War leaves behind enemy bodies

war leaves behind enemy bodies

War leaves behind enemy bodies scattered across the foreign country where they fought in a war they didn’t necessarily support. Every time I visit one of our war cemeteries in South Africa to pay my respects to our fallen soldiers, I see the few graves from foreign enemy soldiers. It always touches me when I think about the soldier who did not return home to his loved ones. Too many of these graves are for unknown soldiers – no name or birth date. Just Unknown soldier with the date of his death.

Unknown soldiers

During the Anglo Boer war a brutal battle was fought between Britain and the Afrikaner Boer republics in South Africa. Even though more than 100 years have passed since the war, the remnants of the war are still visible with war museums, battle grounds – including trenches and war cemeteries around the country. In most of the cemeteries there are a big section dedicated to the South Africans with only a few graves of mostly British soldiers – on the opposite side. Most of these graves have the dreadful Unknown soldier written on the stone.

War leaves behind enemy bodies

Most people pass these enemy graves to pay their respects to our local heroes. I cannot help but wonder how and why these soldiers wasn’t taken home to be buried on their home soil. What was their name and age? Were they married with children? Do their families know that they were buried in a foreign country? Whenever I look at these graves I just think at how senseless most of these wars are.

Enemy soldiers with names

Not every enemy soldier were buried with the title of Unknown soldier. There are also those who are buried with their full details written on their grave stone. Names you can research. In many instances you will find something about how they died and in which battle. Some family members opted to bury them on foreign soil – some because of financial reasons. Whatever the case might be, war leaves behind enemy bodies long after the war is over. There are no winners in war.

Amanda Spies du Plessis is the writer and owner of Let’s make tea
as well as the Afrikaans website Amandaskrywer.
Send an e-mail to amandadups(@)gmail.com or go to the contact page and leave a message.

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