Monday 31 December 2012

Boer War Photographs

Another day, another old envelope. This contained a number of very fragile prints of Boer War scenes. Two show British dead on the battlefield at Spion Kop. Four are of war memorials, while a another shows a ward on a hospital ship. I believe all were taken by Horwich Brothers photographers. Nineteen similar images sold for 4,600 Rand in 2010.

Spion Kop was a particularly brutal battle which took place 23-24 Jan 1900. The first photograph was exposed on the day the battle ended while the other was taken two days later. They are remarkable for being so graphic for the period. I will caption the remainder, separately.

This commemorates the NCOs and men of the Irish Brigade who fell at Colenso

This memorial marks the spot where Lt Col W H Dick-Conygham VC was killed in action at the Battle of Ladysmith

In memory of the NCOs and Troopers of the Imperial Light Horse who died. Full details of the monument and those remembered can be found HERE

Commemorating those who of the Border Regiment who died when an Armoured Train was attacked at Chievely in November 1899. A number of British troops were killed and wounded. A young war correspondent named Winston Spencer Churchill was captured by the Boers but escaped two months later . . . A useful account of the action and description of the memorial can be read HERE

Wounded soldiers in G Ward on Hospital Ship Simla

Wednesday 26 December 2012

In Memoriam Cards 4

A further selection of in memoriam cards. These mark the deaths of the poor unfortunates who never reached the prime of life.

Monday 24 December 2012

War Correspondents Memorial Service

This is a photograph of the memorial service for three War Correspondents who were killed in action at Scarfati, Italy on September 28, 1943. The caption on the reverse records: On 28 Sep, War Correspondents Stewart Sale (Reuter), William J Munday (Australian Combined Press) and A B Austin (Daily Herald) were killed by enemy action at Scarfati. A memorial service, held in two denominations, Roman Catholic and Protestant, was held at their graves and was attended by British and American war correspondents attached to the Fifth Army.Many floral tributes were sent, one of which came from the GOC, Fifth Army, General Mark Clark. Picture shows: the scene at the graveside during the service.

War Correspondents To
Keep Behind TroopS
LONDON. October 2.-AAP

It is reported from Allied Head-
quarters that the Army authorities
yesterday ordered war correspon
dents to cease going ahead of

combat troops. The order is said
to have followed a complaint from
Army men that correspondents
with the Bth Army linked with toe
sth Army before the combat forces
had made the junction
War correspondents in Algiers
today adopted a resolution express
ing profound grief at the deaths
in the line of duty ot William J.
Munday. A B Austin, and Stewart
Sale, the three correspondents who
were kilted dy a German shell
near Naples on ruesday The
resolution extended sympathy to
the families and colleagues of the
three men. "who gave their lives
jn the cause of the war and a free

Memorial Service To War
LONDON, Oct. 12.—AAP.
The historic Fleet street church
of St. Dunstan in the West was
crowded today for the memorial
Messrs. W. J. Munday S Sale and

A. B. Austin, who were killed by ai
German shell near Naples on Sep
tember 28. The British. Dominion!
and American press was represen
ted. Those present Included toe
Minister of Information (Mi-
Bracken) and toe Army Director
of Public Relations (Lord Bum
ham), representing toe War Office
The Rev. A. J. Mac Donald, rector
of St. Dunstan's, conducted toe
The council of the Empire Press j
Union today adopted a resolution
expressing sympathy at toe death
!oi Mr. Munday, who represented
I various Australian newspapers. J

Friday 21 December 2012

In Memoriam Cards 3

Five more in memoriam cards. My observations are in the captions.

Note the female figure, carrying a basket of flowers, who is resting a hand on the large headstone

A weeping figure mourns the deceased, while a draped urn tops the headstone

A small child (left) stands before a hooped grave mound. Beneath the coffin (right) are the words: 'printed by Mansell' 

A cheaply printed card which allows for handwritten details of the deceased to be added

Intriguingly, at the last, he was described as an Oil Dealer Colour. Further research is necessary.
What is the significance of the crown? Was he supporting the War Effort. Note the archaic spelling of Veil

Thursday 20 December 2012

In Memoriam Cards 2

Looking through the contents of the shoebox crammed with in memoriam cards, I find myself overwhelmed by the contents. There is just so much to take in and I think this is going to have to be done in slow time. There are many fine examples of In Memoriam art and I attach a few here. There are also many black edged envelopes, each containing a card. They will take a while to go through and there are handwritten letters of sympathy as well. Astonishingly, I have found a larger box which is stuffed to the gunnels with funeral-ephemera - some of the undertaker and stone mason letterheads are works of art in themselves. Annie Harlow died an horrendous death - see the inquest cutting which I have added below the card. August James Harlow, whose card is also printed in this post, turns out to be Annie's father and he died a month after his daughter.

This card exudes quality and is printed on heavy card. An invite to the funeral is printed inside

This is one of the most top quality cards I have ever come across and must have cost a mint at the time

Commemorating a young life cut short. Her father's card is published later in this post

Beautifully ornate border

Father of Annie (above)

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Mourning Stationery

Today, I decided to empty the large shoebox full of in memoriam cards. As I emptied it from the top, I turned the cellophane-wrapped packets upside down so, in effect, when I came to start looking at the cards. I would be viewing from the bottom first.

In the bottom of the box was a real treasure - a Combined Box of Princesses' Mourning Stationery prepared by Thos. De La Rue Ltd of London, Manufacturers to His Majesty. Besides the black-edged envelopes and reply cards, there was a length of silver and black ribbon and some wider beige ribbon as well as a black embroidery item. I have no idea how these latter items were used. I have only got as far as unpacking one packet and there are some special items in it which I will scan and print here in a separate post.

Monday 17 December 2012

Merchant Seaman

Another box opened and another mystery. This merchant seaman wears the badge of shipping line on his hat but it is not clear enough to pin down. It is likely he died at sea as there is a section of handwritten sorrowful verse on the reverse. With inscription cut off at the edges, any further information is long gone. Click on the image and see if you can identify the shipping line.

Tuesday 11 December 2012

In Memoriam Cards

I found a large shoe box. It was full of in memoriam cards. I picked out four at random and scanned them. The third and fourth cards are for Catholics.

Sunday 9 December 2012

A Sailor's Funeral

Another Royal Navy funeral and another mystery to solve. One of the photographs bears the pencilled inscription HMS M - - - - - - - and four accompanying photographs show two warships in a dry dock in a shipyard, together with a warship with the number H01 writ large on its bow and another showing a warship firing ashore. Initial thoughts are that the location of the funeral is perhaps in the Mediteranean. The poorly exposed photo of the warship firing ashore has 16 on its hull.

Sunday 2 December 2012

Table Tomb Erosion

The former Roman settlement of Ribchester is home to St Wilfrid's Church, a Grade I listed building with an extensive churchyard bordering it on three sides. Difficult to photograph today with the sun low in the sky and casting long shadows. I don't remember seeing so many table tombs as there are at St Wilfrid's. Frost covered many of the headstones and bright green lichen proved a striking addition to many of them. More of that in a further post but, for now, here is the top of a table tomb that has started to erode . . .

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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