This gravestone is located in St. Nicholas Churchyard in Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland. The inscription has disappeared due to weather erosion which is also attacking the sculptured effigies. Although this stone hosts common mortality symbols of Memento Mori in the hourglass, arrows and the skull the remainder is difficult to interpret.
On a humourous note, the skull on the bottom left appears to be wearing sunglasses.
Is the floating image a mother looking down from Heaven on her children? Note how this figure seems to be casually resting on her hand. Is this actually a female or a male as period dress may indicate? What is the triangular shape the figure is holding in the left hand? Are the cherubs below children or representative of angels?
What are the cherubs holding onto? Is it the wings of a winged effigy or a shroud/drape which denotes mourning and often borders a dedication? Or is the entire scene related to a Fraternity?
What is the boat shaped item? A similar symbol is found in the Old Town Cemeteries in Stirling, Scotland.
Melvin Jonah Lasky was born on Jan. 15, 1920 in the central Bronx at Crotona Park, New York to Jewish immigrants. With origins in an anti-Communist Russian-Jewish community he fought against communism on an intellectual level. He was a literary editor of the anti-Stalinist magazine, the New Leader, at age 22 and was also editor of Berlin Der Monat (The Month launched in Berlin in 1948), which was one of a cluster of magazines promoting a liberal, anti-Communist, pro-American line.
The devoutly anti-communist magazine Encounter, which was launched in London in 1953, flourished under his editorship, attracting leading thinkers and writers, but it’s prestige plummeted after 1967 when it was revealed that the magazine received financial support from the CIA.
His books include a widely translated volume on the Hungarian revolution, Reisesnotizen und Tagebucher, Africa For Beginners, Utopia And Revolution, The Use And Abuse Of Sovietology, his autobiography On The Barricades And Off, and Voices in a Revolution.
He died aged 84 on May 19, 2004 in Berlin, Germany and is buried in the Friedhof Heerstrasse in Berlin-Charlottenburg, Germany.