Sunday 30 September 2012

Fading Glory

Another eroding headstone in Preston Cemetery. Poor Elizabeth's name is fading fast.

An English Churchyard

The grade 1 listed, 12th century Church of St Mary at Hemington, Somerset is well worth a visit. It is a redundant church, since 1971 and has been in the care of Churches Conservation Trust since 1972. The tower, built between 1480 and 1500, is one of the smallest complete church towers in England. Inside the church and outside in the churchyard, there is much to catch the eye. Here are a selection of views. Click on an image for a closer view.

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Vermont Marble

Here's a quick snapshot of a fascinating booklet about Vermont Marble that I found in a box of ephemera in my study. Lots of impressive early headstones illustrated. Wonderful!

Monday 24 September 2012

Battlefield Memorial Card

A memorial card made by someone who made a battlefield pilgrimage to Belgium in 1934. It contains two pieces of heather. The first was from the area of the Canadian Memorial at St. Julien 22 April 1915 and perhaps the date is day a relative died? The second heather is from Hill 60.

Details of the fighting at Hill 60 can be found HERE and of the Canadian Memorial at St Julien HERE

St Julien Memorial, by Melicanmatkins (Creative Commons use)

Poignant Souvenir of a Battlefield Pilgrimage

A poignant souvenir of a young widow's pilgrimage to the grave of her husband. There were a number of large scale organised pilgrimages to France and Flanders in 1922. Thomas Fenwick was 28 and the son of William Fenwick of Low Bradley Farm, Medomsley, Co. Durham. Pte Fenwick was the husband of Elizabeth Ann Fenwick (pictured below) of East Billingside, Leadgate, Co. Durham. The message on the wreath is very sad - 'In Loving and Affection Remembrance of my dear Husband'. Click twice on the image for a closer view.

Sunday 23 September 2012

Floral Tributes Under Glass

Here is really good example of floral tributes under glass. I am curious that it seems to be a recent burial and a new gravestone - quick work by the mason, perhaps? Eva was born in Grimsby and died in Cleethorpes. Her father was a fisherman and she had seven siblings aged from 22 to one year.

Great Grandfather!

Looking for inspiration as I browsed through the 27,000 images on my Macbook today [and, yes, I have them backed up elsewhere!] I found this photograph of a memorial plaque in a Kent church commemorating a certain William Britcher. He was my Great grandfather.

Saturday 22 September 2012

Eroded Headstone

This is one of the worst examples of headstone erosion I have ever seen. It stands in Preston Cemetery in Lancashire. The cemetery staff have access to precise records of burials so I will see if I can find out who is buried in this plot.

Thursday 20 September 2012

Metal Plaque!

Now, this headstone in Chorley Cemetery has a large metal plaque fitted to it. Could it be that the original inscription had worn away or was it a way of recycling a previously used stone? I think it may be contemporary with the date of the last named, so of 1930s manufacture. What ever the reason, it is certainly a striking feature. Pte Walter Robinson who served in the Machine Gun Corps (infantry) is recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as having been 24 when he died, not 23 as recorded on the headstone. He is buried in Delville Wood Cemetery at Longueval in France.

Wikipedia contains a lot of information about the Battle for Delville Wood which was fought over for some weeks during the Battle of the Somme. On 27 August, the Germans re-entered the wood from the north east side. The artillery fire from the Germans had been so fierce and relentless, that only one tree still stood. That tree is still there today. Rain had turned the shell holes into pools of water and mud, many containing already decaying German and Allied corpses. Fighting resumed in all earnest and on 30 August the 72nd and 73 Brigades of the 24th Division were sent in as reinforcements. Both brigades had Machine Gun Corps companies attached Robinson may have been serving with either of theses. The final German forces were driven from the wood on 3 September 1916.

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Unusual Rank in Churchyard

Corporal (Wheeler) Philip Hankinson served in A Battery, 286th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery and died of pneumonia in 1919. He is buried in St Michael's churchyard in Grimsargh, Lancashire. He was obviously well-loved by his comrades as can be seen in the inscription pictured in photo 3 [click on the photograph to enlarge it]. It also reveals that he won the Military Medal for Bravery in the Field. Wheeler was a very old trade in the Royal Artillery. It is likely that Hankinson had been a wheelwright before enlisting.

Sunday 16 September 2012

Musical Instrument

Another ornate headstone, this time in St Leonard churchyard at Balderstone - just a couple of miles from St Leonard the Less. There is, what I presume to be, a Cornet at the top of the headstone. The inscription hides the death of a First World War soldier.

Pte John William Snape, of 47th (S) Company, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, died of pneumonia on March 4, 1919 aged 24. He was the son of John William and Mary Snape of Blackburn and husband of Florence Snape of 58 Sandon Street, Blackburn.

Ornate Headstone

This is a really ornate headstone that stands close to St Leonard the Less church in Salmesbury, Lancashire. It marks the last resting place of Isabella Walmsley who died in 1862 and a number of other young children. I will have to return to this churchyard to carefully document the exact wording on the stone.

Friday 14 September 2012

More from Less!

Here are some more symbols from St Leonard the Less. This Grade I listed Church is home to a witch's  grave which I only found out about when I got home and did some research. Originally, it had four steel rods which went through the stone and into the grave to stop it wandering. It seems it suffered a little vandalism some years ago, but I am determined to go back and find it. It lies close to a large yew tree. I particularly like the second headstone - Time, how short - Enternity, how long.

Preston Crematorium 3

In my final post from the Preston Crematorium open day, I thought I would post some images of some of the different ways of remembering those who are commemorated in the grounds of the crematorium. A link to the Cemetery and Crematorium is HERE. Open the Memorialisation Prices PDF for more details of options available. Again, a big thank you to all the staff at the Cemetery and Crematorium!

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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