Friday, 30 November 2007

From the Cradle...

gravestone Vincent BrooksFrom reading the obituary in the British & Colonial Printer Circular, we knew that Vincent Brooks was laid to rest in Wandsworth Cemetery. His funeral, four days after his death, took place on October 3rd 1885.
Working in Selhurst and finishing early on a Friday I decided to track down his final resting place, if indeed it was still there. For a small fee I could have checked the local borough's cemetery records but declined, thinking that it might take the spontaneity out of the expedition. Walking from Wandsworth Common Station, on an overcast autumn day, I reached the cemetery and regretted not having done my research. Wandsworth cemetery is large. Some areas were obviously more recent than others but half a mile of probable headstones, crosses and angels stretched down the gentle hill, their colour matching the threatening clouds above.

Not quite knowing what to do or where to start (we only came across the colour print, right, later on) I walked towards the cemetery's two chapels. I was here and I had to start somewhere. I was drawn across to the plots on the right hand side of the road, as good a place to start as any. Bainford, no, Seaman, no, Vincent Brooks, yes! Just three graves into my search there he was. Much to my surprise, he was joined not only by his wife Rhoda, but also by his son Frederick and his wife Elizabeth.

The next part of the puzzle is the stone 'King's Royal Rifles Corps' emblem at the base of the headstone...

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