Died at his (underground) post in France in 1916.

 St Peter and St Paul, Scaldwell, Northamptonshire
(Click on an image for a larger version)
 
 
I assume the loose stones in the graveyard were to be used in some repair project?
 
 
At the bottom of the stone there are the details of Charles Robert Walker who was one of the brave men who dug tunnels under the enemy trenches in the 1914-1918 war.
 
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An expensive memorial that has become rather overgrown

 St John the Baptist, Quinton, Northamptonshire
(Click on an image for a larger version)
 
 
Some very curious additions have been made to what was originally a much smaller church.
 
 
A very elaborate design made from a different stone to the other memorials in the graveyard. It must have been very expensive so it is surprising that it has been allowed to get so overgrown.
 
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A former slaver who later became a "Man of God".

 St Peter and St Paul, Olney, Northamptonshire
(Click on an image for a larger version)
 
 
As you can see the grass needed cutting - even in the middle of a drought.
 
 
A former slaver who later became a "Man of God". Quite a transformation.
 
This was a particularly difficult memorial to photograph
due to hedges, walls and other graves!
 
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A Missionary Doctor, Astronomer and Meccanoman!

 Olney Cemetery, Olney, Northamptonshire
(Click on an image for a larger version)
 
 
A well planned and well maintained cemetery and a credit to all concerned.
 
 
I have never seen somebody called a "Meccanoman" before.
 
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A golf themed grave - "You won".

 Towcester Road Cemetery, Northampton
(Click on an image for a larger version)
 
 
 
This gravestone was included because of the unusual design - not because of the age at death of the people listed.
 
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The angel is praying for the soul of Jennifer who died aged 7.

St Michael, Sutton St Nicholas, Herefordshire 
(Click on an image for a larger version)
 
 
The church dates back to the 12th century. The church, lands and tithes were paid to the priory of St. Guthlac (now the site of the bus station in Hereford). Towards the end of the 12th century, the Priory made over its rights in St. Michael to the Knights Hospitallers of St. John to form a large estate controlled from their headquarters at Dinmore. In the 16th century the Sutton estate was acquired by the Lingen family from Freen’s Court. The church was restored in the mid-19th century, again in the early 20th century and most recently the bell tower was restored in the early 21st century.
 
 
The angel is praying for the soul of Jennifer who died aged 7.
 
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A day in the life of a grave-hunter (lighthearted!)

Easter Monday, very promising weather forecast, so why not go out grave-hunting?  We studied the map and drew out a rough sketch of the route for the target churches for the day, made some sandwiches, and two bottles of orange squash, found a chocolate bar and bag of crisps each and set out at 8.20 a.m.

As usual Martin drove to the first church of the day, which was 43 miles from home (we have already visited all the churches closer to home, so it is over an hour’s drive now to find the first “new” church).  This one was at Hampton Bishop, just east of the city of Hereford.  For our non-British speakers of English, Hereford is pronounced “Herry-fud”, not “Her-ford” or “Hear-ford”.  The grass was still very wet, so we were glad of our Wellington boots.  This church was begun in the twelfth century, and has been added to over the succeeding centuries.

The next three churches were all within a circle of diameter about two miles.  Unusually, there was another couple visiting a family grave at the first one at Fownhope – often we visit churches all day and hardly see another soul at them.  This church had its porch on the north side instead of the more usual south side. The next one at Brockhampton was a surprise because it was thatched, which is extremely unusual.  It was only just over 100 years old, having been consecrated in 1902.  We also met other visitors at this church.

The approach to the fourth church was down a lane with grass growing in the middle – a good clue to how isolated it was.  There was a farm and two houses near it, and we were spotted by a distant large black dog which announced our arrival to its owners by barking at us.

We did well for animals on this trip.  We earlier heard a woodpecker hammering on a tree, saw some rabbits, and passed a dead badger on the road.  The church at How Caple was memorable for some really handsome cattle with very long horns in the adjacent field.  It was nice to see an unusual breed, and we were also greeted by the screeches of peacocks nearby.  One sounded overhead – peering up into the big conifer near the church entrance revealed a white peacock complete with enormous tail feathers.  It would have been lovely to see it close up on the ground.  This church also had the “memorial plaque of the day”.  It referred to a man who had been killed in 1921 while a prisoner as a reprisal by Sinn Fein, the Northern Ireland political group who fought for many years for independence.

The time was approaching noon, and Martin was ready for his lunch.  We surveyed Yatton churchyard, and tried the church door handle, but this was the first church that was locked.  There was a bench at the end of the churchyard in a lovely peaceful spot with a good view, so we sat there for our lunch.  As we left another couple arrived who proved to be the parents of the young man whose grave we had admired in front of the bench as we ate our lunch.  They pointed out their house about half a mile away, and said that they had chosen their son’s resting place so that they could see it from their home.

Much Marcle church proved to be the “grandest” of the day.  The big yew tree in the churchyard is apparently over 1500 years old, and has a hollow trunk inside which seats have been fitted.  Inside the church were some spectacular tombs.  There was a wooden effigy of a landowner dated 1360.  His legs were crossed indicating the reputation he had earned among his relatives for the piety of his life.  There is only one other cross-legged effigy of a civilian in Herefordshire, the other is at Clifford near Hay-on-Wye.  There was also a splendid alabaster tomb of Sir John Kyrle and his wife, who died in 1660 and 1637.  The quality of the carving of their elaborate costumes, and of their curled hair was remarkable.   

On this trip we had our book about the stained glass windows created by the Kempe studios in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  Much Marcle church had six windows by this studio, which we could identify with the aid of our book – we surprise ourselves with what we have learned since we began our graveyard surveys.  Do you all know about piscinas, sedilas, sheela-na-gigs and baldacinos? 

When we arrived at the last-but-one church of the day we thought that there must be an event in progress because there were about six other cars parked in the lane outside.  This was St Mary’s church at Kempley, just over the county border in Gloucestershire.  The church was begun by the Normans in 1130, and the reason for the “crowds” was the stunning old wall paintings inside the church.  We have learned to recognise Norman arches over doorways by their zig-zag carvings. At this church the original paint colours on the archways were still obvious.  The decoration must have been spectacular when it was new. 

There was one more church in Herefordshire on our way home, at Storridge. We did not find any gravestones of interest at this church, but over the course of the day we took about 50 photographs which will find their way onto our website www.grave-mistakes.info.  One of the exterior church views might well be selected as the cover picture when we compile our next book on “Gravestones of Herefordshire”, the companion one to our recent book on the “Gravestones of Shropshire”. 

Claire did most of the driving between the churches while Martin did an admirable job of navigating along the country lanes.  We then shared the return drive, making a total of about 126 miles before reaching home at 4.45 p.m.  A lovely and successful day out.  Judging by the number of other people we met, church-visiting on a lovely day is popular, but we are probably the only ones who look at the gravestones as well as the church itself. 

Tally for the day:
9 churchyards surveyed.
7 churchyards with gravestones of interest to photograph.
20 gravestones photographed.
16 plaques, memorials or monuments inside churches photographed.
8 stained glass windows photographed.
126 miles driven.

Nearly 8 hours away from home.

Robert and William Williams were brothers who were drowned in the Menai Straits.

 St Seiriol, Penmon, Anglesey, Wales
(Click on an image for a larger version)


Seiriol was an early 6th-century saint, who created a cell at Penmon Priory on Anglesey. He later moved to Ynys Seiriol (Puffin Island). He was a son of King Owain Danwyn of Rhos. According to legend, he and Saint Cybi were good friends and would meet weekly near Llanerchymedd. Saint Cybi would walk from Holyhead, facing the rising sun in the morning and setting sun in the evening. Saint Cybi was known as Cybi Felyn (Cybi the Tanned), as he was tanned during his journey. Seiriol, travelling in the opposite direction, from Penmon, would have his back to the sun. Thus, he was known as Seiriol Wyn (Seiriol the Fair).
 
 
Robert and William Williams were brothers who were drowned in the Menai Straits. Robert's body was never found

 
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A young racing cyclist who died in a training accident.

 St Illogan, Illogan, Cornwall
(Click on an image for a larger version)
 
 
The cemetery was very overgrown and the excuse used was that this was intentional as part of the policy to encourage wild flowers.
 
 
A young racing cyclist who died in a training accident.
 
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500 people drowned when the RMS Leinster was torpedoed

 St Tudno, Great Orme, Llandudno, Conwy, Wales
(Click on an image for a larger version)


 In the sixth century the young Tudno (pronounced “Tidno”) entered the monastery of Bangor is Coed, near Chester, which was renowned for its learning, patriotism and missionary zeal. In faith, Tudno then came to the ancient rock of the Great Orme and climbed the steep paths of the windswept headland to bring to the little round stone huts the message of Christianity. St. Tudno’s Church, on the Great Orme, is an emblem in stone of the witness of men down the ages to the faith first brought to this part by Tudno, Saint and Confessor. St. Tudno is now the patron saint of Llandudno and his feast day is celebrated on 5th June.
 

 
RMS Leinster was a vessel operated by the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company, served as the Kingstown (now DĂșn Laoghaire)-Holyhead mailboat until she was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine UB-123 on 10 October 1918, while bound for Holyhead. She went down just outside Dublin Bay at a point four miles (6 km) east of the Kish light. Over 500 people perished in the sinking – the greatest single loss of life in the Irish Sea.
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Ellen was Chief Dairy Instructress in Herefordshire

St James, Kimbolton, Herefordshire 
(Click on an image for a larger version)


The church was a prominent part of the landscape from a considerable distance away.


 A dense bush in front of this grave made photography difficult. We like graves that give additional information about the deceased and this is a good example of what can be done.
 
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Two sons of Henry and Elizabeth Bryant died and were buried at sea - Hugh in 1883 and Thomas in 1902.

 Barnoon Cemetery, St Ives, Cornwall
(Click on an image for a larger version)
 
 
We surveyed this cemetery in two visits - one before breakfast and one between breakfast and meeting up with family members at 10:30AM. What dedication!
 
 
Two sons of Henry and Elizabeth Bryant died and were buried at sea - Hugh in 1883 and Thomas in 1902.
 
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Killed in a military training accident

 Presteigne Cemetery, Presteigne, Herefordshire
(Click on an image for a larger version)
 
 
It must be almost unique for a town cemetery to be in a different country to the town it serves. Presteigne Cemetery is in England and Presteigne is in Wales.
 
 
Alan Traylor was killed on His Majesty's Service in 1959. "In September, 1959, the regiment was on an exercise on Luneburg Heath. During one movement I was driving my tank, 3B in pitch blackness. I was approaching a bridge which I could not see and was relying on the commander to keep me on course. Unfortunately, he didn't see the bridge either and the tank went over the side and landed upside down in the river below. Pete Vickers was the commander and Taffy Traylor was the wireless operator. Both were killed and the gunner and of course, myself got out with minor injuries."
 
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The Vaughan Tomb dates from the late 1400s

 St Mary the Virgin, Kington, Herefordshire
(Click on an image for a larger version)
 
 
St. Mary’s Church has a twelfth century nave and tower, a thirteenth century chancel, a fourteenth century south aisle and chapel and a nineteenth century north aisle.
 

 
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The inscription appears to have been left unfinished.

 Kington Cemetery, Kington, Herefordshire
(Click on an image for a larger version)
 
 
It took the two of us nearly an hour to survey this cemetery although part of the time was spent having an interesting chat with a memorial mason.
 
 
The inscription appears to have been left unfinished.
 
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John Davey was the last man "to possess any considerable traditional knowledge of the Cornish language".

 St Senara, Zennor, Cornwall
(Click on an image for a larger version)
 
 
A church dedicated to Saint Senara has stood on the current site overlooking the sea since at least the 6th century AD, but the current building is partly Norman and partly of the 13th and 15th centuries (the north aisle 15th century). There is a west tower and the octagonal font may be from the 13th century. It was reputedly founded by Saint Senara on her return from Ireland with her son, who was by then a bishop, when they founded the village of Zennor.
 

 
John Davey was the last man "to possess any considerable traditional knowledge of the Cornish language".
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Curiously Albert Cecil Digman was not named in full on his own memorial.

 Shaw Cemetery, Newbury, Berkshire
(Click on an image for a larger version)


 We were visiting Newbury to see our daughter perform in a concert so we went down a few hours early to make time to survey this cemetery.
 
 
Curiously Albert Cecil Digman was not named in full on his own memorial.
 
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A beautiful statue of an angel holding a bird - possibly a dove?

 St David, Henfynyw, Ceredigion, Wales
(Click on an image for a larger version)
 
 
This cemetery had a large number of memorials to sailors who had been "lost at sea".
 
 
A beautiful statue of an angel holding a bird - possibly a dove?
 
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Evan and Margaret Evans lost 4 children in 4 days and another one 6 weeks later.

 St David, Llanarth, Ceredigion, Wales
(Click on an image for a larger version)


It was quite a scramble to survey the churchyard - what with a fence to climb over and a rough, steep hill to climb up.


Evan and Margaret Evans lost 4 children in 4 days and another one 6 weeks later. Evan Evans (16) died on September 25th 1859, Eleanor Evans (4) died on September 28th 1859, Thomas (8) and Elizabeth (6) Evans both died on September 29th 1859 and David Evans (11) died on November 5th 1859.
 
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Judging from his epitaph John Gibson wasn't greatly liked!

Aberystwyth Cemetery, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion 
(Click on an image for a larger version)


We visited this cemetery on our way back from a family wedding. Unsurprisingly there were many graves with a nautical theme which made for a particularly memorable visit.


 Judging from his epitaph John Gibson wasn't greatly liked!
 
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Aidan Peachey was shot down in 1940 - he was 24.

 Shaw Cemetery, Newbury, Berkshire
(Click on an image for a larger version)


We were visiting Newbury to see our daughter perform in a concert so we went down a few hours early to make time to survey this cemetery.


 Aiden Peachey's plane took off from Leuchars at 04.32 hrs. Escorted destroyers until 07.46 hrs when in position MBRU 3452 at 2800 feet, sighted two Me 109's half a mile to starboard diving at 3000 feet from the sun. On the first machine-gun burst the port engine of the Hudson burst into flames. LAC Dobson was observed to continue firing, the aircraft then attempted to land alongside a destroyer but lost control at 500 fet and turned over. One crew member attempted to land by parachute but the canopy caught fire. The Hudson was claimed as shot down at 08.05 hrs. by Ltn Demes and Ofw Arnoldy of 4./JG77.
 
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