Colours

If asked to name the color of death and mourning, Europeans will choose black; whereas Asians and many other races will pick white.

Black signifies darkness and the absence of light. However, you will often find white tombstones in European cemeteries.

This black headstone is in memory of a deaf woman. Visitors to the cemetery leave pennies on her stone
This black headstone is in memory of a deaf woman. Visitors to the cemetery leave pennies on her stone

At the Mollendal graveyard in Bergen, Norway, a private company was hired by the municipality to maintain the cemetery. In 2013, a notice pinned to hundreds of headstones informed families of the deceased that maintenance fees were due. (The Norwegian municipal government covers the costs of maintenance and rental for 25 years, thereafter it falls upon the families to pay the annual fee.) After 6 months, the headstone was then covered with a locked black plastic bag with a further notice identifying that the stone will be removed unless payment is made for the upkeep of the grave. Failure to make payment results in removal of the headstone and the interred in order to reuse the plot.

norway

White recalls the color of the bones and the paleness of the corpse.
But here in this graveyard that is still no man’s land
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
To man’s blind indifference to his fellow man
To a whole generation that was butchered and damned.

White doves also appear as motifs in the European sepulchral arts.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/kojotisko/9550636346/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kojotisko/9550636346/

Catholics and High-Church Anglicans recognize purple as the color of mourning. Priests wear purple or violet robes at funeral masses for the dead, recalling Christ’s passion, crucifixion, and resurrection.

Chinese tombstones often appear before the deceased has passed. Red lettering shows that the person named is still alive. When the person dies, the stone cutter repaints the letters in white.

Milton_Evergreen_Luu (jap)

 

Milton_Evergreen_japinese

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War Horses

Throughout the centuries whenever humans went into battle, they did so with the assistance of their trusty steed, the horse.

Thousands of horses were transported to assist in the Boer War and World War I. Used for transportation, horses were imperative to the conflict. They moved soldiers, equipment, supplies in the form of food and weaponry, and acted as ambulances in the transportation of wounded soldiers. Horses were trained not to panic or flee at sudden noises and were sometimes taught to bite and kick, thus becoming a weapon in their own right.

Conveying horses overseas was a dangerous proposition for the horse during the Boer War. 16,000 died during the voyage from South America to South Africa.

Under the hardship of little rest, weight overload, and with little veterinary care, a huge percentage died from exhaustion, battle wounds and disease. And when life was especially harsh on the battlefield with a depleted food supply horses were sometimes slaughtered for meat to nourish soldiers.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA
A Horse trough made of Harcourt Victorian granite commemorates horses which took part in World War I. It weighs 8 tons and is 16 feet in length. Australian soldiers had a great regard and affection for their horses, and were upset that at the end of the war, cost and quarantine concerns meant that horses could not be brought back to Australia.

adelaide_Panormio
adelaide_monumentaus

BATLEY, WEST YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND
Provided by the Batley Horse Society.
Batley_twitter

BURSTOW, SURREY, ENGLAND
William Tebb commissioned a drinking fountain in Burstow to commemorate 400,000 horses killed and wounded during the Boer War, to which he was strongly opposed.

Burstow_ebayIn memory of the mute fidelity of the 400,000  horses / killed and wounded at the call of their masters / during the South African war 1899-1902, / in a cause of which they knew nothing / this fountain is erected by a reverent fellow creature

Burstow_hildakean

CANBERRA, ACT, AUSTRALIA
Animals who were companions and early warning systems  in Australia’s armed forces, have been honoured with the statue of a bronze horse head, mounted on a tear-shaped granite plinth.  Commissioned by the Australian War Memorial it is located in the memorial’s sculpture garden.
canberra_awm

LONDON, ENGLAND
Constructed in Portland stone and cast bronze, this monumental memorial is 58ft (17.68m) wide and 55ft (16.76m) deep, and is comprised of three elements.
The arena: Two heavily laden bronze mules struggle to approach a flight of steps leading through a wall.

london_disssertation

The wall, arena side: on the left side of the steps, a bas-relief depicts images of many different animals used and lost in 20th century conflicts.

On the right is an engraving: Animals In War / This Monument Is Dedicated To All The Animals / That Served And Died Alongside British And Allied Forces / In Wars And Campaigns Throughout Time / They had No Choice.

london_just saying

On the rear left of the wall is a chiseled engraving: Many / And Various / Animals Were Employed / To Support British And Allied Forces / In Wars And Campaigns Over The Centuries / And As A Result Millions Died – From The Pigeon To The / Elephant They All Played A Vital Role In Every Region Of The World / In The Cause Of Human Freedom. Their Contribution Must Never Be Forgotten.

There is also a dedication stating that the memorial was unveiled on 24th November 2004, and an engraved list with names of benefactors.

london_rollofhonour

On the grass to the rear are statues of a bronze horse and dog in motion.
The names of the designer and sculptor are engraved on the wall to the right.

MARTOCK, SOMERSET ,ENGLAND
The memorial is in memory of 450,000 horses, asses and mules that died as a result of the Boer War
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Martock_flickr_Rosevear
MELBOURNE,  VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
This memorial horse trough commemorates the Light Horse Brigade and the services and suffering of animals in war.
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melbourne_monument

The inscription reads: He Gains No Crosses As A Soldier May / No Medals For The Many Risks He Runs / He Only, In His Puzzled, Patient Way / Sticks To His Guns.

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
This memorial statue depicts a donkey carrying a wounded soldier from the battlefield. John Simpson, a famed stretcher bearer with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, offers assistance as he walks alongside. Simpson became famous due to his heroic efforts during enemy fire to remove injured soldiers from the battlefield to an evacuation point on the beach. He was killed three weeks after his arrival during one of his perilous trips from the battlefield.

simpson donkey_wikepedia

PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA
This memorial bears the words: The Greatness Of A Nation / Consists Not So Much In The Number Of Its People / Or The Extent Of Its Territory / As In The Extent And Justice Of Its Compassion.
port eliz_wikimediaErected By Public Subscription / In Recognition Of The Services Of The Gallant Animals / Which Perished In The Anglo Boer War 1899-1902

RAWMARSH,  ROTHERHAM, SOUTH YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND
This Trough Has Been Placed / Here As A Tribute To The / Part Played By Horses In / The 1914-1918 War
MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

SANDOWN, ISLE OF WIGHT
Located near the Lake Memorial is this stone trough commemorating the service of war animals. It is inscribed: To The Horses And Dogs Who Also / Bore The Burden And Heat Of The Day / 1914 – 1920
sandown_geograph

 SYDNEY, NSW, AUSTRALIA
A memorial showing a bas-relief of a soldier with three horses. The sculpture is flanked with dedications.
Memorial Horses Desert Mtd Corps 20090402
On the left: Erected By Members Of / The Desert Mounted / Corps And Friends / To The Gallant Horses / Who Carried Them / Over Sinai Desert / Into Palestine / 1915-1918.

On the right: They Suffered Wounds / Thirst, Hunger And / Weariness Almost / Beyond Endurance / But Never Failed / They Did Not Come Home / We Will Never Forget Them.

Below the sculpture and engraved panels is a dedication etched into stone: To the Horses of the Australian Desert Mounted Corps. These horses were not returned to Australia after the War due to strict Australian Quarantine regulations.

 

Graffiti and Vandalism

Graffiti and vandalism seem to be a peculiarity of youth; can’t say I have ever seen or heard of a mature individual spray painting any form of public property. Not restricted to race, religion or country, it is a manifestation seen around the world.

Mount of Olives, Israel
st cuthberts
St. Cuthbert’s Cemetery, Edinburgh, Scotland

Desecrated Jewish graves around the world have been painted with swastikas, and I won’t recognize that horrendous action with a photo.

In the Old Calton Burial Ground in Edinburgh, Scotland, graffiti perhaps identifies the painter as a psycho.

1old calton

Graffiti on Jim Morrison’s grave in Pere Lachaise Cemetry, Paris, France. Visitors seem to think they have more to say than he did.

2jim morrison

A grave in Glasgow Necropolis, Scotland, claims there is no God.

knox glasgow

In Singapore a despondent has inscribed a message of love.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/49503031667@N01/345520444
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/49503031667@N01/345520444

In the Sydney township of Castlereagh, Australia there is an isolated graveyard which provides graffiti opportunism. The First Fleet pioneers do not deserve such disrespect.

sydney

In Trondheim Norway, Jewish gravestones have been attacked with flamboyant pink paint.

trondheim

Graffiti on the gravestone of New Zealand’s first Governor William Hobson, at the Symonds Street cemetery in Auckland shows the disillusion of the vandal. The treaty which was signed in 1840 by representatives of the British government and various Māori ownership chiefs, recognised Māori ownership of their lands and other properties, and gave Māori the rights of British subjects.

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In St. Mary’s Cemetery, Bismarck, North Dakota, USA, a devil worshipper has desecrated a large memorial stone.

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Drunk and bored teenagers without an artistic bent often resort to plain vandalism by toppling gravestones and knocking over or breaking statues

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Desecration of physical memorials is not the only type of vandalism. Illegally drinking alcohol and doing drugs leaves the area littered with empty bottles and discarded needles.

It’s sad and disgraceful that the memory of departed loved ones are so often vandalized and desecrated. The isolation and loneliness of cemeteries can leave visitors feeling unsafe which creates a catch 22 situation.

An inscription on a grave in Milton, Ontario, Canada suggests: ‘The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.’ I would suggest that the last enemy is vandalism. Would vandals be so eager to kick over the gravestone of their own mother or grandfather?

Bronte pioneer Stratford Cross down

Mining Tragedies

It’s dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew,
Where danger is doubled and pleasures are few,
Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines
It’s dark as a dungeon way down in the mine.

~Merle Travis~

Aberfan, Wales

On 21 October 1966 in the Welsh village of Aberfan people were going about their business until a sudden thunderous noise alerted them to the collapse of the colliery tip caused by a build-up of water in the accumulated rock and shale. Over 40,000 cubic metres of debris suddenly slid downhill and engulfed the Pantglas Junior School and about 20 houses in the village before coming to rest.

Rescue efforts, which were hampered by more debris coming down the mountain, lasted for a week.The catastrophe claimed the lives of 116 children and 28 adults who died from impact or suffocation. The official inquiry blamed the National Coal Board for extreme negligence, and parliament passed new legislation about public safety in relation to mines and quarries.

Stone memorials were erected in Aberfan Cemetery for the majority of the victims after the disaster.

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMEA92_Aberfan_Cemetery_Merthyr_Vale_Wales
http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMEA92_Aberfan_Cemetery_Merthyr_Vale_Wales
Benxihu, China

The worst coal mining disaster in history occurred on 26 April 1942 in the coal mine, located near Benxi in the Liaoning province of China. It was caused by a mixture of gas and coal dust which created a fatal explosion underground shooting fire out of the mine shaft entrance. To deprive the fire of oxygen, the ventilation system was shut off and the pit head was sealed. An electric fence was erected around the pit to prevent relatives of the miners from entering. The catastrophe claimed 1,549 lives. It took workers ten days to remove all the corpses and rubble from the shaft. The dead were buried in a mass grave nearby. Later, the Japanese erected a monument to the dead which stated the number of dead to be 1327.

Courrieres, France

The second deadliest coal mining disaster in history occurred in France. The catastrophe occurred on 10 March 1906 due to a massive explosion sparked by an underground fire in one of the pits of the Courrieres Colliery.

The underground fire was detected the day before the explosion and ground openings were closed to starve the fire of oxygen. The following morning a huge underground explosion caused a blast on the surface that killed 1,099 comprised of miners as well as people on the surface.

The disaster led to strikes demonstrating against the mining company who continued to operate when the fire had been discovered, and the managers who stop searching for survivors after only three days.

courrieres_wikimedia

http://beuvry.unblog.fr/2010/03/09/10-mars-1906-la-catastrophe-de-courrieres/
http://beuvry.unblog.fr/2010/03/09/10-mars-1906-la-catastrophe-de-courrieres/
Fraterville, TN, USA

On May 19, 1902 at 7:30am near Fraterville, Tennessee, an oil lamp sparked a methane explosion which killed 216 men (until that point there had been a total of 219 men in the town.) Hundreds of women were widowed, and approximately a thousand children were left fatherless.

A large monument containing the names of 184 identified miners killed in the explosion is encircled by concentric circles of 89 graves. It is known as the Fraterville Miners’ Circle and is located at Leach Cemetery in the nearby town of Coal Creek.

The bodies of 30 unidentified miners were buried in a mass grave not far from the mine. It is marked with a historical plaque on Slatestone Road in Briceville.

Route 116 which connects Fraterville and Briceville has been renamed “Fraterville Miners Memorial Highway” in honor of the victims of the mine explosion.

Fraterville_wikimapia

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/14266
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/14266
https://www.flickr.com/photos/brent_nashville/8410099883/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/brent_nashville/8410099883/

 

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/14266
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/14266
Madeley, Shropshire, England

Nine miners were killed when the chain attached to the winding apparatus gave away during their ascension from the Lane Pit. They died at the end of their shift on 27 September 1864. Four of the dead were boys under the age of 16.

http://grave-mistakes.blogspot.ca/2013_08_18_archive.html
http://grave-mistakes.blogspot.ca/2013_08_18_archive.html
http://grave-mistakes.blogspot.ca/2013_08_18_archive.html
http://grave-mistakes.blogspot.ca/2013_08_18_archive.html
Monongah, WV, USA

The Monongah Coal Mine Disaster which occurred on 6 December 1907 was caused by a firedamp and coal dust explosion in two mines at the Monogah mine facility operated by Fairmont Coal Company. The explosion devastated the ventilation system, boiler-house, fan and the openings of an additional mine. Italian immigrants were the majority of the 362 victims.

monongah_mining technology

http://www.historyinsidepictures.com/Pages/MonongahWestVirginiaisReviewedunderthetitleofTheGreatestCoalMineDisasterinourHistory.aspx
http://www.historyinsidepictures.com/Pages/MonongahWestVirginiaisReviewedunderthetitleofTheGreatestCoalMineDisasterinourHistory.aspx
Durham, Northumberland, England

A memorial to Thomas Hepburn, miners’ champion and trade union leader. He worked as a minor from the age of 8 and later intiated the first great union of Northern Miners in 1831 and conducted the strike of 1832. With great forbearance and ability his life was spent in advocating shorter hours of labour and extended education for miners.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/24383944@N07/7576798566
https://www.flickr.com/photos/24383944@N07/7576798566
Plymouth, PA, USA

On September 6, 1869, a massive fire at the Avondale Colliery started when the wooden lining of the mine shaft caught fire and ignited the coal processing plant built directly overhead. The fire trapped and suffocated 108 of the workers. Two rescuers also died bringing the death toll to 110.

avondale mine disaster

Pretoria, Lancashire, England

The Hulton Colliery, known locally as Pretoria Pit, employed 2500 local men and boys, many from the same family. The day before the disaster occurred, a large fall of roof caused a build-up of gas and miners had complained of gas in the mine and also sparking on a conveyor switch.

On 21st of December 1910, 900 men clocked on for the morning shift. A tremendous explosion that travelled a mile underground killed 344 men and boys who were comprised of miners and colliery employees.

http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/Westhoughton/Pretoria/
http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/Westhoughton/Pretoria/
Wakefield, Nottinghamshire, England

A national pit strike in 1984 drew miners from around the country to the picket lines. David Jones, a Wakefield miner, was picketing at Ollerton colliery when he was hit by a brick on March 15th 1984. He died from chest injuries several hours later.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bradford/content/articles/2009/03/11/miners_strike_mark_jones_feature.shtml
http://www.bbc.co.uk/bradford/content/articles/2009/03/11/miners_strike_mark_jones_feature.shtml
Whitesville, WV, USA

The Upper Big Branch Mine disaster occurred on April 5, 2010 as a result of a high methane levels causing a coal dust explosion in Montcoal, West Virginia. 29 men were killed.

The Upper Big Branch Miners Memorial in Whitesville, WV which was dedicated in 2012 consists of a 48-foot black granite monument with life-size etched silhouettes of twenty-nine miners. The names of all twenty-nine miners killed and the two survivors are listed on the reverse side of the monument which also gives a brief summary of the coal industry in West Virginia. The memorial also includes a bronze sculpture and plaque recognizing the local first responders and mine rescue teams from West Virginia and neighboring states that aided in recovery efforts.

http://www.ubbminersmemorial.com/the-memorial/the-monument
http://www.ubbminersmemorial.com/the-memorial/the-monument
https://preservationallliancewv.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/heritage-tourism-award-upper-big-branch-miners-memorial/
https://preservationallliancewv.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/heritage-tourism-award-upper-big-branch-miners-memorial/
https://preservationallliancewv.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/heritage-tourism-award-upper-big-branch-miners-memorial/
https://preservationallliancewv.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/heritage-tourism-award-upper-big-branch-miners-memorial/

montcaul_geocache

http://www.grwinc.com/content/upper-big-branch-miners-memorial-0
http://www.grwinc.com/content/upper-big-branch-miners-memorial-0

A miner stood at the Golden Gate
His head was bent and low.
He meekly asked the man of fate
The way that he should go.
“What have you done,” Saint Peter said,
“To gain admission here?”
“I merely mined for coal,” he said,
“For many and many a year.”
St. Peter opened wide the gate,
And softly tolled the bell.
“Come and choose your harp,” he said
“You’ve had your share of hell.”

Easthouses, Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland
Easthouses, Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland