Category Archives: Words/Verses

Freemason

This gravestone in Melaten Cemetery, Cologne, Germany is the resting place of Dr. Franz Leuffen, a medical doctor who wrote a book in the 1860s on the subject of post-mortems. He was also a high ranking Freemason which explains the reason for Masonic symbols on his headstone.

The top of the gravestone is adorned with foliage and a snake. Although religious groups consider it a symbol of sin and Satan, a snake also represents everlasting life. The sprig of Acacia, an evergreen whose leaves fall neither in summer nor in winter, is also symbolic of everlasting life.

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Engraved letters beneath the snake are from the Greek alphabet and spell the word GNOSIS meaning inner knowledge.

A five-pointed star, also known as a pentagram, represents the five senses. This symbol has been adopted throughout the world with different meanings, one of which is a protection against evil.

During the Renaissance period in Europe, it was common to illustrate the Eye of God surrounded by a triangle to represent the Holy Trinity. The 25 radiating rays of the sun are used to symbolize the holiness of the Supreme Deity.

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Cold Beer

In a corner of the graveyard belonging to the Winchester Cathedral in England is a copy of a copy of a gravestone in memory of Thomas Thetcher.

Thetcher
https://www.atlasobscura.com

The original gravestone from 1764 which was restored in 1781 was later destroyed. A replacement was created and installed by the North Hants Militia in 1802. Hampshire County Council designated it as a Hampshire Treasure of unique cultural meaning, and in 1966 it was moved for safekeeping to the Royal Hampshire Regimental Museum at Serle’s House in Winchester.

Medical professionals have proposed that Thetcher’s death was the result of “deglutition syncope”: a loss of consciousness during or immediately after swallowing which causes heart arrhythmia. This rare syndrome can occur when a particularly cold liquid is consumed on an extremely hot day.

In Memory Of
Thomas Thetcher
A Grenadier In The North Reg.
Of Hants Militia, Who Died Of A
Violent Fever Contracted By Drinking
Small Beer When Hot The 12 May
1764 Aged 26 Years.

In Grateful Remembrance Of Whose Universal
Good Will Towards His Comrades, This Stone
Is Placed Here At Their Expence, As A Small
Testimony Of Their Regard And Concern.

Here Sleeps In Peace A Hampshire Grenadier,
Who Caught His Death By Drinking Cold Small Beer,
Soldiers Be Wise From His Untimely Fall
And When Ye’re Hot Drink Strong Or None At All.

This Memorial Being Decay’d Was Restor’d
By The Officers Of The Garrison A.D. 1781.

An Honest Soldier Never Is Forgot
Whether He Die By Musket Or By Pot.

The Stone Was Replaced By The North Hants
Militia When Disembodied At Winchester,
On 26 April 1802, In Consequence Of
The Original Stone Being Destroyed.

And Again Replaced By
The Royal Hampshire Regiment 1966.

 

Fenian Poet

‘Fenian’ was a fraternal organisation dedicated to the establishment of an independent Irish Republic in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Christened John Keegan Casey, this Irish poet who adopted ‘Leo’ as a penname, was loved by his people for his inspirational poetry. Born at the height of the 19th century famine he lived through the starvation and poverty suffered by millions of Irish peasants. The British, who feared the motivational power and inspirational words of his poems which inspired rebellion and patriotism, arrested him and locked him in a prison cell of mental and physical torture. When he was eventually released he was a broken young man and died soon afterward from his ill-treatment (1846 to 1870).

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The memorial stone is in Glesnevin Cemetery, County Dublin, Ireland. It was created by monumental builder and sculptor Thomas Dennany and is in the form of a Celtic cross. Within the center is an Agnus Dei (a Christian symbol depicting a lamb standing on the ground, holding by the right forefoot a banner flying on a wooden cross). It represents the risen Christ triumphant over death. Engraved around the circle is the legend, Jesus Mercy Joseph Pray. The pillar of the cross is detailed with a diamond pattern containing a Botonee cross and shamrocks.

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The cross is mounted on a base representative of shale rock upon which a dog is resting accompanied by a harp, sunrays and a scroll listing some of his songs including: The Rising Of The Moon / Our Pledge/ The Final Cast / The Convict Lay / A Cretan Song.

On the right side is a sculpture of a ruined tower and windows in the style of Gothic architecture.

homepage_tower

In Memory Of John Keegan Casey / Leo / Patriot Poet Novelist / Member Of The Irish Republican Brotherhood / Author Of The Rising Of The Moon / And Many Soul Stirring National Ballads And Songs / Born 22nd August 1846. Died St. Patrick’s Day 1870 / From His Youth His Life Was Devoted To The Cause Of Irish Freedom / His Last Words Were A Prayer Of Intercession For His Country’s Liberty / And His Soul’s Salvation.

This Cross Is Erected By The Monuments Committee Of The Young Ireland Society / As An Humble Tribute Of Love And To Commemorate His Principles. / His Noblest Monument Is His Works In Which His Spirit Must Ever Live / May He Rest In Peace.

Literary Epitaphs

Note that in each of these memorial photographs a token (stones, coins, pennies, a rose and a sunflower) has been left on the grave symbolizing that someone had visited and remembered.

The words on Sylvia Plath’s grave were selected by her poet husband, Ted Hughes, from one of the four great classic novels of Chinese literature, Monkey: Journey to the West by Wu Cheng’en.

The complete quotation reads: “Even in the midst of fierce flames the Golden Lotus may be planted, the five elements compounded and transposed, and put to new use. When that is done, be which you please, Buddha or Immortal.”

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John Keats was only 25 years old when he died in Rome on February 23rd, 1821 with his friend Joseph Severn by his side. He is buried at the Cemitero Acattolico, Rome.

Keats expressed the wish that on his gravestone no name or date should be written, only the inscription ‘Here lies one whose name was writ in water’. Above it was to be carved a Greek lyre with four of its eight strings broken ‘to show his Classical Genius cut off by death before its maturity’ as Severn later interpreted it.

This grave contains all that was mortal, of a young English poet, who, on his death bed, in the bitterness of his heart, at the malicious power of his enemies, desired these words to be engraven on his tomb stone.
Here Lies One Whose Name Was Writ In Water
Feb 24th 1821

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Robert Frost died in 1963 when he was 88 years old and is buried in Bennington, Vermont. In 1941 he wrote a poem with eight verses titled The Lesson For Today. The last line of the poem has become one of his most famous and is recorded for eternity on his gravestone. I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.

robert frost

William Blake 1757-1827, a renowned poet, was also the grandfather of J. R. R. Tolkien. Blake died in obscurity in 1827 and was buried in an unmarked common grave in Bunhill Fields cemetery in London, England. The Blake Society raised donations from around the world to purchase a new memorial to mark his burial place.
Here lies William Blake, 1757-1827, Poet Artist Prophet
I give you the end of a golden string
Only wind it into a ball
It will lead you in at Heaven’s gate
Built in Jerusalem’s hall

The following headstones are hand carved memorials artfully created by stonecarver, lettercutter and designer, Teucer Wilson. http://www.teucerwilson.co.uk/portfolio/memorials/memorialsgallery/images-memorials-meikle-jpg/

stoneletters
The winter is past flowers appear on the earth and the singing of birds is come
This is an adaptation of the Song of Solomon 2:12. “The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.”

stoneletters_hills
We shall find you in the grey summer garden amid the rain-wet roses; stir of wings; stir of wings and the morning hills behind you. This is an adaptation of the poem Idyll by Siegfried Sassoon.

teucer
This hand carved slate gravestone is located in Kensall Green Cemetery, London. Felix was only a baby when he died, and the symbolism on this stone reflects this. The quotation is from William Shakespeare’s song Fear No More The Heat O’ The Sun.
Golden lads and girls all must as chimney-sweepers come to dust

This Grave Is Full

This chest tomb located in St. Mary’s Churchyard, Bathwick, Bath, Somerset, England is a memorial to the Clark family. Cremation was not legal until 1885 therefore it would appear that four bodies were buried within the tomb. It has inscriptions on the top and all panels.

Sacred to the Memory of JOSEPH CLARK, a native of London, who died 14th December 1842 aged 73 [or5] years

Also of SOPHIA CLARK, niece of the above named and daughter of the late THOMAS CLARK Esq of Broughton near Kettering, Northants, died 25th September 1843 aged 36 years

Also to the Memory of SARAH CLARK, sister to the above SOPHIA CLARK, died 6th March 1846 aged 40 years, beloved by all who knew her.

Also in Memory of SUSAN, wife of JAMES ABBEY of Lubbenham in the County of Leicester, Esq, (and sister of SARAH & SOPHIA CLARK) died 30th April 1866 aged 63 years. She knew that her Redeemer liveth

This grave is full, May 1866

flickr lovestruck

INTERESTING EPITAPHS

Grave of Ellen Shannon in Girard, Pennsylvania

Ellen Shannon

The following satirical epitaphs cannot be confirmed but the humour is worth reading.

First Church of England Cemetery at East Dalhousie, King’s County, Nova Scotia, Canada: Here lies Ezekial Aikle, Age 102, The Good Die Young.

Ruidoso-Hondo Valley Memorial Park, Ruidoso, Lincoln County, New Mexico: Here lies Johnny Yeast, Pardon me For not rising.

In Thurmont, Maryland: Beneath this stone lies Dr. John Bigelow an Atheist all dressed up with no place to go

Stowe, Vermont: I was somebody. Who, is no business of yours.

Holocaust Memorials in Paris

The city of Paris has acknowledged the plight of Jews in the multitude of memorials dedicated to the victims of the German concentration camps. Within the grounds of Pere Lachaise Cemetery each concentration camp is recognized on its own memorial.

AUSCHWITZ, the main camp, was located in Oświęcim in southern Poland to hold Polish political prisoners. The camp went on to become a major site of the Nazis’ Final Solution to the Jewish Question. Most of the Jews from all over German-occupied Europe who were sent to the camp were gassed on arrival. More than 1.3 million men, women and children died in the Auschwitz and Birkenau camps, the vast majority of whom were Jews.

Auschwitz was also known as Monowitz-Buna, Buna and Auschwitz III. The memorial consists of five emaciated figures in bronze bearing witness to the suffering and exhaustion of the deportees. A body carried in a wheelbarrow reminds us of the frightening mortality of this camp.

BIRKENAU This memorial is in the form of a column with the featureless silhouette of a human figure standing over an engraved plaque. Written in script are lines from the poet Paul Eluard: When we will no longer kill, they will be avenged … The only vow of justice has life as its echo.

BERGEN-BELSEN in northern Germany was an “exchange camp” where Jewish hostages were held with the intention of exchanging them for German prisoners of war held overseas.

The memorial represents the railway tracks leading to the gates of the camp. Between the ‘railway tracks’ are footprints in various sizes representing all age groups arriving at the camp. It was in this camp that the young Anne Franck died along with her sister.

1943 They suffered and hoped. You fight for your freedom. 
1945 We broke their bodies never their minds. 

BUCHENWALD near Weimar, Germany, was one of the first and the largest of the concentration camps within Germany’s 1937 borders. Many actual or suspected communists were among the first internees. All prisoners worked primarily as forced labor in local armaments factories.

The memorial expresses the horror and violence in the concentration camp system. Three emaciated prisoners define suffering, death, solidarity and resistance.

DACHAU, north of Munich in southern Germany, was a forced labor camp which imprisoned Jews, German and Austrian criminals, and eventually foreign nationals from countries that Germany occupied or invaded.

The two pillars forming a gateway are symbolic of the gates of Heaven. The red granite triangle represents the patch worn on political prisoners’ clothes.

A plaque to the left of the stairs is inscribed with a quotation by Edmond Michelet. We have surveyed abysses in ourselves and in others.

DRANCY was an internment camp run by the French located in a northeastern suburb of Paris. It was an assembly and detention camp for confining Jews who were later deported to the extermination camps.

The Memorial reads in translation Inscription engraved at Ninth Fort of Kaunas deported by Convoy 73. In memory of 878 Jews deported from Drancy May 15, 1944 to Kaunas (Lithuania) and Reval-Tallinn (Estonia). 22 returned in 1945.

FLOSSENBURG A map identifies the location of the camp which unlike other concentration camps was located in a remote area in the mountains of Bavaria. Quarries, arms and aviation factories surrounded it. Although the camp’s initial purpose was to exploit the forced labor of prisoners for the production of granite for Nazi architecture they eventually produced armaments for the war effort.

The imprint of a staircase of ten steep steps are visible at the base of the monument in addition to four blocks of cut stone.

MAUTHAUSEN This concentration camp was located on a hill above the market town of Mauthausen in Upper Austria. It was one of the first massive concentration camp complexes in Nazi Germany, and the last to be liberated by the Allies.

Seven blocks of were used to reproduce the monument. Stairs carved into the granite from the quarry of Mauthausen represent 186 uneven steps known as the staircase of death that prisoners had to mount with stones weighing more than 20 kilos on their backs. A bronze statue depicts an emaciated prisoner collapsing under the weight of his load.

NATZWEILER-STRUTHOF located in the Vosges Mountains in France was the only concentration camp established by the Nazis on French territory. Prisoners were mainly from the resistance movements in German-occupied territories. This labor and transit camp eventually became a place of execution.

This memorial is the form of a triangle. The red triangle identified political prisoners and the letter F was an indication to the Germans that the prisoner could speak French and could be called upon to translate. The bronze sculpture of an emaciated figure lies beneath a stone wall with the letters NN, acronym for Nacht und Nabel (a Nazi directive targeting political activists).

NEUENGAMME This camp was located near Hamburg in Northern Germany close to railway and metallurgy factories. With over 85 satellite camps the Neuengamme camp became the largest concentration camp in Northwest Germany. The memorial is created in white granite and the plaque reads in translation under this stone is a bit of ash from the seven thousand French martyrs murdered by the Nazis at the Neuengamme Concentration Camp – they died for us to live free – their families and comrades, survivors have erected this monument to their memory November 13, 1949“

Neuengamme_untapped
Source: https://untappedcities.com/2012/03/13/the-treasures-of-the-pere-lachaise-cemetery-part-ii/

ORANIENBURG AND SACHSENHAUSEN Used primarily for political prisoners from 1936 to the end of the Third Reich in May 1945. The prisoners were also used as a workforce, with a large task force of prisoners from the camp sent to work in the nearby brickworks to meet Albert Speer’s vision of rebuilding Berlin. At the base of the monument, a symbolic barbed wire fence impales an emaciated prisoner.

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Source: http://historichouston1836.com/holocaust-memorials-at-pere-lachaise-cemetery-paris-france/

RAVENSBRUCK was a camp exclusively for women from 1939 to 1945, located in northern Germany. The prisoners were used as slave labor. Two hands linked in captivity and solidarity emerge from roughly hewn stones one of which is engraved; Here lies the ashes of deported women martyrs of Nazi barbarism.

Murdered by Human Wolves

Within the grass of Konawa Cemetery, Kenowa, Oklahoma, the grave of Katherine Cross is most memorable for the epitaph: Murdered By Human Wolves. In a continuation of her sad story the gravestone was stolen in 2016.

Her gravestone was engraved with an arch, open gates, and a star.
The arch is a symbol of triumph and victory in death. It also represents being joined with a partner in Heaven. Open gates symbolize the soul entering heaven. The star piercing the darkness symbolizes the spirit overcoming evil and rising to heaven.

405
Source: http://www.405magazine.com/October-2013/77-Counties/

There are many legends surrounding her death including a fictional account in a novel written by Steven E. Wedel.

The facts: Katherine was the first born child of ten to John Taylor Cross and his wife, Mary Katherine Diehl Cross.
Katherine Dau. Of J.T. & M.K. Cross Mar. 13, 1899 Oct. 10, 1917 

An arrest and charge of first degree murder was made against Dr. Yates, a Konawa physician, for performing what is believed to be an abortion on Katherine who was three months pregnant. The father of the child was Fred O’Neil, the married principal of the Vamoosa School.

findagrave
Source: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/7423442

Seminole County News later reported that Katherine’s death was downgraded from first-degree murder to first-degree manslaughter.

 

Korean War Veterans Memorial

The Korean War Veterans Memorial at the west end of the Mall near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. was created by Frank Gaylord, a Vermont sculptor. The memorial was intended to “confront visitors with the reality of actual war” without glorifying it.

The sculptures cast in stainless steel represent American soldiers in their rain ponchos making their way through the rough terrain of Korea wooded areas. Various branches of the armed forces are represented including fourteen Army personnel, three Marines, one member of the Navy, and one member of the Air Force. The sculptures also represent an ethnic cross section of American society; fourteen Caucasians, three African-Americans, two Hispanics, one Oriental, and one Native American soldier. Regardless of where you are situated at the memorial, one of the soldiers will always be looking at you.

aviewoncities
Source: https://www.aviewoncities.com/washington/koreanwarmemorial.htm
Military times
Source: https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2015/10/12/korean-war-veterans-memorial-gets-1m-donation-from-samsung/

A black granite mural wall almost 164 feet long complements the statues. Designed by Louis Nelson it consists of forty-one panels showing 2,400 etched faces of military support personnel, (nurses, truck drivers, medics and chaplains) and equipment from all the branches of the armed forces.

wally gobetz
Creative Commons License, Wally Gobetz. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/3630221015

The Korean War Memorial was dedicated in 1995 by President Bill Clinton and President Kim Young-sam of South Korea.

Our Nation honors her Sons and Daughters who answered the call to defend a Country they never knew and a people they never met. 1950 Korea 1953

Welsh Roses

These two stones are located in the Pantdu Cemetery, Cwmafan, Near Port Talbot, Wales.

The gravestone below shows a female hand (lace cuff) holding a single rose. The rose represents love and purity and the brevity of life on earth. Life, like a blooming flower, is never meant to be permanent. The deceased apparently suffered from a long illness before passing on.

In Loving Memory Of / Catherine / Wife Of John Webb / Who Died April 8 1894 / Aged 56 Years

Affliction Sore Long Time I Bore / Physicians Were In Vain; / Till God Was Pleased To Give Me Ease / And Free Me From My Pain.

Also The Above Named / John Webb / Who Died May 26 1915 / Aged 76 Years

For I Know That My Redeemer Liveth

Catherine webb
Source: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/145139093

The following headstone is engraved with three roses, one for each of the deceased. The stone is unusual in that the engraver added punctuation to the legend – not commonly applied.

In Loving Memory Of / Frederick, / The Beloved Son Of / John And Mary Jane Gamlin  / Pontypridd, / Who Died June 18 – 1893, / Aged 9 Months.

Short Was Our Little Darlings Stay, / He Came Just As A Guest, / Just Tasted Life And Fled Away, / To His Eternal Rest.

Also The Above Named / John Gamlin, / Who Died July 7 – 1950, / Aged 80 Years. / Also His Beloved Wife / Mary Jane Gamlin, / Who Died May 21, 1954, / Aged 81 Years.

Reunited.

frederick gamlin
Source: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/111992879/john-gamlin

Both stones were erected in the late 1800s, and yet one appears to have endured much better than the other.