A Member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits


Sunday 31 October 2010

Day of the Dead

From October 31st to November 2nd, the people of Mexico celebrate el Día de los Muertos - the Day of the Dead! The festival is a traditional and beautiful celebration of the lives of those who have passed on and allows the living to remember them in their own way. The festival encompasses bright costumes, dancing skeletons, candy skulls, showers of marigolds and the odd indulgence in a tequila or two.

So sit back and enjoy the music and the show.

Saturday 30 October 2010

Chief Engine Room Artificer of H.M.S. Goliath

It seems the last ship that Percy Augustus Pellowe served on was the ill-fated H.M.S Goliath as an  Chief engine room artificer  before heading to Bombay and then returning to HMS Vivid the Naval Barracks in Devonport and being awarded a commendation. He was hospitalised in England after his return from India in Nov 1914 and during this time the Goliath was dispatched as a part of a blockade against the S.M.S. Konigsberg in the Rufiji River in Tanzania.
Percy's Service Record states his demise on 17th Sept. 1915 as 'death unknown'.

HMS Goliath was laid down at theChatham Dockyard in January 1897 and completed in March 1900.
She served on the China Station 1900–1903
Mediterranean Fleet 1906–1907,
Home Fleet 1907–1908,
Mediterranean Fleet again 1908–1909,
Home Fleet 1909–1914.
At the outbreak of World War I she was in the Channel Fleet, then transferred to the East Indise Station and saw action in German East Africa in 1914–1915, including operations against the German light cruiser Konigberg. She transferred to the Mediterranean in 1915, where she saw action against Ottoman forces in the Dardanelles campaign and was torpedoed and sunk on 13 May 1915.

Here is a picture of some of the crew of the Goliath taken circa 1903-1914. Is Percy in this picture or would he have know those who are ?

Here is a picture of the crew of the Turkish torpedo boat 'Muavanet i Milliye', with their German naval commander Kapitanleutnant Rudolph Firle, responsible for sinking the battleship H.M.S Goliath off Morto Bay, Gallipoli, on the night of 12-13 May 1915

The Goliath under attack

Here is the Roll of Honour for all of those who perished the night the Goliath was sunk.


Thursday 28 October 2010

Latin Quotes

St. Peters Churchyard, Arlesey, Beds 

Latin Quotes on headstones intrigue me and it's not until I can look them up and discover their meaning that I realise they are often a reference to the way that someone lived or died, especially when there are no other clues to go on.
Throughout Great Britain, headstones of young men who died between 1914 and 1918, most likely died as a result of fighting in the 1st World War.
The memorial above belongs to :

Alma Rachel Rowe
Died Nov 16th 1918
aged 22 tears

Also to the memory
of my dear son
Stanley Rowe
'Pro Patria Mori'
on the 13th Oct 1918
aged 21 years

The words on this grave 'Pro Patria Mori' translates to: To die for one's country.

'Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori' is a line from the Roman lyrical poet 'Horace’s Odes'. Roughly translated as ‘It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country’ The line has been commonplace in modern times throughout Europe. It was quoted by Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat immediately before his beheading on Tower Hill in 1747. It was much quoted in reference to the British Empire in the 19th century, particularly during the Boer War.

Perhaps the most famous modern use of the phrase is as the title of a poem,            ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’ by British poet Wilfred Owen during World War 1, where it was used satirically.
Owen's poem describes a gas attack during World War I and is one of his many anti-war poems that were not published until after the war ended. In the final lines of the poem, the Horatian phrase is described as ‘The old Lie’. It is believed that Owen intended to dedicate the poem ironically to Jessie Pope, a popular writer who glorified the war and recruited ‘Laddies’ who ‘longed to charge and shoot’ in simplistically patriotic poems like ‘The Call’. Owen was killed in action one week before the war ended in 1918.

Ezra Pound’s poem ‘Hugh Selwyn Mauberley’ part IV ‘Died some, pro patria, non 'dulce' non 'et decor'...’ ‘Daring as never before, wastage as never before’: was a damning indictment of World War I.

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, sed dulcius pro patria vivere, et dulcissimum pro patria bibere. Ergo, bibamus pro salute patriae’
translated as: "It is sweet and right to die for the homeland, but it is sweeter to live for the homeland, and the sweetest to drink for it. Therefore, let us drink to the health of the homeland." It was a frequent 19th century students' toast.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Wednesday's Child

Arlesey War Memorial

This is the War memorial in Arlesey, Bedfordshire. It lists the men of this village that gave their lives during both the 1st and 2nd World Wars. Here is a link to more information and further details of those men listed on this monument and of the other war graves within the churchyard of St. Peters, which is just opposite.

Thursday 21 October 2010

Theatrical Costumier

The inscription on this headstone in Southend-on-Sea intrigued me, for I could tell by the Greek Masks of Comedy and Tragedy that R. St.John Roper had been connected in some way with the world of Entertainment.
The name was not one that I was familiar with, but upon further research found out that R. St.John Roper had in fact been a theatrical costumier for traditional Seaside Resort Shows such as the Fols De Rols and many other West End productions including the 1950's 'Paris to Piccadilly'  when the famous scantily clad Folie Bergere appeared in England.
Here is a drawing of a design that came up for Auction and was expected to fetch between £200 - £300.

The finale of Encore Des Folies, for instance, grouped the entire company in black-sequined costumes against a decor composed wholly of rose-pink ostrich feathers! Altogether that particular show, on which the staggering figures are now available, used over twelve hundred costumes, a thousand yards of gold kid, and a quarter of a billion sequins; there were a £1000 worth of white fox furs, and a hundred yards of material were used in each showgirls crinoline. Even the scantily clad showgirls cost over £500 apiece to "dress" in extravagant head dresses, feathers and bejewelled accessories
and remember that these prices were in the early 1950's.


Wednesday 20 October 2010

Wednesday's Child

I came across this memorial at Manor Park and was instantly struck by this cherubs face, so I ended up taking quite a few photos from different angles. It fascinated me because it appears to be such a very 'real' if somewhat serious face and quite unlike the usual generic faces on most angels and cherubs.
I really felt saddened when I finally left it, almost as though I was abandoning it in some kind of way. So if the face is too old to be that of baby Joan Irene Simms, could it be that of a child the stonemanson knew and modeled it on instead ?
What do you think ? 

Family Grave of Frederick & Elizabeth Simms

In Affectionate Remembrance of
Our Darling Baby
Joan Irene Simms
who was taken from us April 12th 1927
aged 2 years  & 9 months

Also William - Father of Frederick Simms J.P.
who passed away January 5th 1915
aged 59 years

In Loving Memory of Frederick
a Devoted Husband and Father
who passed away 6th June 1957
aged 65 years
Ever thoughtful, faithful, kind and true
Selfishness he never knew
His thoughts were for others to the last
We shall miss him sadly, till our lives have passed

In Loving Memory of Anne ( Nickie )
daughter of Frederick
who left us suddenly on December 6th 1961
aged 43 years
Always in our thoughts

On the two books in the foreground

Left side:
In treasured memory of
Winifred Northfield ( nee Simms )
devoted wife of Denis and
Mother of Anne
who passed away 4th March 1968
aged 44 years

Right side:
Elizabeth Simms
beloved daughter of Frederick and Elizabeth
passed away ? 

Monday 18 October 2010

Monday Mourning ~ Medieval Coffins

These Medieval stone coffins are from the 13th and 14th Century and were presented to Saffron Walden museum in 1837. The records of the time, state that they came from the local Ickleton Abbey and Berden Priory. 

Friday 15 October 2010

Friday's Funerary Art ~ Mosaic

On the Cemetery Island of San Michele in Venice, each one of the doorways of the building below is an entrance to an individual private mourning chapel, where prayers and services for the deceased may be said by those families who are able to afford them. Some were very plain and others were clearly neglected and in a very poor state, but the interior of the one below was decorated in beautiful mosaics with gleaming golden tiles - sadly my photos do not do them justice - and although the altar was rather dusty, it had recently been used as the flowers were still fresh.

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Wednesday's Child

The restored memorial of May Wheeler is a good example of how these monuments would have looked like when they were first erected.

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Tools of the Trade

Stuart Paul Bromley  
 B. 20 Nov. 1983 D. 27 June 2003
aged 19 years

 Long Melford, Suffolk

William Fitzgibbon 
d. 13 September 1992
aged 61 years

Haverhill, Suffolk

Barber/ Hairdresser
Angelo Russo 
D. 5 September 1993
aged 63

Chelmsford, Essex

Raymond Williams 
B. 14 Nov. 1941 D. 8 Feb. 2003
aged 62 years

Manor Park, London

Scrap Merchant
John Dallas
B. 1 Nov. 1940 D. 17 June 1997
aged 56 years

Chelmsford, Essex

Saturday 9 October 2010

Mixed Blessings

This memorial bears the symbols of two major religions, the Cross of Christianity and the Star of David of Judaism and it is situated in a non-denominational part of the cemetery.
If only the followers of all Faiths could do the same and live and love together as they did.
The Hebrew word SHALOM is understood around the world to mean peace. But peace is only one small part of the meaning of the word. It is used to greet people with, and also to bid farewell. However, Shalom means much more than peace, hello or goodbye.
A word study in the New King James version for Shalom says: Completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, well-being, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, calmness, serenity.
Shalom comes from the root verb Shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full.
So in essence, when you say the word Shalom - you are not only proclaiming peace, but all the other meanings of the word over that person - what a blessing........

Thursday 7 October 2010

For King and Country

Here are two war grave markers from the same family and they span both the First and Second World Wars, the main headstone would have been chosen by the family and depicts a fallen soldier, the crown above it can symbolise the sovereignty of the Lord and may also denote a Christian Martyr. The two letters at either side of the relief are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, Alpha and Omega - the Beginning and the End.
The front headstone has come from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and this uniform shape and style, ensured that all those who gave their life for their country, would be remembered equally.

Main headstone

Greater Love hath no man than this
that a man lay down his life for his friends

To the memory of 
Alan Tweedie-Smith Lieut. 1st Queens Royal West Surreys
who was killed at the battle of Loos, France
on the 13th October 1915
aged 21 years
and of
Douglas Tweedie-Smith Lieut. Royal Flying Corps
who died on 10th day of April 1916
after an aeroplane accident at St. Omer, France
aged 19 years

Front headstone

Captain J. P. Tweedie-Smith
The Essex Regiment
7th February 1940 age 32

~ the J.P. stand for John Percival ~  

Wednesday 6 October 2010

Wednesday's Child ~ 65 years to the day

I had already decided to use this photograph when I noticed that it was exactly Sixty five years ago today that this Wednesday's child was called home............

In Ever Loving Memory of 
Our Dear Son
Thomas Pearce Tweedle
called home 6th Oct. 1945
aged 3 and a half years 
We miss him and ..... 
( the other words were illegible as all the lead letters were missing ) 

I Loved You in Life
I Love You in Death


Monday 4 October 2010

Monday Mourning ~ Old Stones

Whilst out with friends, I discovered this most amazing little treasure, up a small country lane in the beautiful village of Old Warden, Bedfordshire. Here stands the church of St. Leonards, unfortunately most of the inscriptions have eroded away with time, but the variety of carving upon them was superb.

This is the best translation I could do for the one above

In memory of
William the son of Thomas
Elizabeth King of Hill
of this parish who departed
this life October the 30 17?4
In the 32 year of his life

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