Colleen Harley says: The war cemetery is such a calm place for a visit. I saw one of the soldiers during a visit , leaning on the gate post. I was a bit spooked at first but he saluted and then faded.

 

This is a very special place and you are never alone here.

First of all I should say that the paths in the cemetery are suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs but there are a few steep ones depending on which way you choose to go. Also, the grass can be muddy especially by the main gates on the right hand side as you go in. The graves on the hillside are hard to get to if you are unsteady on your feet.

 

Starting at the gates, on the left hand side is woodland  and on the right hand side is a hill which has the Roman Catholic burials, mostly Commonwealth War Graves, but there are a few other ones, notably Count Wollowicz who was an assistant surgeon at the hospital. He died at the age of 32 after a long illness. He requested that his heart be sent back to Poland after his death. There is more to read if you look him up on the Burials from 1864 tab.

Grave of Count Wollowicz

 

 

 

The first Commonwealth War Grave in the Roman Catholic section belongs to Lance Serjt. W. Curley from the Irish Guards who died on 20th August 1914

The earlier graves are at the top of the hill.

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

 

Do not stand at my grave and weep;

I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning's hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

 

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry;

I am not there. I did not die.

 

Anon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Come back down the hill and you come to a choice of paths.

 

 

 

The one on the right which goes up a steep hill...

 

 

or the one on the left which is quite straight and not so steep..

Whichever path you choose, they both end up at the Commonwealth War Graves.

 

By taking the left hand path, you will first come across the Officers Section of the cemetery.

 

Here are buried the officers and who died at Netley hospital or in a local one from the 1870's to the 1970's.

 

By the side of the Officers plot there is a path which goes up the hill  and rejoins the other path.

 

 

 

A little further down you will see the headstones for children and other ranks of soldiers and their families from 1871 - 1911

You can see how the ground slopes in this photo. Remember that there are burials all under the grass in this cemetery. Lots of headstones have been lost over the years or the graves were left unmarked when they were originally made.

 

 

 

Here is another path leading to the top. The two trees here were cut down but...

the two at the top are still there.

In the next plot are more family and soldiers graves, some from the Boer War. In the distance are the Commonwealth War Graves.

From here you can go straight on until you reach the cemetery fence or you can turn right to go to the top.

If you take the right hand path and look over to the right, you can see just how steep the hill is where the Roman Catholic burials are.

 

 

 

A few steps further on and we come across some Belgian graves

 

 

 

Here they are viewed from the front

 

 

 

This is the grave of John Hoare which appears to be on it's own halfway down the hill a few yards in front of the Belgian graves. There are many other unmarked burials here.

 

Carry on walking and the path opens out into the main part of the cemetery. On the left is the Officers and Army Medical staff graves...

 

 

 

 

and on the right is a view of the oldest graves looking down over the hill

If you stand on the path and look over to the right, near the fence next to the bush is the first burial in the cemetery according to the register. It belongs to Georgina Attwood, a school teacher.

Carrying on along the path, there are graves dotted about on both sides. Family members as well as staff from the hospital and soldiers.

There are some seats to use, simply to rest your legs or to enjoy the lovely trees and wildlife.

On the left side of the path there is a Russian grave which I have been trying to find out more about and at last I have found out who is buried here thanks to my son Paul and his Russian friend Max Khitrin who very kindly translated the headstone. He says:

 

It's even written in language that was used before revolution in 1917. It says:
First arc line is words from the Bible, don't know how it's right translated into English. Something like "in the name of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit"
The big word means "Amen"
Then it says that there buried Russian sailors from the frigate "Kniaz (like king or mostly like prince in English) Pozharsky". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_ironclad_Kniaz_Pozharsky
Then there there are their names: Иван Любимкин (Ivan Lubimkin), Николай Калутин (Nikolay Kalutin) and Василий Зорин (Vasili Zorin).
They died in 2,8 and 9 of September, 1873.

 

I am very happy to have the correct information. Thank you Max.

 

 

On the right side there are the later burials in the cemetery. Some from WWII and a few private graves.

Here are the WWI Commonwealth War Graves. The first one is of Private A.R. Pearce from the Dorsetshire Regiment and died on 14th September 1914.

 

The graves are in order of the date of death so it is relatively easy to find the one you are looking for if you know when the soldier died.

Tread Softly

 

Tread softly as you walk the sunken path.

Tread softly, or you'll miss the nervous laugh.

Quietly they call, then sharply cry,

As bullets whine and young men slump and die.

Tread softly, friends are all around,

Snugly they lie beneath the mossy ground.

You'll catch a whiff of woodbine on the air

But do not strain your eyes, they're everywhere.

 

They quietly watch, as you go by

And think, as you are now, so once was I.

They stay, you leave, and can return,

It's that which makes them sadly yearn,

 

 

Tread softly then and creep away.

     

Lieut. Col. Dennis Hampton Jeffery

 

 

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The Cross of Sacrifice was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield for the Imperial War Graves Commission (now Commonwealth War Graves Commission) and is usually present in Commonwealth war cemeteries containing 40 or more graves. It is normally a freestanding four point limestone Latin cross in one of three sizes ranging in height from 18 to 32 feet. On the face of the cross is a bronze broadsword, blade down. It is usually mounted on an octagonal base. The Cross represents the faith of the majority of the dead and the sword represents the military character of the cemetery.

from wikipedia

 

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They Did Not Die In Vain

 

Mourn not for them, though they are gone;

They would not have it so.

But keep the memories always fresh,

Although the tear-drops flow.

They knew, they went, they sacrificed

Young lives for you and me,

And also for Old England,

To keep her strong and free.

Into the great unknown they sailed

With heads held proud and high.

Today we still remember them

As years go rolling by.

And now they dwell in Heaven above,

Freed from all earthly pain.

We that are left must strive to see

They did not die in vain.

 

R. Robson

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