Oct 2, 2014

Royal Naval Cemetery

As I mentioned in my last post, I spent a few hours yesterday up at the Royal Naval Cemetery located on the west end of Bermuda.   This is a very interesting place to those who love history and untold stories.   Below is a mixture of photos that will bore most people but others may find it interesting to see how things were done in the 1800's.

Headstones that contain the cause of death, others with amazing artwork, some with phrases rarely seen today and amazing the condition some of them are in considering the very destructive nature of Bermuda's weather.  Some of these headstones are 150-200 years old yet are still readable and in amazing condition.

The photos are a mixture of colour and black and white.  The day started overcast and the mood seemed fit for b&w but as the morning wore on the sun tilted more towards colour.

It says 1819 but I found a stone dated 1818, the picture is down below away.

As seen from the road, you wander down through the stones but it's worth  going off the trail and checking out the stones.  But watch where you walk.

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There is no coordination to the location of the stones, they are scattered throughout.  Makes me wonder how many have been lost over the years or are buried under the grass.

The designs and artwork are really nice, they put some serious work into the stones.

Some are buried on the edges.

When was the last time you used the word lamented in a sentence?

At first glance you think "wow the HMS Terror" that was lost in the Canadian arctic with the Franklin Expedition.  But nope, she was lost in the 1840's, this would have been the next HMS Terror.  But in my reading of sailing voyages, yellow fever was a nasty thing to run through a ships company.

"Died from the effects of a fall"  - really?  If someone were to go through the graveyard and write down the names of all the ships the list would be really long.

"Accidentally Drowned"  - is there another way?

Free Mason artwork on many of the stones.


I find this really cool, "all their shipmates who died during the commission".

"departed this life"  1824.

This is the oldest stone I found, 1818, above is the original (tough to see) below I zoomed in on the date.

"Sappers and Miners" = engineer corps.  1842 - 1846.

An in-camera pano of the backend of the cemetery.

More of the amazing artwork on some of the graves.

This is brilliant.  Located on top of one of the graves.

The "HMCS Sorel" was a Canadian Corvette.

"HMCS Rimouski", another Canadian Corvette.

"HMCS Dunver" - a Canadian Frigate.

I was not aware that there was a British frigate name "HMS Quebec".  Also nice to see this one is remembered by others.

A Canadian Forces member from 1969.  Another mystery I need to look into.

Throughout the graveyard there are many stones that have the death of the husband on top and the wife within a few years below.  Was this a thing of the times?  Were the spouses unable to carry on or just a coincidence?   Unfortunately there were numerous stones like this.


Taking a bath was risky.   I assume in those days a swim would be a bath.

A Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve.  Interesting.....

From the "HMS Canada".

Rupture of a blood vessel.

I could post hundreds of more pictures of long lost stories and amazing things.  This graveyard is fascinating.   But if you visit please be respectful of the stones and your surroundings.

1 comment:

  1. Scott - in regards to Larry Cowen, you may not recollect but we had an annual fishing tournament sponsored by Station Fund to commemorate his death. You could probably talk to some of the "oldtimers" and get additional info. If you would like to provide a copy of your photo to Leitrim I am sure they would add it to the display case with other Bermuda memories.