Cemeteries and graveyards, full of love, betrayal, tragic deaths, murder and suicide. What will you find?...

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Cemetery Sunday - Angel

Angel - All Saints Church
Marlow, Buckinghamshire

Friday, 28 June 2013

Flashback Friday - Sir Stanley Spencer of Cookham

**Originally posted 19th June 2012**

Gravestone of Sir Stanley Spencer CBE RA, Holy Trinity Churchyard, Cookham Berkshire.

"To The Memory Of
Stanley Spencer
1891 - 1959
And his wife
Buried in Cookham Cemetery 1950

Everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God.  He that loveth not knoweth not God for God is love - 1 John 4:7"

Sir Stanley Spencer was born at Fernlea, High Street, Cookham on 30th June 1891 to William, a music teacher and Anne Caroline Spencer nee Slack.  On the that day a crow fell down the chimney and flapped about the living room until released. The family thought it a good omen and named Stanley after Stanley Spencer, a prominent balloonist of the era.


Much of Stanley's early education was at the village school run by his sisters, he eventually attended Maidenhead Technical School where his artistic training began, before enrolling at Slade School of Fine Art at University College, London.  Here he won the Composition Prize for ‘The Nativity’, and oil on canvas painted in 1912

The Nativity - 1912

In 1915 Stanley volunteered to serve with the Royal Army Medical Corps where he served as a orderly at The Beaufort War Hospital.  In 1916 he volunteered to serve with the Royal Army Medical Corps in Macedonia where he served with the 68th Field Ambulance Unit.  He later requested to be transferred to the Berkshire Regiment.  Stanley's experience of the horrors of war were to forever mark his attitude towards live and death, an influence that can be seen in many of his religious paintings.

Towards the end of the Great War Stanley was commissioned by the the War Artists Advisory Committee to paint visions of war from Macedonia.  Stanley painted what is now referred to as 'Travoys Arriving with Wounded at a Dressing Station at Smol.'  The painting is kept at the Imperial War Museum.

Travoys Arriving with Wounded at a Dressing Station at Smol

In 1925 Stanley married Hilda Carline, who at that time was a student of Slade School of Fine Art.  They had two daughters together, Shirin and Unity. 

Hilda, Unity and Dolls - 1937

However Hilda and Stanley were to divorce in 1837 when the girls were 7 and 11 due to Stanley's obsession with another woman, Patricia Preece.  A week after his divorce Stanley had married Patricia, but it was not to be a happy marriage.  Patricia was a con artist and a lesbian, whose interest in Stanley only extended as far as his money.  She somehow managed to persuade Stanley to sign over his house to her.  Patricia continued to live with her lover Dorothy Hepworth and the marriage was never consummated, yet when her 'relationship' with Stanley fell apart she refused to grant him a divorce. 

Hepworth, Preece, Spencer and guest
at Stanley's wedding to Patricia Preece in 1937

Stanley was to forever regret his decision to leave Hilda and his daughters for Patricia.  When Hilda's mental health began to fail, Stanley would visit her, but the damage to their relationship was already done.  In 1950 Hilda died of cancer.  Stanley continued to write love letters to Hilda long after her death.  In 1945 Stanley had moved to Cliveden View House in Cookham Rise, a house built by his builder grandfather Julius Spencer and previously lived in by his sister Annie.

Stanley was to become a familiar sight in Cookham, pushing a battered black pram that contained his canvas and easel.
Sir Stanley Spencer with his pram in Cookham Lane - 1958

In 1959 Stanley was knighted, later that year on 14th December he died of cancer at The Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital in Taplow Buckinghamshire.

1954 Portrait of Sir Stanley Spencer by Ida Kar
© National Portrait Gallery, London


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Taphophile Tragics - Dorothy Matilda Brockwell

Monument to Cynthia Brockwell and Dorothy Matilda Brockwell, All Saints Maidenhead Cemetery, Maidenhead, Berkshire.

"In loving memory of Cynthia Brockwell.  Deid Oct. 4th 1939 aged 7 years - Safe in the arms of Jesus - Also her mother Dorothy Matilda Brockwell.  Born Feb. 6th 1907.  Died Dec. 9th 1942. - Re-united."

Dorothy Matilda Brockwell was born Dorothy Matilda Bunker on 6th February 1907 in Kirtlington Oxfordshire, the youngest daughter of Alfred John Bunker, a foreman at a farm, and his wife Eliza Rosina Griffin.

Dorothy first appears on the 1911 Census aged four years old, living with her parents and elder siblings, Alfred James, Ellen Rosina, Florence Bessie and Polly Lilian, in Kirtlington, Oxfordshire.

In 1930 in Maidenhead, Dorothy married Reginald Hubert Brockwell.  They had their first child, a daughter Monica in later that year, closely followed by Cynthia in 1932 and Regina in 1938.

Reginald Hubert Brockwell was born in 1910 in Maidenhead, Berkshire to Charles Frances Herbert Brockwell, a coal porter, and his wife Lucy Rose Eustace.  Reginald first appears on the 1911 Census, aged just four months old, living with his parents at 42 College Gen, maidenhead, Berkshire.

Sadly Dorothy and Reginald were to suffer the loss of their daughter Cynthia in 1939, aged just seven years. 

Dorothy was to pass away on 9th December 1942, three years after the death of Cynthia and four years after the birth of her youngest child, Regina.

I am unable to find out what happens to Reginald after Dorothy's death, but her two surviving daughter grew up to marry and have children of their own.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Cemetery Sunday - Butterfly

Butterfly grave decoration
All Saints, Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Dunklesbuhler - Angels and Diamonds

**Originally posted 12th June 2012**

Angel monument to Kathleen Dunkles, Frances Dunkels and Ernest Dunkles, Maidenhead All Saints Cemetery, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England

"Kathleen Dunkles 15 August 1906
Frances Dunkles 16 December 1953
Ernest Dunkels 12 September 1956"

Ernest Dunkles was born Ernest Dunkelsbuhler in London, Middlesex in 1880 to German parents Anton and Minna Dunkelsbuhler.  Anton was a famous diamond dealer who owned Anton Dunkelsbuhler & Company.  Ernest became a barrister and assumed the surname Dunkles in 1895, perhaps he felt it would be easier for his clients and neighbours than Dunkelsbuhler.

In 1909 Ernest married Frances S Van Nostrand, who travelled to England from New York on the ship Germanic on 9th June 1897.  On the Incoming Passengers List her occupation is listed simply as 'Lady'.  The lived together in Woodhurst Maidenhead and in 1916 Ernest enlisted and served in The Great War.  Frances passed away in the December of 1953, but not before giving Ernest four children.  Ernest was to follow his wife three years later.

Kathleen Dunkles was born Fanny Dunklesbuhler in London, Middlesex in 1878.  She was Ernest's elder sister.  Sometime between 1891 and 1906 Fanny changed her name to Kathleen, possibly a middle name, and took to using it instead of Fanny.  Ernest was to name his first daughter born in 1910, Kathleen after his sister.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Wednesday's Child - Cynthia Brockwell

Monument to Cynthia Brockwell, All Saints Maidenhead Cemetery, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.

"In loving memory of Cynthia Brockwell died Oct. 4th 1939 - Safe in the arms of Jesus - also her mother Dorothy Matilda Brockwell born Feb. 6th 1907.  Died Dec. 9th 1942 - Re-United"

Little Cynthia Borckwell was born in Maidenhead in 1932 to Reginald Hubert Brockwell and Dorothy Matilda Bunker.

In 1930 in Maidenhead Reginald married Dorothy and later that year their first child, a daughter Monica was born, closely followed by Cynthia in 1932 and Regina in 1938.

Sadly little Cynthia was to pass away in 1939 aged just seven years old. 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Taphophile Tragics - Catherine Whitmarsh - Blacksmith's Wife

Monument to Catherine Whitmarsh, Holy Trinity Churchyard, Cookham, Berkshire, England.

"Scared to the memory of Catherine Whitmarsh who departed this life September 15th 1855 aged 55 years - Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord. Rev. Chap 11: Verse 13"

Catherine was born in 1800 in the village in Penn, Buckinghamshire.  She was the wife of William Whitmarsh, blacksmith and parish clerk, collector of taxes and agent of the Mutual Life Assurance Society, of Cookham, Berkshire.

Catherine first appears on the 1841 Census aged forty years, living in the village of Cookham with her husband William and their children fifteen year old Elizabeth, twelve year old Catherine and eight year old William Jr.  Living next door to William and Catherine are William's parents, John Whitmarsh, a blacksmith and his wife Elizabeth.

In 1851 the family is still living in Cookham village.  William is now a master blacksmith, employing three men.  The now twenty four year old Elizabeth is a dress maker, the twenty two year old Catherine is a school mistress and the eighteen year old William Jr a blacksmith in his father's business.  Sadly Catherine was to pass away only four years later.  The family suffered another loss in 1859 when William Jr passed away.

William and his daughters Elizabeth and Catherine are still living in Cookham village in 1861.  William is still working as a blacksmith, employing only 2 men.  Elizabeth and Catherine have started up a grocery business.  William was to pass away in 1881, just before the 1881 Census was taken, which shows Elizabeth and Catherine still living together in Cookham village.  Catherine was next to pass away in 1890, followed by her sister Elizabeth just 3 years later in 1891.

Taphophile Tragics

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Cemetery Sunday - Crucifixion of Chirst

Ceramic Tile at St Peter's Churchyard
Marlow, Buckinghamshire, England.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Flashback Friday - Windows Into The Past - Ceramic Gravestone Photographs

**Originally posted 6th June 2012**

(c) Headstones and History

Ceramic photograph memorials allow us a peek into the grave and a glimpse into the past.

Ceramic photographs started in 1854 when two french invented patented a method for fixing photographic images onto enamel or porcelain by firing in a kiln.  At first these enamels were used for home viewing before paper photos replaced them.  Soon after the custom of adding ceramic memorials to gravestones spread throughout southern and eastern Europe and into America.

Sadly due to weathering and sometimes vandalism, these wonderful windows into the past are disappearing. Laurel Mellien at Headstones and History has been taking photographs of these vanishing memorials, in the hopes of preserving what remains.

(c) Headstones and History

Showing signs of damamge.
(c) Headstones and History

(c) Headstones and History

(c) Headstones and History

Even pets were memoralised
(c) Headstones and History

For more information on the history of ceramic and enamel photograph memorials please click here.

To more fantastic ceramic memorial photographs and further information on gravestone symbolism, visit Laurel Mellien's Facebook page Headstones and History.

All photographs copyright of Headstones and History and reproduced with permission.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

War Grave Wednesday - William Alfred West

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
William Alfred West was born in 1909 in Maidenhead, Berkshire to Christopher Charles West, a refreshment house keeper, and his wife Louise Garraway.
William first appears aged one year old on the 1911 Census, living with his parents and older brother Christopher John West at 8 Bridge Street, Maidenhead Berkshire.  Living with the family at the time is William's paternal grandmother Mary Ann West.
At some point after the outbreak of World War Two, William joined  The King's Royal Rifle Corps, becoming a Warrant Officer, Second Class.  Sadly William was to pass away on 19th August 1942.
William's Commonwealth 

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Taphophile Tragics - Maria Blewitt, Elizabeth Blewitt and Eliza Blewitt - Two Wives and a Cousin

Monument to Maria, Elizabeth and Eliza Blewitt, Holy Trinity Churchyard, Cookham, Berkshire, England.

"In Loving Memory Of Maria Blewitt who died Oct. 19th 1878 aged 48 years.  Also Elizabeth Blewitt who died April 17th 1896 aged 53 years.  Also Eliza Blewitt who died Dec 1st 18?? aged ?6 years."

Maria Blewitt was born Maria Haysome in Woodhay, Hampshire in 1830 to William Haysome, a farm bailiff, and his wife Ruth Chalice.

Maria first appears on the 1841 Census, aged eleven years, living with her parents and elder brothers William and Edward and her younger sister Elizabeth in Woodhay Hampshire.

1851 and the twenty one years old Maria is still living with her parents in Woodhay, Hampshire.  By 1851 William had emigrated to Austrailia with his wife Jane,   Edward Haysome was living in Woodhay, Hampshire with his wife Elizabeth and their two sons Charles and Henry.  Elizabeth Haysome was working as a housemaid for the Bunny family in Newbury Berkshire.

In 1858, the twenty eight year old Maria married William Henry Blewitt, a gardener and grocer in Cookham, Berkshire.  1859 saw the birth of their first child,m a son, William.  In 1861 Maria and William had moved to Nightingale Place in Cookham, along with two year old William, that same year they celebrated the birth of their second child Ann (listed on the 1861 Census as three month old Infant Blewitt).  Sadly their joy was short lived as young William was to die that same year.

1863 saw the birth of Maria and William's third child and second son, Henry Haysome Blewitt.  In 1865 they welcome a fourth child and third son, Edward into their family.  1868 saw the arrival of Ellen their fifth child and second daughter.  Another son James was welcomed in 1870.

By 1871 the family had moved to Tavern Row in Cookham, Berkshire.  At that time Maria's occupation is listed as a grocer.  Also living with the family is six month old Sydney E Evans, who is listed as a nurse child.  During the Victorian era many women took in nurse children, who they looked after for a monthly fee or a one off payment.  This gave rise to the infamous baby farmers who murdered their charges for profit.  Such a fate did not befall little Sydney, as he grew to marry and have children of his own.

William and Maria's final child and third daughter, Sarah is born in 1873.

Sadly in 1878, aged just forty eight, Maria was to pass away.  A year later in 1879 William Blewitt had remarried in Cookham, Berkshire to Elizabeth White.

Elizabeth White was born in 1840 in Trumpington, Cambridgeshire to William White, an agricultural labourer, and his wife Hannah Winell.

In 1881 William and his new wife Elizabeth have moved to Whitbrook Cottages in Cookham Berkshire.  William's children from his first marriage, Edward ,now sixteen and an agricultural labourer, James, now ten and eight year old Sarah  are living with them.  In 1884 William and Elizabeth have their only child together, Alice Edith Blewitt.

1891 and the family has moved to Mill Lane in Cookham.

Sadly in 1896 Elizabeth passes away aged 53.

Eliza Blewitt was born in Great Marlow Buckinghamshire in 1848 to Charles Blewitt, William's uncle, an agricultural labourer and his wife Sarah Corby.

Eliza first appears on the 1851 Census aged three years old, living with her parents and elder siblings, Robert, Sarah, Ellen, Charles and James in Chapel Street, Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire.  In 1861 Eliza and James are living with Robert and Sarah Howard at Nine Mile ride in Easthampsted, Berkshire. 

I am unable to find Eliza on the 1871 Census.  In 1881 Eliza is visiting the Neighbour family in Norwood, Middlesex.  I have been able to find a death index for Eliza.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Cemetery Sunday - Footstones

Holy Trinity, Cookham, Berkshire.

All Saints, Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

Footstones were small headstone shaped stones placed at the foot of the grave, usually a reserve of the well to do, they only contained the initials and the year of death of those buried in the grave.  As churchyards and cemeteries became crowded around the late 1850s and space a premium, footstones fell out of fashion.  Today it is unusual to find footstones in situ, many have been either removed or placed against the headstone to aid grass cutting.  Many more sadly fell victim to lawn cutting instruments and were damaged beyond repair.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Flashback Friday - Winifred Florence, Eleanor Amelia and Joseph Henry Manlove

**Originally posted 5th June 2012**

Monument to Winifred Florence, Eleanor Amelia and Joseph Henry Manlove.  All Saints Cemetery, Maidenhead Berkshire.

"In Loving Memory of

Winifred Florence, elder & beloved daughter of J.H and E.A Manlove
Born May 2nd 1884 - Died 28th Nov 1909
Thanks be to God which Giveth us the victory
Through our Lord Jesus Christ 1 Cor 15. 57


Eleanor Amelia Manlove
Bleoved wife of J.H Manlove
Born Feb 26th 1861 - Died May 15th 1928
"With Christ which is far better"

And of

Joseph Henry Manlove
Born June 8th 1856 - Died Oct 26th 1938

At Rest"

Joseph Henry Manlove was born in Maidenhead Berkshire in 1856 to Richard George Manlove, a coach builder and partner in the coach building firm Taylor and Manlove, and his wife Hannah Marks.

Joseph first appears on the 1861 Census aged four years old, living with his parents and elder brother Richard George Jr and his aunt Anne Marks, in Braywick Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire.

In 1871 the fourteen year old Joseph is boarding at his aunt Anne Howleston's house, 289 Greys Inn Road, Pancras, London.

Joseph, now an Iron Foundary Manager, married Eleanor Amelia Wright in Hackney in 1880.

Eleanor Amelia Wright was born in London in 1861 to John Wright, a London greengrocer and his wife Mary Ann.

Eleanor first appears on the 1871 Census aged nine years old, living with her parents, elder borther William and younger siblings, Albert, ernest, Henry and Emily at 18 Hampden Road, Islington, London.

In 1881 Joseph and Eleanor are living in Islington, London at 67 Junction Road.  Joseph and Eleanor's first child, a son Joseph Swalies was born in 1882 and their second child Winifred Florence was born in the May of 1884. 

On 2nd April 1887, Joseph Henry's father Richard George, passes away at home from Bronchitis.

By 1891 Joseph and his family have moved back to Maidenhead, possibly to be closer to Joseph's widowed mother Hannah.  The 1891 Census shows Joseph and his family living next door to Joseph's mother Hannah and his sister Florence Ann, in Sun Cottages, Sun Lane, Maidenhead Berkshire

In 1901 Joseph, his family, mother Hannah and sister Florence have moved to 26 Craufard Rise, Maidenhead Berkshire.  Joseph's occupation has changed from foundry manager to engineer's clerk.  Joseph Swalies is working as a bank clerk.  In 1902 Joseph and Eleanor's third and final child, a daughter Dorothy was born.

Sadly Winifred Florence was to pass away eight years later in 1909 aged only twenty five.

On 7th October 1909 Joseph Swalies Manlove marries Alice Gertrude Maunder in Marylebone, London

In 1911 Joseph and Eleanor are still living at 26 Craufard Rise, Maidenhead, Berkshire, along with their nine year old daughter Dorothy and Joseph's sister Florence Ann.

Joseph swalies is living with his wife's family in Wooburn, Buckinghamshire.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Samuel Waitman - Gardener and Cab Driver

Monument to Samuel and Daniel Samuel Waitman, All Saints Maidenhead Cemetery, Maidenhead Berkshire, England.

"In Memory of Samuel Waitman who died March 20th 1897 aged 60 years.  Also of Daniel Samuel Waitman son of the above who died May 4th 1898 aged 15 years - when we meet to part no more."

Samuel wait man was born in Cookham, Berkshire in 1835 to Daniel Waitman, a agricultural labourer, and his wife Ann.

The first record of Samuel I can find is the 1851 Census where Samuel appears aged 16 living with his parents and elder siblings, Mary and Andrew and his nephew Mary's son James W.

I am unable to locate Samuel again until 1879 when Samuel marries Emma Callahan.

In 1881 Samuel is a head gardener living in Bray with his wife Emma and 15 year old nephew Thomas.

In 1884 Samuel and Emma celebrate the birth of their only child, a son, Daniel Samuel Waitman.

By 1891 Samuel and his small family had moved to 27 Moffatt Street in Maidenhead, Berkshire.  That wasn't the only change.  Samuel's occupation is now listed as a cab driver.

Sadly on 20th March 1897 Samuel passed away, followed a little more than a year later by his 15 year old son Daniel.

In 1902 the widowed Emma married William Rose in Maidenhead, Berkshire.  They can be found on the 1911 Census living at 53 Moffatt street, Maidenhead Berkshire.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Cemetery Sunday - Sisters of The Nativity of Our Lord

Monument to the sisters of The Nativity of Our Lord, All Saints Maidenhead Cemetery, Maidenhead, Berkshire.

"Sisters of the Nativity of our Lord"

The above gravestone had no names or dates and was placed on a large plot. 

The catholic order of the Sisters of The Nativity of Our Lord was founded by Mother Mary Joseph de Franssu and Father Lewis Bathelemy Enfantin, in France.  In 1894 the convent moved from France to Sittingbourne in England to escape religious persecution. 

At some point before the early 1940s a group from the convent came to Maidenhead, Berkshire to set up a Covent school, The Nativity Of Our Lord School, for the education of catholic and non catholic children.  The school closed in 1982 when the convent sold the building and grounds to a committee of parents, which later became Clare's Court School.

Unfortunately my research seems to have hit a brick wall.  No one seems able to tell me when the sisters moved to Maidenhead and why they left or even who is buried in the grave at All Saints Maidenhead Cemetery.

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