the battle, is buried there.

If anyone can right this wrong, it will be Celia, the Secretary of the FBC. If something does happen, I'll let you know.

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Re: Battle of Albuera grave at Valverde de Leganes

Postby ctrunfree » May 7th, 2017, 1:11 pm

That would be great. I'd imagine there might be a few of my 3x great grandfather's colleagues from the 2/48th here.
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Re: Battle of Albuera grave at Valverde de Leganes

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » June 7th, 2017, 7:50 am

Celia could tell me this about Valverde:
After the battle of Albuera, those wounded who died in the field hospital at Valverde de Leganes were buried in the cemetery of V de L, at that time in the centre of town , beside the church.
When the cemetery was moved out of town to its present site [for health reasons], all the remains of those with no families to pay for the relocation were buried under the cross by the Ermita de los Mártires.
This would include British but also any Spanish with no heirs to fund the removal to the new cemetery.
So the cross covers a common grave not necessarily exclusively British.
These unmarked crosses are typical of all the modern cemeteries, tho' none is so massive as that at Valverde.

That doesn't answer your question about a plaque. One can but hope. I'll let you know if Celia is ever successful in having one placed.

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