Grave search 1

Regular readers of both my blogs probably know of my fascination with old cemeteries which leads to often posting grave pictures, specially on The Firefly Photo Files. The only reason I post most on there and not here is cause I often discover interesting grave yards in small town while on holiday and weekend outings and it doesn’t fall within the Port Elizabeth area.  Anyway, due to the fact that I post these I have had a couple of people e-mailing me and asking me to look up graves of their ancestors around PE.  Unfortunately its not always that easy and I don’t often have that much time to do the research and then the subsequent search for the actual grave.  Due to this it takes me a little time to get to them and I often think people think I had forgotten. 
One of the very first people who asked me to find a grave for them was Ann Darling from the UK.  She was looking to find her grandfather, Gordon Darling’s grave in the South End cemetery and luckily for me she had a grave number, which helped quite a lot when I went to the cemetery’s office.  Her grandparents and their 3 small children lived in Port Elizabeth when her grandfather died in 1930.  Her grandmother and the kids (of which one was Ann’s father) moved back to England shortly after and nobody has been back here since those days.  It was quite easy to find the grave once I was shown where it was on the cemetery’s layout and off I went.  It didn’t take long to find it with it’s two heart stones, just like Ann described. I think the thing that surprised me the most was Ann’s reaction when I sent her the pictures. WOW! It really made the effort worth it.  There are a couple more that I have been looking for and some I have found.  I will post them in the near future as well.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Gaelyn

    Jonker, this is such a wonderful way to pursue your curiosity about old cemeteries and help others out. I'll bet Ann, and family, were very happy with your image.

  2. Anne Darling

    Yes indeed, Anne and her family were truly happy and extremely grateful to Jonker for taking the time and trouble to look for this grave. My grandfather died in 1930 so I never knew him. His death is shrouded in mystery – supposedly suicide but there were four other bullets found near his body. Bungled attempts perhaps, but odd for a man who had been a solider. Anyway, I love this photo Jonker. The heart-shaped stone at the bottom reads 'Dear Daddy – from Archie, Rachel and Mattie'. Archie was my father and he was just 8 years old when he stood in front of this grave and watched his father buried – just so sad! None of our family is living in Port Elizabeth any more (so far as I know) so we are relying on people like you to help us out in our quest to uncover the past. We are hoping to find out something about the inquest in the near future and if there is anything interesting I will let you know. Thanks again Jonker, you're a star!

  3. John Unsworth

    It is interesting to see how well maintained the area is.