Thursday, 5 February 2015

What's Inside a Head?

As I walk around Roman Catholic cemeteries and RC plots in other cemeteries, I see many, what I describe as ceramic, portraits of Jesus and Mary affixed to headstones. On many occasions, I see what remains after they have crumbled away. I always thought they were empty but a recent visit to St Joseph's RC Cemetery in Moston, Manchester provided examples of the interiors of these heads. First a few images of more complete examples, Then some examples of the contents . . .

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Couldn't live without Her!

A grave in the Parish Church of St Mary theVirgin, Goosnargh hides a sad tale. The cross marks the grave of Henry James Prescott who died of sickness during the First World War. Pte Prescott is listed as having been a member of the 5th Battalion, The King's Liverpool Regiment. The second son of Joseph and Alice Prescott, he died in Oswestry on 10 May 1918 aged 19 years. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records that he was a member of the 60th Training Reserve Battalion, before transferring to the 535th Home Service Company, Labour Corps.

 Two further panels on the memorial, record the death of his parents. Alice Prescott died March 11, 1951 aged 78 years. John Prescott died a few weeks later on May 16, 1951 aged 79. It seems that John, who had been a Mental Nurse at the nearby Whittingham County Asylum, couldn't live without his beloved wife. His memorial panel bears the words:

She first deceased - he, for a little while tried to live without her, liked it not and died.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Headless Angels

A beautiful cross in St Helens Cemetery is flanked by angels. Both have had their heads removed. I often wonder whether there is a room at each cemetery where the missing heads have been collected together?

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

New York Mystery

I was fortunate enough to obtain a box of 1897 Main family glass plate negatives from the US in 2012 and thought I should now scan and post the images. The relatively easy bit was finding out about the three graves in the first image. Thomas T Main (centre) died 12 Jan 1836 aged 81 years. He was born in 1855 and married Polly (left) in Willington, Tolland Connecticut in 1796. Polly was born in North Stonington, New London in 1774 and died 28 Dec 1837 aged 64.  The third stone (right) is for Sylvia Butcher. Find-A-Grave has modern day images for the grave. Polly's lies flat on the ground, while Thomas' is broken in half. They are listed as being in Root Cemetery but an additional image shows a sign bearing the words 'Cook Cemetery'. Polly is listed as having died in Clarendon, Orleans County, New York. The second photograph shows the grave of a George J Killian who died 3 Feb 1898. Find-A-Grave indicates he is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Owosso, Shiawassee County, Michigan. The memorial shown on F-A-G is different to that shown here. I cannot find a connection between him and the Main family. The other photos show a coffin and I presume the widow, along with some shots of what might be the family mill?

Friday, 19 December 2014

Sad Momento

During a recent visit to a small Lancashire churchyard, I came across this sad momento of a small dog cuddling a slipper on the grave of someone remembered fondly as a loving Grandad. Spot the snail!

Wartime Tragedy

TA few miles from where I live is a memorial of a tragic wartime accident that cost the lives of two teachers, 38 schoolchildren and seven other civilians when an American B-24 Liberator bomber crashed in the Lancashire coastal village of Freckleton.

The aircraft was one of two taking part in a test flight from the then RAF airbase at Warton. A ferocious thunderstorm started and the two aircraft were recalled. One pilot decided to the fly away from the storm, while the other - Lieutenant John Bloemendal attempted to land. A witness saw lighting strike the aircraft and it ended up partially destroying some house and a local cafe. Part of the bomber collided with a classroom packed with infants, its fuel tanks catching alight. All three members of the plane's crew also died.

At the rear of the churchyard of Holy Trinity, the memorial is a poignant sight and it is very moving to read the names of all the children who died.

Molesworth Pet Cemetery

It has been quite a while since I posted a photograph of the headstones in the Molesworth Pet Cemetery in Huntingdon. I found another this afternoon and was struck by the statue of a small dog at the top of a column. Then I looked at the angel with raised arm on the left of a nearer grave. On the opposite side of the cross, I can just make out another small dog statue, but cannot make out its name. I have had another look and almost thought I can see two dog heads - siamese twins? There is, however, only one pair of front paws dangling over the front of the name plaque. What do you make of it?

Welcome to the Graveyard Detective

An illustrated look at the World of Graveyards and Cemeteries. There are many Stories behind the Stones that Stand in them. Who knows what we might find?


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