Category Archives: Uncategorized

Poetic Inspiration

This is stub. An article will follow later

Bringing Them Home

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Underage Soldiers

This is a stub. Many boys lied about their age to get into the army. Sometimes their families highlighted this in the inscription they chose, sometimes the fact only emerged from research into their backgrounds.


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


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 […]