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Remembered Today:

CWGC headstone of Slate ?


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Tucked away in the beatiful churchyard of St Just-in-Roseland (Cornwall) I found this dark grey headstone.

Could it be of slate - or has the Cornish weather changed it?

Inscription: J.MACKENZIE 8073/A

Seaman RNR

HMS Princess Ena

23rd August 1915 Age 24.

post-19-1082919184.jpg

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I recall Haig`s headstone in Dryburgh Abbey being of standard CWGC type, but of a rich coloured stone. It also had, as I recall, 4 or 5 regimental crests on, being of his own and the regiments of which he was Col in chief. Phil B

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Chris,

you are almost certainly right but a quick email toCWGC will confirm the materials used. There have also been a couple of threads on the forum which have also covered this topic

regards

Brian

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John, Phil and Brian

Thanks for your responses - it's the first one in slate that I have seen and didn't really expect to see one on the Roseland Peninsular. There has to be a story around this one - HMS Princess Ena was still in action in 1919, the commemoration is to a true Scot!

Best wishes

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Slate is a reasonably common material for CWGC headstones in certain areas (eg Wales). It has also been widely used for naval headstones in some areas.

Many different stones are used for the official headstones and these have been discussed many times. A search of the Forum should pull out several threads.

Haig's headstone should not be of a standard CWGC type as it is not a War Grave but should be of one of the very similar Non-World War headstone designs - if it is not a private headstone design.

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Thanks Terry. But wouldn`t the presence of the regimental crests (along with its shape) indicate that it was produced by CWGC, even if not officially one? I doubt if they would have refused a request from his family! Phil B.

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No, CWGC did not supply the headstone.

They would not be permitted to do so under their Royal Charter. It would actually be a misuse of their funds as it is not a war grave - he died outside the qualifying dates.

Many people copy CWGC stones to a greater or lesser degree and many include regimental crests.

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  • 16 years later...

The original picture of the gravestone in the OP not being available, here is mine from a holiday there in 2010. Cornish Delabole slate is my guess (St Just-in-Roseland is stunningly beautiful: I do recommend a visit when you can).

https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/347435/mackenzie,-/

 

J Mackenzie RNR.jpg

(I'm sorry it's a bit fuzzy, by the way)

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11 minutes ago, seaJane said:

(I'm sorry it's a bit fuzzy, by the way)

 

Don't sell yourself short sj,  it's more than just a bit fuzzy :D

 

BillyH  (sorry, couldn't help myself)

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You'll learn ;):D

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Yes , several slate CWGC stones in Bangor, Glanadda including this one:

 

J. Doheny.jpg

 

©DByS

 

There was a plentiful supply in the local hills, and many of the fallen were slate quarrymen.

 

 

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
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Very nice Dai, lettering looks crisp and almost new.  As and when these "wear out" or are damaged, I think they're being replaced with standard limestone ones - a couple of N.Wales slate ones in Carmarthen which looked OK when I lived there in the mid-1990s were replaced years ago with the white variety. 

 

Originally there was an effort by CWGC to use a "local / regional" stone where this was appropriate.  I can recall seeing a Cheshire sandstone one on the Wirral back in the early 1970s, but perhaps inevitably it's now a white stone.  Many in Scotland are of granite, which is pretty durable, but perhaps the same rule will apply when, say, damage occurs?

 

Clive

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