Commonwealth war graves in Walvis Bay to be relocated to Swakopmund cemetery

Twelve Commonwealth war graves at Walvis Bay’s Mulderene cemetery, the former “non-European” cemetery adjacent to Mulderene and the Narraville cemetery will be exhumed and relocated to Swakopmund.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) obtained formal approval for the relocation of the graves and is said also received a nod of approval from Namibia’s Head of State, Dr. Hage Geingob. The deteriorating conditions of the graves prompted the Commission to take action.
Walvis Bay has a total of twelve Commonwealth Graves which includes eight South African nationals and four casualties from various European countries from the Second World War. The headstones of the five graves of the “old non-European” date from 1942 and 1944. The seven graves of the “old European” side date from 1941 up to 1945. The Swakopmund cemetery has a total of 65 war graves stemming from the First World War.
An application by the CWGC regarding the above was made to the Swakopmund Town Council in April this year. The letter is signed by J.D. Maree, Director of the SA Agency of the Commission. “Whilst we were on the site on 29 March this year we discussed various interment options”, the letter states.
The Swakopmund Town Council has approved the request by the CWGC. According to the Agenda of the council meeting the application was made due to the “deteriorated condition of the Walvis Bay Cemetery … owing to variety of environmental factors and lack of proper maintenance by the cemetery-authorities.”
The CWGC made various applications for the delicate exhumation process and has also requested permission from President Hage Geingob already in July 2016. Geingob approved the request, states a letter by the High Commission of Namibia in South Africa, dated 4 April states. The letter was signed by High Commissioner Veiccoh Nghiwete.
It is not yet known when the exhumation and re-internment process will take place.
The CWGC is an inter-governmental organisation with its principal function to mark, record and maintain the graves of Commonwealth of Nations service members who died in the two World Wars. Since its inception, the Commission has constructed some 2500 war cemeteries and numerous memorials.

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