Author Archives: Sarah

Spiritualism

This is a stub entry – there is more to come

The Poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning

Despite the fact that Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poetry was better known than her husband’s during her lifetime, it is his poetry that appears more frequently in headstone inscriptions. [This is a stub]

Popular Songs

This is a stub – more later Personal inscriptions quoted songs from the eighteenth-century Jacobite Revolution, the American Civil War, the British Music Hall and at least one musical from Jerome Kern. Click on the associated posts to see these inscriptions

Shakespeare

The works of William Shakespeare were a popular source for inscriptions with Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Anthony and Cleopatra, Henry V and Macbeth probably being the most popular. People sometimes ask me if there is a difference between the inscriptions chosen by officers’s and soldiers’ families. As I say in Private William Walls’ inscription, whilst officers’ […]

George Sainton Kaye Butterworth 1885-1916

On the idle hill of summer, Sleepy with the flow of streams, Far I hear the steady drummer Drumming like a noise in dreams. Far and near and low and louder On the roads of earth go by, Dear to friends and food for powder, Soldiers marching, all to die. East and west on fields […]

1 July 1916

Wikipedia gives the total number of British soldiers killed along a twenty-mile stretch of the frontline on 1 July 1916, the opening day of the Somme campaign, as an exact 19,240. But it doesn’t really matter whether this figure is exact or not, it is enough to know that almost twenty thousand men were killed, […]

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1809-1892, was and remains one of Britain’s favourite poets. He is the ninth most quoted author in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations so it’s not surprising that he is the source of many headstone inscriptions. Perhaps the one that appears most regularly comes from The Ode on the Death of the Duke […]

Epitaphs from Gallipoli

To go straight to the epitaphs Between 25 April 1915 and the 9 January 1916 somewhere in the region of 149,000 men died on the Gallipoli peninsular. While the number of the dead from the British Empire and Commonwealth is generally accepted to be fairly accurate, those from France and the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) are […]

Roland Leighton

Like many bereaved parents, Roland’s mother wrote a memoir of her son, but hers was completely unlike any other that was published. Called ‘Boy of My Heart’, it looks exactly like a novel. The dust jacket has an idealised sepia sketch of a handsome young man in uniform, and the hard cover is embossed with […]

Gilbert Talbot

Gilbert Talbot Born 1 September 1891 Killed in action 30 July 1915 Whatever might have happened to others, I am sure that Gilbert would have fulfilled his early promise. Harold Macmillan The Winds of Change 1966 Harold Macmillan, British Conservative Prime Minister 1957-1963, Gilbert’s contemporary at Oxford, had the career that Gilbert wanted and thought […]