Category Archives: Memorials

We Will Remember Them

These images of metal markers in the shape of the maple leaf are located in Victorian Lawn Cemetery in St. Catharines, ON, Canada. The marker contains the official badge of the Canadian Legion and motto, “Memoriam eorum retinebimus”, We Will Remember Them.

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Source: Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/57156785@N02/19545864284/in/photostream/

The markers are also holders for Canadian flags in commemoration of St. Catharine’s war veterans.

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Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/57156785@N02/19545864284/in/photostream/

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Source: Source:https://www.flickr.com/photos/57156785@N02/19545864284/in/photostream/
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Source: Source:https://www.flickr.com/photos/57156785@N02/19545864284/in/photostream/
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Miss Baker, Space Monkey

The gravestone outside the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, frequently has bananas placed on it.

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The stone is a memorial to a squirrel monkey who in 1959 was one of the first two animals that were launched into space by the United States and safely returned. The monkey purchased at a pet shop in Miami, Florida, was named Miss Baker due to its docile manner during testing and monitoring to ensure its suitability to the environment of space.

Miss Baker wore a helmet lined with rubber and chamois leather plus a jacket for the launch. A respiration meter was affixed to her nose with model cement, and she was fitted into a snug capsule of shoebox size insulated with rubber and fiberglass. Life support was an oxygen bottle with a pressure valve, and lithium hydroxide to absorb exhaled carbon dioxide and moisture. One cannot imagine the terror that animal endured.

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On May 28, 1959, Miss Baker and her companion Miss Able rocketed to an altitude of 300 miles for a 16-minute flight which also included 9 minutes of weightlessness. The capsule was recovered near Puerto Rico.

 

Thereafter Miss Baker lived at the Naval Aerospace Medical Center in Pensacola, Florida until 1971 when she was moved to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville where she entertained museum visitors.

Miss Baker died of kidney failure in 1984 at a clinic at Auburn University after attaining the record for oldest living squirrel monkey.

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Old Pentland Kirkyard

Just back from Scotland where I discovered this ancient graveyard on the outskirts of Edinburgh: Old Pentland Cemetery, Damhead, Midlothian.
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This cemetery was once home to a 13th century church which served the parish. A small watch house (a guard house to prevent grave robbing) inside the gates contains two stones known as the Arnold stones discovered in 1856 by Thomas Arnold. Chiselled into the stones are a Fleury cross, a calvary cross base and a sword. The cemetery is owned by the Gibsone Trust.
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Within the only mausoleum on the grounds is a plaque with two angels flanking the Gibsone family crest and a dedication inscribed: Sacred to the memory of the late Sir John Gibsone of Pentland Bart who died March 1781 aged 48? Years. He was endowed with every virtue which became the Christian, the Gentleman, and the Scholar and died universally respected and lamented.
He married May 1774, Henrietta, eldest daughter of James Watson of Saughton and Lady Helen Hope who died 8th of March 1803 aged 63 years. This is erected by their only child Mrs. Helen Gibsone of Pentland.
Also in memory of Mrs. Helen Gibsone of Pentland only daughter and heiress of the above Sir John Gibsone who died 24th October 1843 In her 69th year.
And in loving remembrance of Jack Gibsone, Laird of Pentland, who died 30th December 1992, aged 84 years, a true gentle man.

Many of the inscriptions on the headstones have been eroded due to the weather or completely obliterated.

Erected to the memory of Andrew Finlayson late Mason at Loudon Burn who died the 8th October 1811, aged 55 years.
Also lies here Anne Finlayson his mother who died the 16th March 1755, aged 61 years and Andrew Finlayson his father who died 12 of November 1787 , aged 50 years.
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Here lies Robert Umpherston tenant in Pentland who died March 2nd 1624 aged 31.
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Here lies the dust of McJohn McNeil preacher of the gospel at Loanhead who died Dec 1702? in the 66 year of his age. A ? adherent to the covenanted testimony of the Church of Scotland in principle in practice and ? witness against ………..
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The corps of Charles Brown who departed this …1661…..
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Here lies Archibald Grieve preacher of the gospel licensed by the Reformed Presbytery at Peebles , June the 7th and who died at Pentland much lamented Oct 3rd 1760, aged 26 years.
How soon this rising star did disappear He fell the church did mourn and friends did dear.
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Apparently women did not outlive their husbands in the 17th and 18th centuries as evidenced by the following markers.

Here lies James Pennycook shepherd and tenant in Leaps who died in Pentland Oct 14, 1761, aged 83 years.
Also his first spouse Janet Baillie who died Oct 1710. And Marion Hodge his next spouse who died April 13th, 1732, aged 46 years.
Also two of his children Isobel and Elisabeth who died in their infancy.
Likewise his grandchild James Grinton who died March 1755 in the 8th year of his age.
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1793 Here lies interred the body of John Waterston who died June 16, 1792, aged 79 years. He was first married to Katharine Lumsdain by whom he had two children James & Janet Waterston, and afterwards to Jean Graham who died without issue. This stone was erected by James Waterston his son.
8 feet square of ground belongs to this stone
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This stone was erected by James Barrowman Smith Reid Combs to the memory of Isabell Fowler his spouse who died Dec 15, 1788, aged 43 years.
Also Margaret Carens his second spouse who died March 18, 1806 aged 47 years.
Also four of his children who died young.
Also two of his grandchildren Isabell Simpson who died March 5 1810, aged 7 years and Jean Barrowman who died August 17, 18??…
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In memory of Isabella Thomson wife of Charles Robertson, Bilston Inn died 6th February 188? Aged 43 years and of the above Charles Robertson died at Silverburn 7th April 1906 aged 69 years.
Also his son Hugh Lamond died 12th April 1919 aged 34 years and his granddaughter Alison died 7th October 1897 aged 10 months.
Mary Meldrum his 2nd wife died 5th February 1921 aged 77
Also Colour Sergeant Alexander Robertson 98th Regiment and Catherine Robertson his sister who lie buried in St. Cuthberts Churchyard.
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Milton Evergreen

Location: Milton, Ontario, Canada

The first burial in Evergreen Cemetery took place in 1881, and the current 26 acre site contains over 8600 burials. Loved ones are commemorated with statues, trees and memorial benches.

An annual Remembrance Day service is held at the Cenotaph and Cairn on November 11th at 11:00 a.m. by the Milton Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

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Source: https://www.insidehalton.com/news-story/6933528-milton-remembrance-day-services-set/

Within the cemetery are numerous carvings on aging and diseased trees, and trees destroyed by storms. The wooden sculptures were done by chain saw and fine detail was chiseled by hand. After completion the trees were coated with a protective sealant.

In memory of / Solomon Giddings / 1866-1914 / At Rest

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Solomon Giddings was a quarryman/labourer who lived in Milton Heights and worked at the brick/limestone mills. He died at age of 49 from hepatitis.

He was married to Elizabeth Agnes Standen a member of the Anglican church, who died in 1946 at age 79 and is also interred in Milton Evergreen Cemetery. They had two daughters Emma and Gladys, and four sons Bert, Mark, Ernest and George.

Giddings Crescent in Milton was named after their son Bertie James Giddings from Milton Heights who was a private with the 164th Battalion of the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force during World War I. He enlisted in January 1916 and went to France in 1918. He was wounded in 1918 and lost an eye. Born in 1898, he died in 1974.

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Source: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/153960218/bertie-j-giddings

Tree Symbolism

The tree as a symbol of life; regeneration, regrowth and renewal also reflects human fruition or frailty. A common symbol on gravestones a tree can also represent man’s sin with reference to the Garden of Eden. It is also representative of knowledge, life, and time.

A sprouting tree represents a new beginning in the afterlife.

If a tree is felled it reflects death and mortality. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
A severed or broken branch symbolizes a life cut short.

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A tree trunk denotes the brevity of life, and the number of broken branches can indicate deceased family members buried at the site.

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Sometimes the gravestone may be replaced with a ‘tree stone’ in the shape of a tree stump or log sculptured to resemble wood. This symbol is mostly used by the Woodsmen of the World Fraternity. When the trunk is leaning it represents mourning. Sometimes a tree stump will be shown with an ivy plant which often relates to a premature death but can also represent immortality.

Each species of tree has a symbolic meaning:

  • CEDAR TREE: Consecration; Length of days; Strong faith; Success
  • CYPRESS: Death; Eternal life; Hope; Mourning; Sorrow; Roman symbol for mourning
  • DOGWOOD:  Christianity; Divine sacrifice; Resurrection; Triumph of eternal life
  • EVERGREENS: Immortality
  • HAWTHORN: Hope; Merriness; Spring
  • HOLLY: Foresight
  • MULBERRY: I will not survive you
  • OLIVE TREE: Healing faith; Peace
  • OLIVE BRANCH: Forgiveness; Humanity; Peace
  • PINE: Fertility; Fidelity; Regeneration,
  • YEW: Eternal life; Immortality; Sadness
  • WILLOW: Human life

 

The Mythical Sphinx

The sphinx is a mythical creature with the head of a human and the body of a lion, protector of the dead, it is historically connected to the pyramid, the ultimate in tombs.

There are two types of sphinx; most famously the Egyptian sphinx modeled after the Great Sphinx at Giza which represents a male. The head is dressed with a neme, the striped headcloth worn by pharaohs in ancient Egypt.

Occasionally a false beard is displayed. As beards were associated with the gods, Pharaohs wore false beards for ceremonies to express their importance and divine ranking.

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In March 1865 Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dr. Jacob Bigelow proposed that the Mount Auburn Cemetery commission “a public monument in memory of the heroes who have fallen in the present war for the preservation of the Union.” When the trustees postponed making a decision he commissioned the Irish-born sculptor, Martin Milmore, to create a Sphinx to be cut from a single block of Hallowell granite, 15 feet long and about 8 feet high.

The Sphinx was chosen as it represented the strength of a lion and the beauty and benevolence of a woman. The inscription was composed by Dr. Bigelow “American Union Preserved; African Slavery Destroyed; By the Uprising of a Great People; By the Blood of Fallen Heroes.”

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The Brunswig tomb in Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans, Louisiana was built to commemorate Lucien Napoleon Brunswig’s wife, Annie Mercer Brunswig and their son Lucien Mercer Brunswig (1882-1892) who died within a month of each other. His testament instructed his family to bury him inside the tomb with his wife and child. Brunswig is also interred with his two daughters, Henrietta Rosalie Brunswig (1879-1963), and Annie Brunswig Wellborn (1881-1982) and her husband.

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Source: http://www.lacarmina.com/blog/2015/04/metairie-cemetery-tombs-pyramid-statues/

In Greek tradition, the sphinx was in the form of a female who was often bare-breasted and is therefore associated with maternal love.

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Many neo-Egyptian designs in modern cemeteries feature the Greek variety which is often portrayed with the wings of a bird.

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Creative Commons License, Joachim S. Müller. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/74743437@N00/8695400390

Within the Hildburghausen Cemetery in Germany a winged Sphinx sits atop the headstone belonging to the 19th century Egyptologist, Doctor Friedrich Carl Ludwig Sickler.

A pyramid marks the Schoenhofen Tomb in the Graceland Cemetery, Chicago. The entry door with a snake coiled on the handle is flanked by a sphinx and an angel. It is the final resting place of Peter Schoenhofen, a Chicago brewer.

The Drake Mausoleum contains members of the family and extended relatives. Originally at Laurel Hill Cemetery it was moved to West Laurel Hill, Philadelphia where it is guarded by a winged Sphinx at each corner of the roof. Thomas Drake Martinez Cardeza and his mother Mrs. Charlotte Drake Martinez Cardeza were surviving passengers of the Titanic shipwreck in 1912. Charlotte was a rich philanthropist who donated millions of dollars to the poor.

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Source: https://www.mausoleums.com/portfolio/drake-mausoleum/

Lasseter Gravestone

Harold Lewis Bell Lasseter became famous in 1929 with a claim that he had discovered a vast, gold-bearing reef over fourteen miles long in the Outback of Central Australia. His claim led to a search expedition which left Alice Springs on 21st July 1930.

No maps showing the location of the reef were ever found, and the tale of the reef and its discoverer has become the most famous lost mine legend in Australia, and remains a “holy grail” among Australian prospectors. His daughter claims that he found the reef (after the expedition gave up) only to discover that it was in an area considered sacred by the blacks.

ADELAIDE, Friday.—A body, believed to be that of the prospector, Lance(sic) Harold Bell Lasseter, who died while searching for a fabulous reef of gold near the Petermann Ranges in the Northern Territory in 1931,has been recovered from a grave. The find was made by the Australian Television Enterprises Ltd. unit, led by producer Lee Robinson, several days ago. A local bushman, Mr. Bob Buck, who is believed to be now in Adelaide, claimed that in 1931 he went out to search for Lasseter’s body, which had been buried in a shallow grave by aborigines. He disinterred the body, removed the upper denture and reburied the body in a proper grave with a post and railing fence and returned to Alice Springs, where a death certificate for Lasseter was issued. A native boy named Mick, acted as guide to the television party. Mick said that as a boy of 14 he was with a group of natives which led a starving white man for 40 miles towards Nindevale Station. However, he died and the natives buried him in an oval-shaped grave, doubled up in the native fashion. Mick led the party to a dry creek bed and pointed to a spot where he said Lasseter had been buried. The spot which Mick pointed out was dug up and four charred posts were found. The next day a skeleton of a man with a missing upper denture was found, a little deeper. A doctor from Alice Springs examined the skeleton at the grave and declared it to be that of a white man about 5ft. 4in. tall and of similar build to Lasseter.
Canberra Times (ACT), 21 December 1957.

The date of his death was established as January 30th 1931. His grave was located on December 14th 1957 by an expedition led by Lowell Thomas and Lee Robinson. Lasseter’s daughter stated that ‘…he died alone of dysentery and sandy blight in a lonely cave in the Peterman Ranges. The blacks came and put his body in a tree wrapped in bark as they do with their own for a certain period.’ A memorial is located in Pioneer Cemetery, Alice Springs, NT.