PRIVATE LESLIE ROSE
THE QUEEN'S ROYAL WEST SURREY REGIMENT
2ND APRIL 1918 AGE 20
BURIED: VALENCIENNNES (ST ROCH)COMMUNAL CEMETERY, FRANCE
Leslie Rose died of meningitis whilst a German prisoner of war, his body later exhumed and buried in Valenciennes (St Roch) Communal Cemetery. The War Graves Commission records this exhumation and the record includes the evidence of identity. This says, "Plate on coffin". I'm pretty sure that British soldiers were normally buried in ground sheets not coffins yet this is the second time I've come across the mention of the plate on a coffin and that too was of a soldier buried by the Germans. At this time the Germans were so short of some raw materials that shoes and boots were being made out of vegetable matter. Yet they were burying soldiers, including enemy soldiers, in coffins with coffin plates.
Rose's mother chose his inscription. It's a stern rebuke to everyone, she is not blaming the other side she's saying that it takes two to quarrel - "war cannot be on one side". She then follows this statement up with the reference to a passage in Deuteronomy. She's identified it as Deuteronomy 17:5 but most people would say 5:17. And what is the quote"? "Thou shalt not kill."