I was revisiting a series of photographs that I took a few months ago in the spectacular Bath Abbey Cemetery. I was intrigued by what I took to be a large bird atop a large column that marked a grave.
Closer scrutiny revealed it to be a representation of a Phoenix - the mythical, sacred firebird. The reason for its inclusion became clear when I looked at the inscription on the grave. It marked the grave of John Monk Lambe who died in 1865. The inscription noted that he was formerly a Paymaster in the Royal Navy who served on HMS Phoenix - a wooden paddle sloop launched in 1832, converted to screw propulsion in 1845, and sold in 1864. I wonder if his will included a request for a phoenix rising from the ashes be included on his memorial?