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.
I am always awestruck by the astounding talent of artists and the intricacy of detail in statuary. Some of the most beautiful statues are found in the Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno, an extensive cemetery located on a hillside in the district of Staglieno of Genoa, Italy. Covering an area of more than a square kilometre, it is one of the largest cemeteries in Europe and is famous for its monument sculpture.
The tomb of the Consigliere family is attended by a woman praying on her knees. The sculpture was created by Luigi Orengo who worked extensively with funerary sculpture, especially in the Cemetery of Staglieno where he created dozens of tombs and funeral graves. The mausoleum is decorated with laurel leaves representing the “evergreen” memory of the deceased, and a Greek cross with four arms equal in length which is the traditional symbol of Christian faith.
This sculptural group was created in bronze and Carrara marble by Mariano Benlliure. The sculpture represents the funeral procession of the famous bullfighter Joselito el Gallo. The body of the deceased is carved in marble to highlight the figure. At the head of the procession a woman carries a bronze miniature of the Virgin Macarena to whom the bullfighter was very devoted. Cemetery of San Fernando, Seville, Spain
I can’t find any source information on this second representation of a funeral procession. It is recorded as ‘Christ going to the tomb’, but I have no confirmation of this data. Translation of the script reads; Proceeding towards the resurrection. Cemetery Viersen, Germany
This statue depicts a WWI soldier ‘s grave. Luigi Fossati (31-1-1896 – 28-10-1918) who lost his life in the battle of Somme in the Montello hills of Italy. Translation of the dedication reads: Gloomy night enveloped the heroic soul of Luigi Fussati who experienced unspeakable torments under the red dust of the Montello. Momma and brothers Giullo, Pietro, Giuseppe, Arialdo. In everlasting memory. Cimitero Monumentale, Milano, Italy.
This large monument is the burial site of lawyer LLoyd Tevis who was also a successful American business man who headed the Wells Fargo Banking and Pony Express lines for more than 20 years. The “Tevis Cup”, an equestrian endurance ride held annually which requires riders to make the 100 mile Pony Express journey from Tahoe to Auburn in one day is named for him. Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, CA, USA.
Charles-Joseph Pigeon (29 March 1838 – 18 March 1915) became famous due to his invention and manufacture in 1884 of the Pigeon lamp, a non-exploding gasoline lamp. He commissioned the family grave sculpture to hold up to 18 family members. The sculpture is a life-sized image of Pigeon holding a notebook and pencil in his hand. An angel overlooks the vignette of him as he lays beside his wife on a bed. Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris, France
This marble sculpture entitled “The separation of the couple” is not a funerary monument. Until 1965 it was situated in the garden of Luxembourg and was removed because it was considered obscene. I guess they thought the dead wouldn’t mind the obscenity. Montparnasse Cemitiere, Paris, France
Heinrich Schaub, born 5 May 1843, died 29 Jan 1909
Schaub commissioned Leipzig architect Emil Franz Hänsel to design a tomb which was sculpted by Otto Wutzler and August Rantz. The monument features fluted pillars and a bronze framed bronze door. A bronze sculpture of a youth kneels in front of a door representing the eternal kingdom of the dead. Südfriedhof Cemetery, Leipzig. Germany
The figure which rests upon the Burrano tomb was sculpted by Piero da Verona. Staglieno Cemetery, Genoa, Italy
An attack on France’s biggest military graveyard, the Notre Dame de Lorette cemetery, which lies near the town of Arras in France, is the third incident of Muslim tombstone desecration in two years. In April 2008, 148 Muslim graves were vandalised and a pig’s head was hung from a tombstone. That attack came almost exactly a year after a similar incident had occurred.
Inaugurated in 1925, the cemetery houses the remains of about 40,000 victims of a series of long and bloody battles for control of northern France at the start of World War I. The Muslim quarter includes 576 tombs grouped together and turned towards Mecca. The graves of French Muslim war veterans were affected by the graffiti in the form of Swastikas and hateful slogans against Islam on the eve of Islam’s Eid-al-Adha feast. Letters which were painted upon each gravestone linked together in order to spell out anti-Islamic insults.
President Nicolas Sarkozy denounced the latest outrage as “abject and revolting,” calling it “…the expression of a repugnant racism directed against the Muslim community of France”. Police have been scouring the area in the hope of finding the culprits. The attack came almost exactly a year after a similar incident in which neo-Nazi vandals scrawled swastikas on 52 of the cemetery’s Muslim graves.
If you go looking for a bell in the cemetery the easiest discovery will be a gravestone engraved with the surname Bell. However, if you are looking for the symbol of a bell unrelated to the surname it will be a long search. A bell is one of the rarest symbols found on headstones and quite simply represents mourning.
The Dead Bell in the Middle Ages was believed to frighten away evil spirits.
When someone died the bell ringer passed through the streets of villages, towns or cities ringing the bell slowly and repeatedly while announcing the name of the recently deceased person and details of the funeral. The solemn ringing of the bell led mourners from the home of the deceased to the church where the funeral was held.
In 16th century Britain land for burial was sparse. Coffins were dug up and bones taken to the bone-house so that the grave could be reused. Upon opening the coffins, it was noticed that several had scratch marks on the inside. The realization that people were being buried whilst still alive led to the practice of tying a string on the wrist of the corpse which was attached to a bell above ground while a sentry sat in the cemetery overnight.
A little grave humour: Harold, the Oakdale gravedigger, upon hearing a bell, went to go see if it was children pretending to be spirits. Sometimes it was also the wind. This time it wasn’t either. A voice from below begged, pleaded to be unburied. “You Sarah O’Bannon?” Yes! the voice assured. “You were born on September 17, 1827?” “Yes!” “The gravestone here says you died on February 19?” “No I’m alive, it was a mistake! Dig me up, set me free!” “Sorry about this, ma’am,” Harold said, stepping on the bell to silence it and plugging up the copper tube with dirt. “But this is August. Whatever you is down there, you ain’t alive no more, and you ain’t comin’ up.”
The Bell of Hope was a gift from London’s St. Mary-le-Bow, which is the sister church to St. Paul’s Chapel in Manhattan. Installed in the churchyard of St. Paul’s Chapel in September 2002, the Bell of Hope is rung at a ceremony every year on September 11th. It has also been rung after the bombings in Madrid, 2004; London, 2005; Mumbai, 2008; Moscow, 2010; and the Boston Marathon, 2013; and for the shootings at Virginia Tech, 2007 and in Norway, 2011.
The bell is inscribed: “To the Greater Glory of God And in Recognition of The Enduring Links Between The City of London And The City of New York” “Forged in adversity—11.September.2001”
The La Cambe German Cemetery in Normandy, France where there are 21,222 burials with 207 belonging to unknown soldiers. A peace garden with 1,200 maple-trees is adjacent to the cemetery.
Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in
There are many memorials around the world commemorating those killed by Hitler and his Nazi party during the Holocaust (Holocaustis a word of Greek origin meaning sacrifice by fire.) Most of these memorials recognize mass graves or those killed en masse.
The following gravestones identify individual families who were killed at the whim of a madman during an era in human history which is shameful and abhorrent.
Memorial to the Stroch family.
Early on the morning of March 9, 1942, the transportation of Mielec’s Jews commenced. That morning, all the remaining Jews were marched at gun point out to the aircraft hangers at Cyranka. The elderly, sick and certain prominent people in the community, including the rabbi, were shot. For the next three days, while Mielec’s Jews were deported by train, those remaining at Cyranka were marched around the compound. Any that appeared weak, sick or injured were shot. Those killed during the transportation were buried in a mass grave near the aircraft factory. (from Mielec Through The Holocaust by Howard Recht).
Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris, France
For My Dikerman family Exterminated in Auschwitz-Birkenau Moise aged 53, maria aged 52, Abel aged 30 and Regine aged 29
Note: Prisoners being held at Auschwitz were used to build the Birkenau camp crematoriums. In 1942, Auschwitz-Birkenau was a killing center.
Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania
Remembering the Kallos family In Auschwitz 28 May 1944 He was martyred for being a Jew Kallos Dezsone Parent Szalpeter Roza 1884 Kallos Jolan 1909 Her husband Lebovits Bela Kallos Jeno 1911 Kallos Helen 1913 They have memories to be remembered
Note: In November 1944 the gas chambers were being dismantled.
Germany and Europe
In 1993 German artist Gunter Demnig had a simple and effective idea to honour those who were persecuted and murdered during the Holocaust. After locating the former residence of a Nazi victim, and with permission of local authorities, he installed a small commemorative cobblestone topped with a brass plaque in front of the residence. The title of each plaque Hier wohnte (Here lived) records the individual’s name, date of birth and death, and fate. The premise is ‘One victim, one stone’. The project which began in Germany can now be found throughout Europe.
A few fateful words which are found on the brass plaques.
Verhaftet : arrested
Enthauptet : beheaded
Tot : dead
Ermordet : murdered
Uberlebt : survived.
Here Lived Fredy Hirsch Circa 1919 Deported 6.9.1943 Auschwitz Flight into death (this phrase is used in cases of suicide) 8.3.1944
Note: Auschwitz was located in South Western Poland
Here lived Ida Arsenberg Maiden name Benjamin Circa 1870 Deported 1942 Murdered On the 18.9.1942 in Theresienstadt
Note: Theresienstadt was a Czechoslovakian camp/ghetto.
Anyone who did not fit Hitler’s model of the perfect Aryan race was routinely arrested, tortured, and eradicated. Those at risk were:
the mentally ill and physically challenged who were viewed as useless to society were euthanized in gas chambers.
homosexuals were segregated to prevent the spread of homosexuality, and were identified in the camps by pink cloth triangles. Nazis interested in finding a ‘cure’ for homosexuality conducted medical experiments on those prisoners.
Jehovah’s Witnesses whose beliefs did not allow the bearing of arms refused to swear allegiance to the Nazi state. Identified with a purple triangular patch they were considered enemies of the state.
Gypsies were considered racially inferior on a level with the Jews.
Jews were considered racially inferior and a threat to German community. The persecution began in 1938. They were identified within the camps by a yellow star on a white band worn on the right sleeve.
Children were routinely killed on arrival at the camps unless they were considered useful to the medical doctors. Twins were subjected to cruel medical experiments.
With the approach of Remembrance Day ceremonies throughout the Commonwealth, it is a good time to honour the millions killed in conflicts throughout the world.
Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind. J. F. Kennedy
SQUADRON LEADER D M DAVIDSON, DFC
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE
6TH JANUARY 1946 AGE 26 UNTIL THE DAWN BREAKS AND WE MEET AGAIN ALWAYS IN OUR THOUGHTS.
Squadron Leader D M Davidson received the Distinguished Flying Cross. He flew a Spitfire XIV TZ106 with 453 Squadron. The aircraft entered low cloud at about 100 feet and was seen to emerge from the cloud and strike the ground in Wichling, Kent, England.
ROYAL NEWFOUNDLAND REGT.
17TH OCTOBER 1918 AGE 22
No loved one stood beside him to bid a last farewell, No word of comfort could he leave to those he loved so well. We little thought his time so short in this world to remain, Nor that from when his home he went he would never return again.
J.D. ALEXANDER CBE DSO
ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL CORPS
9TH JULY 1922 AGE 55
The CBE, Commander of the British Empire, is the 3rd highest level that can be achieved within the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a military decoration of the United Kingdom awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime.
Do not ask us if we miss him, There is such a vacant place; Can we e’er forget that footstep, And that dear familiar face.
JOSEPH HALL HEWITT RNVR
26TH FEBRUARY 1919 AGE 34
RNVR is an acronym for the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.
HMS “Arrogant” was built in 1895. It was in service during WWI as the Dover depot ship for submarines and motor launches.
Far away in a distant land, Suddenly struck by death’s strong hand A loving son, strong and brave, Lies buried in a soldier’s grave.
THEIR NAME LIVETH FOREVER MORE
TO THE HONORED MEMORY OF ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY NINE BRITISH SAILORS AND SOLDIERS WHO GAVE
THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY DURING THE GREAT WAR1914-1918 AND WHO ARE BURIED IN THIS CEMETERY
FIFTY THREE OF WHOM LIE IN THIS PLOT AND TWELVE OTHERS WHO ARE NOT COMMEMORATED ELSEWHERE.
Located at Newington Cemetery, Edinburgh, Scotland.
No one knows the silent heartache, Only those can tell Who have lost their loved ones Without saying one farewell. We pictured him safely returning, We longed to clasp his hand, But God has postponed the meeting, Till we meet in a better land.
Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris, France
No one knows the silent heartache, Only those that have lost can tell Of the grief that’s borne in silence For the one we loved so well.
This memorial is located in Père-Lachaise-Cemetery in Paris, France. It commemorates the Polish soldiers who were killed during the liberation of France in the Second World War. French: Aux Polonais/ Morts/ Pour La France Polish: Polakom / Polegeym/ Za Francie
The Los Angeles National Cemetery is located in West Los Angeles, California, at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Sepulveda Boulevard. The 114 acre cemetery was dedicated on May 22, 1889. The chapel was renamed the Bob Hope Veterans Chapel on May 29, 2002 (Hope’s 99th birthday), in “celebration of his lifelong service to our American Veterans”.
THE WOMEN OF WORLD WAR II, LONDON
Located near the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, England, this memorial was unveiled in 2005 to honour the service of women during the Second World War. It was sculpted by John W. Mills.
S D F
A SOLDIER OF THE 1939/1945 WAR. SUDAN DEFENCE FORCE
This unknown soldier was a member of the British Army unit, the Sudan Defence Force (SDF.) It was formed in 1925 to maintain the borders of the Sudan under the British administration.
He marched away so bravely, His young head proudly held; His footsteps never faltered, His courage never failed, There on the field of battle, He calmly took his place, He fought for King and Country, And the honour of his race.
1914-1918 & 1939-1945
TO PERPETUATE THE MEMORY OF VETERANS WHO REST IN THIS PLOT ERECTED BY ORANGEVILLE BRANCH NO. 233 CANADIAN LEGION 1946
2DE Z.A. INFANTERIE
23 OCTOBER 1918
South African infantry
This final image of Sutherlin, Oregon, USA, needs no words.