A Member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Buried With His Horse and Dog

I don't know why I was surprised by the young men in my last post, who were embalmed and posed at their own wakes. Because unusal practises have been going on since time began. I suppose it's just the element of surprise that takes us away from the usual or expected.
Last night I read about a British soldier who had been buried with not only his horse, but his dog as well, unfortunately he is buried in Malaysia and so a visit to his tomb is not likely.


In 1829 the British ruled Malacca, and the district of Naning had their own constitution which had been followed traditionally for many years without interference from previous colonial governments such as the Portuguese and Dutch.
But the British then raised the taxes from the crop yield and when Datuk Dol Said refused to pay, a state of war was declared. The British attacked Naning for the first time in 1831 but were defeated by Said's guerrillas.

In May 1832 the British attacked again with more troops and Said surrendered to the British in 1834, where they gave Said a pension of about $100 every month until his death in 1849.


However many British soldiers were killed in the battle and one of them was George Holford Walker. The unusual thing about Walkers burial is that after the fatal shot to the heart that instantly killed him, locals said that his horse and his dog stood loyally beside his dead body until both of them died as well.
As a tribute for that loyalty, George Holford Walker is buried with his devoted animal companions. The tombs are to be found in Alor Gajah Town next to the Primary School, the largest grave is Walkers, the second is the grave of his horse and the smallest is that of his dog.


An article and poem published later said :
To the memory of the Deeply Lamented Ensign George Holford Walker, who was shot through the heart in an affair with the Malay on 3rd of May 1832, and died instantaneously in his 19th year


Oh fare-thee-well! our beautiful and brave!
Our lovely, gentle, generous, gallant boy!

Oh! what sum of ardent hope and joy
Lies crush’d and wither’d in thy distant grave!

Thy cheek in it's first down - thy dark blue eye,
Bright flashing with an ardent spirits fire,
Shone like the sunbeam of yon torrid sky,
While fame precocious fed thy young desire,

Happy and hopeful wert thou ! Whosoe'er
Look'd on thine open, manly forehead, smiled;
For there was written many a promise fair,-
But, oh, how fate such promise had beguiled!

Yet there was mercy in thine early doom,
For thy career, bless'd youth, though brief, was bright,
And thou wert stricken pangless to the tomb,
In the first transport of thy conscious might,

Whey dwell we on the praise thou might'st have won,
Had thy young promise ripen'd! Had the man,
Maturing in the beam of Glory's sun,
Been spared to finish as the boy began!

Let us not think! Such thought is anguish now!
Oh, may His will be done who call'd thee hence!
And this sore chastening wisely did bestow
On hearts too proud, affections too intense

Margaret Hodson
 



 



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