A Member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits


Tuesday 29 January 2013

Nobel Laureate ~ John Cockcroft

Douglas Cockcroft
O.M K.C.B C.B.E Sc.D F.R.S
First Master of
Churchill College
27th May 1897
18th Sept 1967
Whose love was his strength
son of John
and Elizabeth Cockcroft
Jan 26th 1927 Oct 11th 1929
Beloved Wife
Loving Mother
Oct 26th 1898
Aug 4th 1989

John Douglas Cockcroft was a British Physicist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for splitting the Atomic Nucleus with Ernest Walton in 1951. Cockcroft was instrumental in the development of Nuclear Power.

John was born on 27th May 1897 at Todmorden, W.Yorkshire, England. His family had been Cotton Manufacturers for several generations.
He studied mathematics at Manchester University in 1914 and served as a Signaller in the Royal Field Artillery during the First World War. He then returned to Manchester and studied electrical engineering and after an apprenticeship with Metropolitan Vickers Electrical Co. he went to St. John's College Cambridge and took the Mathematical Tripos in 1924 and became a Fellow of St.John's in 1929.

In 1925 he married Eunice Elizabeth Crabtree and had six children, John Haslam ~ known as Timothy was born 29th January 1927 ~ 86 years ago today, but died at the age of two years old. He is buried with his Father and Mother in the Ascension Burial Ground, Cambridge.
John and Elizabeth had four daughters and another son. 

He worked on the acceleration of protons in 1928 and was joined by Ernest Walton. 
In 1929 he became a Fellow at St.John's and in 1939, Jacksonian Professor of Philosophy.
In that same year he took a war~time appointment as Assistant of Scientific Research in the Ministry of Supply and started work on Radar to Coast and Air Defence problems. After which he was appointed Head of the Air Defence Research and Development Establishment.

In 1944 he went to Canada and took charge of the Canadian Atomic Energy Project and returned to England in 1946 as Director of the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell. From 1954 to 1959 he was scientific research member of the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority.
In 1959 he became First Master at Churchill College, Cambridge and Chancellor of the Australian National University, Canberra. From 1960 to 1962 he was President of the Institute of Physics, the Physical Society and that of the British Association for the Advancement of Science from 1961 to 1963.
John Cockcroft recieved honorary doctorates from some 19 Universities and a fellow or honorary member of many Principal Scientific Societies.        

Friday 25 January 2013

Nobel Laureate ~ George Paget Thomson

George Paget Thomson
K.T   F.R.S
1892 ~ 1975
Scientist Nobel Laureate
Master of Corpus Christi 
and his wife
Kathleen Buchanan Thomson
1900 ~ 1941
Daughter of
Rt Rev. Sir George Adam Smith

George Paget Thomsom was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1937 for his work in discovering the wave like properties of the electron. The prize was jointly shared with Clinton Joseph Daivsson who made the same discovery independently.

George was born in Cambridge on 3rd May 1892. He was the son of Physicist and Nobel Laureate J.J. Thomson ~ who had won his Nobel Prize for discovering the electron as a particle.
George read Mathematics and Physics at Trinity College, Cambridge. When World War One broke out in 1914 he was commissioned into the Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment. After service in France, he became a Fellow at Cambridge. 

In 1924, George married Kathleen Buchanan Smith, daughter of the Very Reverend Sir George Adam Smith. They had four children, two sons and two daughters.
In 1930 George Paget Thomson was appointed Professor at Imperial College and in the late 1930's during the Second World War he specialised in Nuclear Physics and as a chairman of the 'Maud Commitee' in 1940 ~ 1941 he concluded that an Atomic Bomb was feasible.

In later life he continued this work on Nuclear Energy and also wrote works on aerodynamics and the value of Science in society.
George stayed at Imperial College until 1952 and became Master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He was Knighted in 1943 and died on the 10th September 1975 and is buried in the Churchyard of St. Andrew and St. Mary in Granchester, Cambridge. 

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Wednesday's Children

In Memory of
Dear Brothers 
and Sisters
Reginald Wren
1923 ~ 1924
Mabel Wren
1923 ~ 1930
Victor Wren
1926 ~ 1932
Doris Wren
1920 ~ 1923
Who is Interred Nearby

At the Old Mortlake Burial Ground this marble book tells a very sad tale indeed when you do the maths and add it all up.
Doris died at around the age of three and in that same year, Reginald and Mabel were born ~ as there are no exact dates, there is a possibility that they may have been twins. 
The following year Reginald dies and two years after that, Victor is born and Mabel is now about three years old. Four years later Mabel dies around the age of seven, then two years after Mabel's death, Victor dies aged about six.

As the memorial is dedicated to them by their other siblings, it's good to know that some of the Wren children made it into adulthood.


Monday 21 January 2013

Monday Mourning ~ Jolly Jumbo

In Loving Memory 
my Beloved Husband
 William Thomas Ecclestone
who Departed this Life
April 5th 1915 Aged 52 Years
Long days and nights he bore his pain
To wait for cure but all in vain
Till God above saw what was best
And took him home and gave him rest
Also Anne
Beloved wife of
Sol Goodman
who fell asleep May 22nd 1955
aged 89 Years
May her dear soul rest in peace

William Thomas Ecclestone was affectionately known as Jolly Jumbo, he weighed 38 stone and was regarded as 'The Second Heaviest Man in the World' at that time.
He was the owner of the Canterbury Arms Public House in West Kilburn, London and a local celebrity who needed a special pony and trap to move around in.
It is with some irony, that as a young man in the Army, he introduced exercises so effective that they became standard training and he later became a renown trainer of runners and boxers in the area.

Picture Taken Circa 1910 ~ Right to Left
Liver Davis ~ trainer: Jimmy Walsh ~ Bantam Weight Champion: Jolly Jumbo: 
Jack L.... : Unknown

Click on the Bold type above for more information on Sam Langford

Thursday 17 January 2013

On a Bright and Frosty Morning

I couldn't resist the perfect combination of Sunshine on Frost, so I nipped over to the Cemetery with my camera, before starting work this morning.

I hope you enjoy the views as much as I did.

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Wednesday's Child

Sacred to the Memory of
Edward ( Ted ) Francis
Son of
Francis John & Louisa Clapcott
Accidentally killed 8th Aug. 1931
Aged 9 Years 9 Months
A sudden call
At God's command he fell
He had not time to bid his friends farewell
Death came without a warning given
And bade him meet his God in Heaven

All Saints Church, Freshwater, Isle of Wight

Monday 14 January 2013

Monday Mourning ~ Drowned whilst working on Submarine

Loving Memory of
A Dearly
Loved Husband and Father
James Maggs Brown
Accidentally Drowned in Ipswich Dock
Whilst working on H.M.S Submarine D.4
February 23rd 1915
in his 42nd Year
What Peaceful hours we once enjoyed
How sweet their memory still
But they have left an aching void
The world can never fill
Beloved and Respected by all who knew him

HMS Submarine D4 was a British D class submarine built by Vickers, Barrow. D4 was laid down on 24th February 1910, launched 27th April 1911 and was commissioned on 29th November 1911. She was the first submarine to be fitted with a gun for offensive use.
Click on this bold type link for more information of H.M.S Submarine D4

Friday 11 January 2013

Friday's Funerary Art ~ Death's Delicate Stone Flowers

These beautifully carved stone flowers are a true testament to the finest craft and artistry of the Master Stone Mason, not just because of their intricacy, but also because of their unusual uniqueness. They are weathered now, but would have been stunning in brilliant white marble when first done.
This monument in Bishops Stortford Cemetery in Hertfordshire is dedicated to three members of the Death Family, the fourth plate having been left blank.  

Requiescat in Pace
In Loving Memory of
Lydia Unwin Death
of 'The Cedars'
Bassingbourne, Cambs
who was accidentally killed
by a Motor ~ Cyclist at
on August 13th 1904
Aged 78
The Lord God Hath Given Rest

After he had served his own generation by the will of God he fell on sleep
In Loving Memory of
Woodham Death
of 'South Lodge' Thorley
who Died March 19 ~ 1889
Aged 81 years
'He giveth his beloved sleep'
Erected by his sorrowing niece
Sarah Death

An Old Disciple
In Loving Memory of
Sarah Death
of 'South Lodge'
Bps Stortford
who Passed away in
her sleep on the Eve
of her 94th Birthday
Februaury 18 ~ 1920
Born at
Burnt Mill, Essex
February 19 ~ 1827
This woman was full of good works

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Explorer and Cartographer ~ Ignazio Nicolas Dracopoli

Ignazio Nicolas Dracopoli
December 6th 1887
Ex Umbris Et Imaginibus
In Veritatem
January 7th 1923
~ From out of the shadows and images into truth ~ 

When I took this photo of a rather plain and uninspiring altar tomb in Bishops Stortford Cemetery, I had no idea that its owner had lead a rather incredible life as an Explorer and Map maker. Who had in fact charted parts of Africa that no other white man had set foot upon.

The following Obituary therefore is that of Ignazio Nicolas Dracopoli and comes from the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 84

Ignazio Nicolas Dracopoli was born on 1887 December 6 at the Cape d'Antibes, France. He was educated at Malvern College and University College, Oxford and played Cricket for Dorset Minor Counties Championship in 1906.
In the summer of 1908 he set out for Arizona, where he roamed about for several months and then became a cowboy on the ranch of an old Frenchman, about forty miles from Tucson. He remained there until the summer of 1909 and then returned to his home in England. 
His experiences in Arizona had made him more anxious than ever to travel and he immediately began to prepare for a trip to East Africa. He set out with his younger brother in the beginning of 1910 for Nairobi, where he did some big game shooting.

With his desire to become a scientific traveler and explorer, Dracopoli joined the Royal Geographical Society and studied surveying  under Mr. E. A. Reeves, the map curator of the R.G.S. He soon became proficient and started off for the Pinacate Mountains in the Sonoran desert in Mexico. Here he made a map of the surrounding country, while his brother secured three specimens of the rather rare Sonoran mountain sheep.

In October 1912, very soon after his return from Mexico, Dracopoli left for England and again went to British East Africa. He went with the intention of exploring and mapping the country between the Lorian swamp and the Indian Ocean and to find out what happened to the River Vaso Nyiro after it entered the swamp.
As that part of Jubaland was unknown, the natives unfriendly and dangerous, he had very great difficulty in getting permission to carry out his plan.
However he managed to do so at last and starting from Kismayu on the coast, he crossed Jubaland and reached the Lorian swamp from the East which no white man had yet done.

He suffered from severe illness and hard ships of all kinds, but in spite of all difficulties he made an excellent map of the country through which he traveled, fixed the course of the Vaso Nyiro and brought back much valuable information.
He described his journey in the Journal of the R.G.S and was asked to give a lecture before the Society. He also published a book 'Through Jubaland to the Lorian Swamp'
In the 'World Atlas' published by The Times in 1922, Dracopoli's map has it's place. He was given the Bronze Medal of the Back Bequest and elected a member of the Geographical Society.

A last expedition was made to British East Africa in 1914 and on August 5th of that year he was married. He immediately offered his services to the country of his adoption, for although of Italian descent, he had become a naturalised British subject shortly before the outbreak of the war.
His health had been seriously impaired by his exploration of Jubaland and he was unfit for the fighting forces. He was given a post in the Royal Air Force, first in England and later in Egypt, where his exceptional gift of organisation had full scope. He was awarded the M.B.E for military service.

In the Spring of 1919, Dracopoli returned to England and bought a house in Bishops Stortford and went into business in the city.
He died on January 7th 1923 of a cruel disease, the seeds of which were sown during his hard journey to the Lorian swamp. He left two sons.
He was elected a Fellow of the Society on June 13th 1919.  


Sunday 6 January 2013

Four Sisters of Barnston Hall

These tombstones in the churchyard of St.Andrews at Barnston, Essex, tell of sad and poignant tales of four sisters who all died young.
The first to die was, Martha Susannah who died of 'A slow decline' at the age of 14 years old in 1827. Thirteen years after that in 1840, Emma who was aged 22 years, was thrown from her horse. Eight months later, Jane who was aged 19 years old died of a heart attack and her demise was closely followed by 16 year old Maria, who succumbed to smallpox.

to the Memory of
Martha Susannah
Third daughter of
Edward and Sarah Livermore
of Barnston Hall
who departed this life
April 3 1827
Aged 14 years

My life was like an April sky
Changing at each fleeting hour
A slow decline taught me to rely
And rest my hope in my Creators power

to the Memory of
Fourth daughter of
Edward and Sarah Livermore
of Barnston Hall
who died Sep. 10 1840
Aged 22 Years

Our life is but a single thread
Which soon is cut and we are dead
Then boast not reader of thy might
Alive and well at noon and dead at night

to the Memory of
Daughter of
Edward and Sarah Livermore
of Barnston Hall
She died May 30 1841
Aged 19 Years

The rising morning ca'nt assure
That we shall end the day
For Death stands ready at the door
To take our lives away

to the Memory of
Youngest daughter of
Edward and Sarah Livermore
of Barnston Hall
who died Dec. 9th 1841
Aged 16 Years

Put not your trust in strength or youth
But trust in Heaven whose gifts they are
And now the solemn voice of truth
Hear, and to meet thine God prepare

This painting of the Livermore Sisters tombs by the artist Kenneth Rowntree was done in the 1940's as a part of the 'Recording Britain' series . It provides a record of the appearance of a typical country churchyard before the mass clearances of the 1950s and 1960s. These clearances led to a great deal of local social history to become lost forever as the gravestones themselves were often broken up.

Barnston Hall, the home of the Livermore Sisters as mentioned on their headstones.

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Sleeping in Tombs

Photo not from Mill Road Cemetery
I saw this article on the front page of our local paper the 'Cambridge News' and was shocked to see how the Mill Road Cemetery in Cambridge had quite literally become a 'Sleeping Garden' not for the Dearly Departed, but the Drunk and Drugged.
Here is the full story:
Drunks and Addicts 'Sleeping in Tombs' by Chris Havergal
Drunks are pushing the lids off tombs at a Cambridge cemetery to sleep inside them.Horrified people living close to the graveyard have also reported seeing drug-addicts injecting themselves while sat in graves.
Police revealed the full impact of street drinking on the Petersfield neighbourhood in their bid to ban alcohol sales at a shop which they claim is a “soft touch” on liquor sales and a magnet for troublemakers – News and More in Norfolk Street.

Officers said problems started at the store and spread out into the surrounding area, including to Mill Road cemetery, which is plagued by drunkenness, littering, defecating and drug abuse, and can be accessed via an alleyway opposite the newsagent.

In a statement, Pc Alan Tregilgas said: “It is not unusual to find drunken persons sleeping in this area and in some cases tombstone lids have been pushed off so they can sleep inside them.
“One resident said she was shocked when she saw a male sitting on a grave with his trousers down injecting himself in his thigh in full view of everyone.”
In a first for the city’s force, officers have drawn up a dossier of evidence to support a request to revoke News and More’s licence, and this will be determined by councillors on Monday, January 7.

In the file, police and residents allege street drinkers frequent Norfolk Street itself from 8.30am, intimidating pupils at St Matthew’s Primary School by drinking, vomiting, urinating and begging, and by letting dogs run free.
Evidence about News and More include claims that:

* Staff opened the door of a fridge containing alcohol for two men who were too drunk to do so themselves and then sold liquor to the pair.

* A drunk man was asked for directions to the shop because he said 'it was the only place he would get served'.

* The store is seen as a 'Soft Touch' by people determined to get alcohol, whatever state they are in.

* A binge drinker died hours after being served alcohol there, having been refused liquor at another nearby newsagent because he looked sick.

Pc Peter Sinclair, the force’s licensing officer, said he believed owner Shailesh Patel was “knowingly breaching” licensing rules by serving drunks and that there was a “causal link” between sales at the shop and disorder.

He said advice given on numerous occasions “appeared to have fallen on deaf ears” and that the Patels “have by their behaviour treated the law-abiding residents in the area with utter contempt”.

However, the Patels have won support from customers, 39 of whom have written letters calling for the licence to remain in place – plus 112 who signed a petition.
They claim the Patels are careful about who they sell alcohol to and that it would be unfair to single out News and More when street drinking was a citywide problem.
Mr Patel said he had voluntarily stopped selling super-strength alcohol and that he had “tried his best” to prevent problems.

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