A Member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits


Friday 29 July 2011

Friday's Funerary Symbols ~ Beehives

When the followers of Christ started looking for symbols to illustrate their faith, the Bee was one of the first  to be incorporated as a Christian symbol. The bee may symbolise parishioners working fervently for the Church ~ the Hive.
Germanic cultures see the seemingly erratic flight of bees as a symbol of wandering souls.
The information above comes from the book Stories in Stone by Douglas Keister.
As these photos were all taken on the German island of Föhr, it made me wonder about the bees being perceived as wandering souls and perhaps the Hive therefore represents a Home, Safe Haven or Sanctuary for them....  

All photos taken at St. Laurentii, Suderender, Föhr

Thursday 28 July 2011

Britain's Brainiest Cemetery

The BBC named it 'Britain's Brainiest Cemetery' and in a recently written article said: A galaxy of talent lies buried here, in a little city of the distinguished dead. The story of academic life, of the birth of whole new disciplines since Victorian times, can be told through those who have their resting place here.

'It might have more IQ interred in one acre than any other in the world', writes Cambridge University history teacher Dr Mark Goldie.

The location is the Ascension Burial Ground in All Souls Lane, Cambridge.
This peaceful, yet wildly over grown cemetery is one of Cambridge's best kept secrets,  scarcely known to even the local people of the area.

At the last count, there are three Nobel prizewinners here, seven members of the Order of Merit, and over sixty who have entries in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: engineers, biologists, classicists, historians, poets, philosophers.
Collectively, these great minds, trace the revolution of thinking that began in Victorian times and produced the modern University.
This happened in three ways: Science, Secularisation, and Women.
Laboratory science took off, with larger labs appearing: Sir Horace Darwin ~ son of Charles Darwin ~ was crucial here, as an expert scientific instrument maker.

Another Son and Grandaughter of Charles Darwin are also interred here, as is
Charlotte Scott, pioneer woman student, who shocked the university in 1880 by performing outstandingly in the mathematics exams. Sadly it took decades before she could collect her rightful degree. She spent the later part of her career in the United States and was influential in the development of American mathematics, including the mathematical education of women.


Sir John Cockcroft, who split the atom in 1932, in the heyday of the great Cavendish Physics Lab, which produced a dozen Nobels. Later he became first Master of Churchill College - named for the great wartime leader who knew how to use science in war.

There's a sprinkling of astronomers here also, due to the nearby University Observatory including the astronomer who predicted the existence of the planet Neptune.

Also, Mr A.C. Benson, the author of the Patriotic lyrics ~ Land of Hope and Glory ~ for Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance Marches No.1.

Another grave in the burial site is that of Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins, who was the first to identify the existence of vitamins, back in 1912.

Sir Arthur Eddington who was the astrophysicist who made the crucial observations of a solar eclipse that confirmed Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

Sir James Frazer, who practically invented modern anthropology, even though he rarely left his college desk. His 'fieldwork' consisted of the study of the world's literature on ritual, folk religion, and superstition.
He smashed the traditional Christian belief by showing parallels between Christian and pagan myths. Frazer's book 'The Golden Bough' has never been out of print.

One of the most most sought-out graves is that of Ludwig Wittgenstein 1889 ~ 1951, perhaps the greatest philosopher of the 20th century.

Although this graveyard belongs to the Church of England - the parish of the Ascension -the usual financial difficulties, means that the church struggles to find the wherewithal to look after this historic place.
Cambridge ceased to be an Anglican enclave, and began admitting people of all religions and none - there are plenty of non-believers in this parish cemetery.

A Friends of the Ascension Burial Ground is being launched to save this little necropolis, because it is not officially part of Cambridge University, even though it lies in the centre of the University's development zone.
Once a year the Open Cambridge Scheme throws open it's doors to visitors dozens of labs, colleges, historic buildings, and gardens, including these burial grounds.
The former chapel is now the studio of American-born letter cutter Eric Marland.

Wednesday 27 July 2011

Wednesday's Child

Always in our hearts
Beverley Wright
January 26th 1958
aged 2 days

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Victoria Cross for Todger Jones

In Memory of
Thomas Alfred
Jones V.C.  D.C.M
The 22nd Cheshire
V.C won at Morval
25th Sept. 1916

Died 30th Jan. 1956
aged 75 years

Thomas Alfred Jones was affectionately known locally as 'Todger Jones' and was born on the 25th December 1880.
He was a Private in the 22nd Cheshire Regiment and won 3 medals for bravery during the 1st World War, the Distinguished Conduct Medal, Territorial Efficiency Medal and the Victoria Cross ~ the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Todger Jones was awarded the V.C on 26th October 1916 after he had performed an act of bravery on 25 September 1916 during the Battle of Morval.
Private Jones was with his company covering the advance in front of a village, when he noticed an enemy sniper 200 yards away. He left his trench on his own, and crossed no man's land without covering fire. Although one bullet went through his helmet and another through his coat, he returned the sniper's fire and killed him.

Near the enemy trench, Jones noticed two more Germans who were displaying a white flag whilst simultaneously firing at him, he shot them both. Upon reaching the enemy trench unharmed, he found several occupied dug-outs and single-handedly disarmed 102 Germans including four officers, and the entire trench was marched back to British lines through a heavy barrage by Jones and his comrades.

'TodgerJones' Victoria Cross is displayed at the Cheshire Military Museum in Chester, England and another memorial to him and two other local men of the area who also received V.C.'s can been seen in Victoria Park, Widnes, Cheshire.

Wednesday 6 July 2011

Wednesday's Children

In Loving Memory
our dear little
Dinah Julia
died 15th July 1902
aged 6 months
also our dear son
Leonard Charles
who died 11th August 1904 aged 15 months

This rather grand little monument appears to have been made by placing the first child's headstone, on top of the one that is dedicated to the second child. Unfortunately neither of them bears a surname.


Monday 4 July 2011

Monday Mourning ~ Tomb Styles

Sarcophagus Tomb

Llandudno, Wales

The Sarcophagus tomb has the appearance that it contains the actual body of the departed, however the is not the case, as the body would be interred in a vault below ground. The Sarcophagus style may be simple as these examples here, or very ornate indeed, a common main feature is that the main body of the tomb is tapered towards the bottom and that it stands upon feet, which can often appear to be those of a lion. 

Brompton Cemetery, London

Bunhill Field, London

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...