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    Chiang Mai Photos. The Foreigner's Cemetery

    In 1898 King Rama V granted a plot of land to Chiang Mai's resident Western foreign community. The plot was placed into the care of the resident British Consul. The plot was to be used as a graveyard for foreigners and was granted under two conditions, the plot may never be sold and only foreigners may be buried there.

    The graveyard has been in continuous use from 1900 until the present day. I visited yesterday, the first time I took a camera, and took the photos below. I'll add some notes from memory and update some details later when I've got the Foreign Cemetery's Guidebook (De Mortuiis) to hand.

    Last edited by DrB0b; 01-02-2010 at 06:08 PM.
    The Above Post May Contain Strong Language, Flashing Lights, or Violent Scenes.

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    The Great White Mother

    This statue of Queen Victoria originally stood outside the British Consulate, since closed. It was shipped from Britain to Burma and taken from Rangoon by train to Northern Burma. From there it was carried by elephant to Chiang Mai. Local Thai people, having heard of Queen Victoria's enormous brood of children, decided that she was a fertility Goddess and would make offerings to this statue in the hope that they too would have many children. If you look at the base of the statue you can see that it's been rubbed smooth by the touch of many hopeful hands over the years. Unfortunately that can't be seen in my photos (I'm an amateur, OK? )
    Last edited by DrB0b; 01-02-2010 at 01:59 PM.

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    These images are from the War Memorial, dedicated not only to foreign dead but also to the Seri Thai, the Free Thai resistance movement of World War 2. The Japanese also have a war memorial in Chiang Mai, although I've yet to see that.








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    A Danish Hero




    Born April 3 in Nasbyhoved, near Odense, in 1878, Jensen was seconded from the Danish army to the Siamese Provincial Gendarmerie in 1900 at the rank of Captain in order to maintain peace and control in Northern Siam's (now Thailand) rural and sparsely populated areas. It was there, only two years later, he became involved in the suppression of the infamous 'Shan Rebellion' of 1902.

    The Shan dacoits were Burmese and, as such, were British citizens, many thousands of whom had been employed it the teak cutting and ruby mining industries of Northern Siam. After many years of corruption and harsh treatment by their Siamese overlords in Bangkok they were simmering with anger and ripe for rebellion. They were harassed and overly taxed on such items as tobacco, pack animals, boats and even their own pigs. The final straw had been when a four-rupee poll tax that was meant to replace a forced labour tax but didn't, was enforced.

    Because of the obvious stirrings, a company of Gendarmerie was dispatched to the area but the dacoits were forewarned. On the night of July 23, 1902 they ambushed the party while sleeping, killing a number with the remainder fleeing for their lives.

    Realizing there was no turning back they finally rebelled fully and attacked the nearby township of Phrae, sacking the town and killing many locals, including the Governor, whom they beheaded. The rebellion had begun.

    There is a serious school of thought that holds that the rebellion was inspired by the British in Burma in an effort to control this valuable area of Northern Thailand, although there is no documented evidence to support this theory, which is hardly surprising. This, of course, does not mean it is untrue and many questions have been raised about the British involvement. For example, for such a comparatively small band of rebels (approximately 300) they obviously had to be well armed and provisioned to be able to cover the distances they did.

    Also, it is worth noting that this area of Northern Siam, including the capital of Chiang Mai, was held by the Burmese in the middle of the 19th Century and was still considered Burmese territory by them.

    From Phrae, where the rebellion began, to Lampang is a distance of approximately 200 kilometres; so it is difficult to imagine a group of poverty-stricken peasants achieving this without assistance.

    Although there were no more than 300 rebels they were obviously a determined, fierce, and well organized force for they then marched south to attack the City of Lampang, 100 kilometres south from Chiang Mai.

    Captain Jensen, who was placed in charge of the defence of Lampang, arrived from Chiang Mai on July 29 with a lieutenant and 54 soldiers and had the town barricaded to fend off the attackers.

    He was joined shortly after by his Second-in-Command, Louis T. Leonowens who was an officer in the Royal Siamese Cavalry and, jointly, they organized the defence of the city and arranged the evacuation of the women and children.

    Together, Captain Jensen and Leonowens successfully fought the rebels off and both men were reported to have acted with considerable bravery.

    Leonowens himself was a colourful character and was the son of Anna Leonowens of 'The King and I' fame. He had business interests in the teak industry and was a founding member, in 1898, of the Gymkhana Club in Chiang Mai, the first of its kind in Siam and still in existence. (It is of interest to note that Leonowens had a cousin named William Pratt who went to Hollywood, changed his name, and became Boris Karloff.)

    The British Consul in the northern capital, W. R. D. Beckett, was severely criticized by Leonowens for his role in the uprising, as he chose to remain in Chiang Mai and fortify that city. He thought the consul should have gone to meet and negotiate with the dacoits as they were British citizens. Instead, he sent his deputy.

    Having defeated the rebels at Lampang, killing 52 of them, Captain Jensen decided to pursue the remainder and finally put an end to their murderous rebellion. He chased them all the way to the city of Phayao (pronounced Pie-yow) with a force of 270 men. Eventually, he caught up with a group of rebels and opened fire. The fire was returned and Markvard Jensen was struck in the chest three times and killed.

    His body was recovered the following day by another Danish officer, Captain Halfdan Trolle, and taken back to Lampang where it was buried with full military honours. Shortly after the Second World War the cemetery in Lampang was closed and Jensen's body was removed to its present resting place in Chiang Mai.

    For his actions in suppressing the uprising in Lampang King Chulalongkorn immediately promoted him to Major and awarded him 10,000 baht, a fortune in those far off days.

    Unfortunately, Jensen never lived to see either promotion or reward.

    In recognition of his gallantry the King then awarded his mother a monthly pension of 3,000 baht for the rest of her life; which she received until her death in 1936.

    Chiang Mai (Northern Thailand) Tourist Guide
    Last edited by DrB0b; 01-02-2010 at 02:36 PM.

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    Interesting stuff DR Bob. That Jesen fella was born in denmark would'nt that make him a Danish hero?

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    Major Guilding was the first foreigner to be buried in the Chiang Mai Foreigner's cemetery. A somewhat mysterious figure. He appeared in Chiang Mai one day in 1900, after having apparently travelled by horseback all the way from Burma. He was suffering from dysentry and died before he could tell anybody what he was doing in Chiang Mai or where he had come from.

    I found this in the records of "Old Carthusians", people who'd been educated at Charterhouse Public School in England.

    Guilding, Edward Lainson, 1871. Son of Edward Wingfield Guilding, of 19, Great Russell Street, b. 1858. Bracketed Scholar of Pemb. Coll. Oxf. Passed into Sandhurst first on the list. 44th Regt.
    I'm certain this is the same man. The 44th Regiment was the "44th Essex Regiment of Foot". The inscription above states that he was in the "Essex Regiment". There's no date of birth on his gravestone but if the old Carthusian and the Chiang Mai Major are the same person then he was 42 years old when he died.

    Elsewhere, on the http://www.chiangmaitouristguide.com website it says that his military record shows that he was a Russian speaker and had been a member of the Command Staff in India. This was the time of the "Great Game". The struggle for dominance in Central Asia between the British Empire and the Russian Empire. Could Major Lansing have been on a secret mission which somehow went wrong? A spy? Could he have been, perhaps, a Victorian version of James Bond?
    Last edited by DrB0b; 01-02-2010 at 03:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nora tittoff View Post
    Interesting stuff DR Bob. That Jesen fella was born in denmark would'nt that make him a Danish hero?
    Ooops! For some reason I read HSM as "His Swedish Majesty" and then, on autopilot, typed "Swedish" in the title Obviously it should be His Siamese Majesty and Capt. Jensen was a Dane. Thanks for the correction and apologies to all you Danes out there

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrB0b View Post
    ... Could he have been, perhaps, a Victorian version of James Bond?
    'I'll have an ale, shaken not stirred... And no, we are most definately not amused'.

    Great thread Bob. I've been past the cemetary countless times but have never actually so much as slowed down to take a look.

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    Many, if not most, of the Westerners who lived in 19th and early 20th Century Chiang Mai were either foresters/loggers or missionaries. Notice that Mr Wilkins was only 36 years old when he died and that his epitaph states that he's now "free from all sorrow, sickness, and pain". The number of foreigners buried in this cemetery who died either in infancy or in the prime of life is noticeable.

    While Chiang Mai city was not a particularly unhealthy posting the forests and jungles, where many of the foreign community worked or preached most certainly were. Malaria, dysentry, and dengue were common, and there was a blackwater fever epidemic in the 1920s. Northern Thailand could be a risky place to live.

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    Last edited by DrB0b; 01-02-2010 at 04:40 PM.

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    Fantastic thread, Dr. Bob. Really interesting. I have been to most of the foreign cemeteries in India, where one can spend a day just reading the inscriptions, and the wide range of units from different countries from which they came. Thanks for a really informative thread. I have never been there, but it is now on my 'must go' list for my next trip to CM.

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    The mausoleum of W.A.R. Wood is the largest in the cemetery. Wood was a former British Consul-General in Chiang Mai - who wrote the well-known (still published) book, Consul in Paradise - Trasvin Publications, 1992. The book's Afterword - by Michael Smithies - says that W.A.R. Wood's burial plot is D1, with his mausoleum closeby. Wood married a woman of Shan descent in 1906: 'Boon' (Panya) Chitpreecha. (See a reference to Boon's grave in the topmost article of this post.) They had two daughters. Wood sent his wife to study the English Language, and English customs, with his parents in England for a couple of years, but he always seems to have accepted that his 'local' marriage to a commoner was an impediment to his career - and that he would thus never progress to higher positions abroad. Such were the prejudices of British Consular Service in the early 20th Century. Wood died in 1970 at the age of 91. His wife had a British passport, so she was able to join her surviving daughter, Amala Rose, in Dorchester, England. Boon died in Dorchester in 1982 at the age of 92. Her ashes were returned to Thailand, and are interred next to her husband. W.A.R. Wood was interned as an 'enemy alien' ,by the Imperial Japanese Army, in Bangkok during World War II. It is said that this was one aspect of his life that he never wished to talk or write about. It is known, however, that - despite the fairly reasonable conditions of his internment (probably due to the generosity of his many Thai friends) - he always referred to himself and his interned expatriate friends as 'prisoners'.

    [OTOPH] One Tambon One [PHOTO]: Tambon Nong Hoi, Amphur Muang (City District), Jungwat Chiang Mai
    W. A. R. Wood, who died at 91, arrived in Bangkok in July 1896, ''eighteen and a half years old,'' Maj. R. W. Wood writes, ''the youngest consular officer who ever came to Siam, or, I think, to any other eastern post.''

    His duties included those of judge, executioner and undertaker. ''It is not a very pleasant job, hanging a man, but it was all part of the day's work for a British Consul in Siam when I was young.''

    So, it seems, was the banishing of demons. On one of his tours, by elephant, Mr. Wood describes a village headman complaining of an evil spirit in his rice bin.

    They arranged to meet after dark, where Mr. Wood showed the headman a box of 21 cartridges, 20 red and 1 black. The last, he said, was carefully prepared following the directions in his late uncle's magic book. Putting the black cartridge in his gun and solemnly reciting a verse from ''Jabberwocky,'' Mr. Wood let fly into the rice bin. Three weeks later, as he returned along the same road, Mr. Wood was greeted by the headman bearing gifts. The demon, it seemed, had been routed.

    His book, Mr. Wood writes, ''contains no information which is likely to be of practical use to anybody,'' but merely consists ''of a little of the froth collected by a cork which has floated for 68 years on the seas of Siamese and Anglo-Siamese life.''

    But it is the froth one remembers. Though annoyed by his internment in Japanese-occupied Bangkok in World War II, Mr. Wood returned to Chiang Mai, writing, gardening and teaching English to young Thais, until his death in 1970.

    ''And so we buried him,'' Major Wood writes in ''De Mortuis,'' ''not perhaps among the kings, but precisely where he wished to be, in a mausoleum, a chapel, built by his family in the cemetery, containing a bronze bust of himself.''

    His inscription reads simply: ''He loved Thailand.''

    Chiang Mai Journal; Verdant Land Where Victoria Stares and Stares - NYTimes.com
    THE CONSUL WHO LOVED FIGHTING BEETLES
    Andrew Forbes

    Beyond a shadow of doubt the most distinguished foreign resident of Chiang Mai the last century was William Alfred Rae Wood, CIE, CMG.
    In 1896, at the callow age of 18, Wood arrived in Bangkok to start work as a junior member of the British Consular Service. Over the next seventeen years, between periods in Bangkok, he served as British Vice-Consul at Nan, Chiang Rai, Songkhla and Lampang before, in 1913, being appointed British Consul at Chiang Mai. Here he remained for the remainder of his diplomatic career, becoming in due course British Consul-General in 1918.
    In 1931, after three-and-a-half decades in the British diplomatic service, Wood retired and returned briefly to England. He found he could not settle outside Thailand, however, and soon returned to spend the rest of his life (barring only a bitter period of internment during World War II) at his home in Ban Nong Hoi, by the banks of the River Ping. Wood died in 1970, at the ripe old age of 91. He is buried in a mausoleum in Chiang Mai Foreign Cemetery, beside his wife Khun Boon, nee Panya Chitpreecha, of Chiang Rai, whom Wood married in 1906, and whose ashes were returned from England to Chiang Mai after her death in 1982. The inscription on Wood's tomb reads, simply, "He loved Thailand".
    During his very full life W.A.R. Wood involved himself in many aspects of Thai culture with enthusiasm and appreciation. He learned to speak, read and write fluent Thai during the last years of the 19th century, and subsequently researched and wrote the first comprehensive, modern study of Thai history to be published in any language (A History of Siam, 1926). Subsequent writings include his lyrical Consul in Paradise (1965), and Tales from Thailand (1968). In his retirement he often sent letters and poems to The Bangkok Post, which were printed under various pseudonyms, the most frequently used being "Lotus". Wood's great love for Siam, and his enthusiasm for things Thai - especially North Thai - is apparent in his writings. In some cases he took these enthusiasms to lengths which one might not, perhaps, have expected in so venerable a figure as the British Consul-General - but that all seems to have been part of Wood's extraordinary charm. A fine example of this taste for the unexpected was his enthusiasm for rhinoceros beetle-fighting, or kuang chon.

    Chiang Mai (Northern Thailand) Tourist Guide
    Beer for the
    The history of British Garden Parties
    by W.A.R.Wood, Bangkok World Sunday Magazine, 27 Aug 1967.

    In former times, when there were very large numbers of Asian British Subjects living in Thailand, the garden parties which were annually given at the British Legation and British Consulates on the occasion of the British Sovereign's birthday were, as may be supposed, very big affairs, and it was an established custom to borrow an army band to enliven the proceedings.
    When I took over the British Consulate at Chiengmai in 1913, my predecessor told me that the Commandant of the local garrison had always been very cooperative in regard to this matter. Still, as a new-comer, I thought it proper to call in person on Major-General Phipit Deja, the Commandant at that time, to ask for the services of the army band. The General readily agreed, and I then asked him:-"What should I give the bandsmen to drink ? Would beer be appreciated ?" Phya Phipit looked rather shocked, and replied:- "The army bandsmen never drink beer. Plain water, or maybe a few bottles of some soft drink, would be more suitable." Still, with faint recollections in my mind of still earlier parties in Bangkok, I set aside a certain quantity of beer in case of emergency. After the party had got under way, and the band had played their first tune, my Clerk came along to me and whispered:- "The bandmaster wants to know where the beer is!" A liberal supply of beer was at once sent along for the band, but this soon ran out, and more was needed. I sent out to the town for more beer, but this, too, soon showed signs of running short. Phya Phipit, who was among the guests, had left early, so was quite unaware of the shameful way in which I was running counter to his principles. When the beer and the party were drawing to a close, and the guests were beginning to leave, a tremendous rain storm started. It was too wet for the bandsmen to embark on the two boats which were waiting to take them home across the river, so they sought shelter in my office. Once there, the conversation immediately turned to the subject of beer. But there was not a single bottle of beer left, and it was too late to send out to seek for more. So I very apologetically said to the bandmaster:- " My 'farang' guests have made such terrific onslaughts onto the beer that there is not a solitary bottle left. I have, however, a few bottles of a drink called 'yin,' do you think your men could make do with that?" He said that they would do their best, and it soon became apparent that their best was pretty good. The last drop of rain and the last drop of gin came to an end simultaneously. Then came the task of inserting the musicians into their boats, and this was some job. Several of them saw four or five boats, and stepped into the boats which were not there, and I and my two clerks performed some pretty heroic feats in the life-saving line. At last the party cast off, all singing very merrily as they crossed the dark river. The next day I went to thank Phya Phipit for his kindness in lending me the band, and took the occasion to enquire whether his men had all arrived back without mishap. He seemed surprised at the question, saying that it was only a short way across the river, and that there was little risk of any accident. He was clearly quite unaware of their exploits with beer and gin, and of the heroic deeds which had been performed at the time of their embarkation, and I would have been the last man to enlighten him.

    A year later, when I again borrowed the army band, I made no enquiries as to suitable refreshments, but laid in an extremely liberal supply of beer, and had no need to fall back upon 'yin.' As a result, all the bandsmen went back happy, but none of them incapable.
    Still, that first garden party I gave in Chiengmai, with beer and gin for the band, remains in my memory as the jolliest of all. I had fourteen altogether.


    ChiangMai Citylife - - Get to know Chiang Mai better with these in-depth articles about Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    The above quotes all come from an article on the Foreign Cemetery at [OTOPH] One Tambon One [PHOTO]: Tambon Nong Hoi, Amphur Muang (City District), Jungwat Chiang Mai

    A central episode of the book relates how Wood met his Thai wife, daughter of a Chiang Rai farmer but who rose to become a star of Chiang Mai society. Wood first saw her as she rode a buffalo in her father's fields and fell instantly in love with the 14-year-old country girl. He wooed her, waiting until she was of marriageable age and then persuading her father to part with the young woman.

    The marriage was a great success, and the Woods lived happily together, in Thailand and in England, until W.A.R.-- as he came to be known - died in 1970, aged 91. His wife, Boon, followed him in 1982, and her ashes were interred next to her husband's remains in a family chapel in the Chiang Mai cemetery. His epitaph reads simply: "He loved Thailand." Hers is inscribed: "At rest in the good earth she loved."

    Chiang Mai (Northern Thailand) Tourist Guide
    The book referred to in the above quote is the Cemetery Committee's Guide to Chiangmai Foreign Cemetery. 200 Baht from the caretaker.
    De Mortuis
    Copies of the 6th edition of 'De Mortuis: the story of the Chiang Mai Foreign Cemetery' are now available. This edition has notes and stories of the 150 persons buried in the foreigners' cemetery since 1898; more than forty entries have been added in the last ten years and it now runs to more than one hundred pages. 'De Mortuis' is an interesting pocket history of some aspects of Chiang Mai life and of some of the foreigners who lived and died here.

    Priced at 200 baht per copy, it is available at the cemetery and other locations in Chiang Mai.

    Or, by post from the honorary treasurer, A. C TUCKER, PO BOX 228 CMU, CHIANG MAI 50202, THAILAND. Cheques made payable to 'A. C. Tucker' as follows, 230 baht (mailed to Thailand), Pound Sterling 5.50, and US$9 (worldwide).

    These donations to cemetery funds are used for maintenance and upkeep.
    Below are details on W.A.R Wood's own book on his 68 years in Thailand, most in Chiang Mai;

    Consul in Paradise:
    Sixty-eight Years in Siam
    W. A. R. Wood
    ISBN 974-9575-12-1
    2003. 191pp, 145x210mm, 400g, B425
    North Thailand
    Last edited by DrB0b; 01-02-2010 at 04:31 PM.

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    Leo G.M.Alting von Geusau 1925-2002

    Leo Alting von Geusau was an extraordinary man, born into a high class Dutch military family: socialist, highly educated, whose career started as a priest in the Catholic church but ended as a social anthropologist who had renounced organised religion. This complex man will never be forgotten by those who knew him, and the legacy of his work with the Akha will provide both a foundation for other scholars to follow and place the Akha into a historical context which should help them into a more sustainable future.

    Leo was born in The Hague, Netherlands, on the 4th April, 1925. His first degree was an MA (equivalent) at the Philosophical Theological Institute, Driebergen in 1950. He obtained a PhD from St Thomas’ University, Rome, in 1954. His dissertation was entitled ‘History of Paedobaptism in the Council of Trent, Calvin and Zwingli’. He commenced his Anthropology studies at the New School for Social Research, New York in 1972 and received his MA in 1975 with a thesis entitled ‘Religion and “Primitive” Society: The Evolution and Transformation of Myth’. He passed his PhD candidacy examinations in 1977 stressing the ‘Statics and Dynamics in the Akha Worldview and Myth’. He conducted dissertation fieldwork on this subject between 1977 and 1981 in Ban Ayo Mai and Maw La Akha villages in northern Thailand. His dissertation was never submitted.

    Despite an offer of a PhD from Nijmegen University if he were to have collated his published works into a book, Leo instead devoted his time and energy to the pressing priorities of the many Ahka projects of his creation.

    Leo devoted the rest of his life to the Akha, both as a researcher and an archivist. Through the various Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) he established, Leo assisted the Akha in placing themselves into modern society. He married an Akha, Deleu Jupoh, in 1981 and their daughter, Anya was born in 1989.

    The first and main NGO he established in 1985 (legally recognised in 1989) was the ‘Mountain Peoples’ Culture and Development Education’ (MPCDE) foundation. This was the first such organisation for mountain minority peoples. The objectives were to give the minorities equal access to modern education, citizenship, and integration into the national economy. Also, to provide information, documentation and research on traditional culture and knowledge, and highlight the problems of integration and adaptation to modern society; and to promote ‘self development’ based upon centuries old human and cultural resources. The ultimate goal was to have the mountain people manage and sustain this NGO themselves and to have them making their own decisions instead of relying on, or being manipulated by, outsiders. A research centre was set up at Leo’s home in Nantaram, Chiang Mai, which included an extensive library and documentation centre. Leo had an unrivalled knowledge of the Akha’s culture, much of which has gone with him, but he did present and have published many academic papers. He was also translating the ancient Akha texts which are to be published posthumously in book form.

    Leo will probably best be remembered for being a founding member of the committee to organise the tri-annual Akha/Hani conferences, the fourth of which was held in the Red River area of Yunnan in December 2002. This was Leo’s final academic contribution and he was given fifteen minutes on China’s national television station, which covered the conference. When he returned to Chiang Mai he said this conference had been extremely tiring, both physically and mentally. He died of heart failure on the 26th December at the age of 77 and was buried in the Chiang Mai Foreign Cemetery on the 31st December, 2002.


    http://www.chiangmainews.com/indepth/details.php?id=313

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    Last edited by DrB0b; 30-08-2017 at 02:01 PM.

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    What's with the "Deeply Regretted" inscription on one of them?

    Deeply regretted (dieing)?
    Deeply regretted (by someone else)?

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    These are my last two photos from the cemetery. This grave is tucked away in a corner, beside a hedge, away from all the other graves but one. I can't find any details on the child buried here.




    I've deliberately left out most of the modern interments and most of those of children. There was one which moved me deeply, I think the grave was about 10 or 20 years old, I'm not going to post a picture of it.

    A small slab, with four pictures, obviously drawn by a child, which had been embedded into four green ceramic tiles. It was the grave of a 3 year old boy who had died by drowning. His epitaph was "Such a Strong Boy". I'm not ashamed to say that that moved me to tears, still does as I think of it now. I don't know who his family were, my thoughts were with them most of yesterday afternoon and much of today.

    For children, at least, I hope there's a heaven and that their strong little boy is living and playing there in sunshine and happiness right now and I hope that one day he and his family will all be together again.

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