The Art of Lettering

The Master of Design Degree from the Royal College of Art is but a footnote in the acclaim due to Welshman Ieuan Rees who is celebrated as one of Britain’s most versatile artist/craftsmen in the fields of lettering, letter carving, calligraphy, architectural lettering and graphic communication. His work speaks for itself.


The Boot Monument

An American Revolutionary War memorial to Major General Benedict Arnold donated by Civil War General John Watts DePeyster is located within Saratoga National Historical Park, New York. Although it commemorates Arnold’s service at the Battles of Saratoga in the Continental Army, his name is not recorded. Arnold’s name became synonymous with “traitor” soon after his betrayal and defection to the British in 1870. The monument therefore serves as a form of ‘damnatio memoriae’: a condemnation of memory where a person is removed from official accounts.

wikipedia arnold-boot

The monument is in the form of a gravestone with a sculpture consisting of the barrel of a cannon from which hangs an epaulette with two stars, a laurel and a boot. It is a symbol of Arnold’s wounded foot during the Battle of Quebec. Further wounds were received at the Battle of Ridgefield when his horse was shot out from under him and at Saratoga when a severe leg wound ended his career as a fighting soldier.

The inscription on the reverse of the gravestone reads,

Erected 1887 By
Brev: Maj: Gen: S.N.Y.
2nd V. Pres’t Saratoga Mon’t Ass’t’n:
In memory of
the “most brilliant soldier” of the
Continental Army
who was desperately wounded
on this spot the sally port of
7th October, 1777
winning for his countrymen
the decisive battle of the
American Revolution
and for himself the rank of
Major General.

Boot monument -back

Symbolism of The Wheat Sheaf

Wheat symbolizes the fertility of the earth, renewal, rebirth and abundance. It can also represent the long and fruitful life enjoyed by the deceased.

To Christians wheat represents the body of Christ, and is therefore symbolic of immortality and resurrection. When paired with grapes it is a symbol of the Eucharist.

It is sown in weakness
It is raised in power


Our nails are drove
Our work is done.


The busy world is hushed
The fever of life over and our work done


Till the day break

Wheat lamb

Behold the pilgrim as he lies with glory in his view,
To Heaven he lifts his longing eyes and bids the world adieu.  1886

Snakes and Skulls

Skulls are an acknowledged symbol of death and mortality. The skull represents our physical life now ended.

The image of a snake weaving through the eye socket is very popular with artists in particular tattoo artists. However, it’s meaning is not as dark as it may seem. The snake is symbolic of renewal perhaps because of its ability to shed its skin. When combined with a skull it indicates that there is rebirth and resurrection.

The Death’s-Head Skull, usually a depiction without the lower jawbone, was emblematic of bawds, rakes, sexual adventurers and prostitutes.

St. Brelade’s Graveyard

On the south of the island of Jersey at the western end of St. Brelade’s Bay is the parish of St. Brelade. Legend states that the area designated for the church was a sacred site to the fairy folk, and during the building of the church foundations, stones and workmen’s tools were removed a mile away to the beach. The workmen moved all the stones and tools back to the original site, but the following morning, everything had been moved to the beach again.

St. Brelade’s church is located between the farming community of Les Mielles and the community of St. Aubin. The date of the present church is unknown, but it is mentioned in deeds of patronage in 1035.

The original churchyard surrounding the Parish Church was extended in 1851. During World War I German Prisoners of War from the Blanche Banques Camp at St. Ouen were buried in the Strangers’ section (northern part of the chuchyard). During the Second World War the Germans occupied Jersey and a war cemetery was created in St Brelade’s churchyard.


In 1961 all the German soldiers, 337 bodies from the war cemetery, and 10 from the Strangers section, were exhumed and reburied in the German Military Cemetery at Mont de Huisnes, France. The churchyard is now closed for all new burials.


Eilidh Marsali Macfarlane-Barrow, as the eldest of six children of Reverend James Humphrey Copner Macfarlane-Barrow and Alice Maie Campbell-Orde, is listed in a genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain. Born on 31 July 1919, she died unmarried on 24 August 1968 at age 49.

Her stone marker is situated in a small graveyard in the grounds of St. Joseph’s Hospital, Rosewell, Midlothian, Scotland.

Pray for the soul
Marsali Eilidh
Born 31-7-1919 at Lochgilphead
Died 22-9-1968 at Rosewell
Our loving sister whose life on earth
Was one of innocence and simplicity
So kindly cared for by the devoted
Sisters at St. Joseph’s Rosewell
May the power and majesty of the Lord
Enliven her soul for all eternity in
The kingdom of Heaven.
Cloir do dhia anns ma h-ardaibh         
Erected by her brothers – 1998

Rosewell_St. Josephs (2)*Translation of the Gaelic phrase is Worship your god in Heaven

St Joseph’s Hospital was a custodial institution established in 1924 by the Daughters of Charity (Roman Catholic nuns). The institution catered to children and adults with learning disabilities until it was closed in 1999. The nuns who operated under the banner of St. Vincent de Paul Society are currently being investigated for the abuse of patients in their care.