DITTISHAM VILLAGE VOICE April 8

 

 

Returning to England after many years of living in exotic places and hot, steamy climes, one of my delights was to sit in a quiet, country graveyard or wander amongst the tombstones deciphering the names and dates and epitaphs. As Thomas Grey wrote:

 

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude Forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

 

Henry Harvey and his wife Di have worked tirelessly in St George’s graveyard keeping the vegetation at bay and over the last few years have uncovered several tombs.  Realising that there was no plan for the upper churchyard graves and that more and more people are seeking relatives  Henry has meticulously drawn up three  plans  and numbered each grave in the three areas of the old churchyard..  On a beautiful, sunny Wednesday twelve (how appropriate) volunteers turned up and in teams they managed to  record history. (see photo)  They also cleared away ivy from walls  and burnt down a horrid pampas grass area under which two more tombs were discovered.  Terrific job done but there is more to the story.  Towards the end of the  big clear up a Mr. Quentin Hall from Western Australia appeared in the gloaming.  He had travelled from Exeter by bus to Totnes then by boat to Ditsum to find out if any of his family were buried here as some of them had farmed in the parish in the 1800’s.  He had discovered records of Dittisham Burials in the Exeter Library Historical Records/Registry Office which will be very useful to the recording team and he sent Henry the  list of  burials for 1811.  It is hoped that we can help Mr. Hall.  The next task is to put the records on a website.  Any volunteers?.  Henry says he is better at drawing plans!

The APCM is this Sunday, April 10 after the 9.15 morning service.

If you would like to help decorate the Church for Easter do turn up anytime after 9.30am on the Saturday.

Easter Services are as follows:

Good Friday  - Prayers and Readings 6.00pm

Easter Day –Eucharist at 9.15am

 

 

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