Thursday, January 27, 2011


My dad's grave
Bangalore - St Marks Cemetery

By an amazing coincidence, the brother of a friend (Peggy D'Mello) of Helen's (Richard's sister) was a young senior accountant in the Imperial (now State) Bank of India in Bangalore where my father was Agent (Manager) when he died in 1953.  My mother was devasted by the loss and the assistant agent was Hindu with no familiarity with Christian burials, so he (Peggy's brother) took charge and arranged for the service and burial.  It was this amazing coincidence that enabled him to identify the grave to Helen when she visited in 1997.  Peggy & her husband Sandy also looked after us in Bangalore and showed us the grave.

Headstone - "God's Good Man"

The headstone looked to be in perfect condition but the ground had sunk in front of it and the cement floor of the enclosure was covered with mud.  We scraped some off and then Sandy called two workers over to help and they used a spade to loosen and scrape the earth away.  After some debate, we decided to have the grave maintained on an annual basis rather than try to build up the surround and prevent accumulation of earth during and after the rains. It would have been nice to do the cleaning up ourselves but we had no tools and it was clear that the two cemetery workers saw it as their job.  Richard gave them some money to do the cleaning up now and we will contact the supervisor by email for next year.
View of cemetery

It is a Christian cemetery and graves date back to the 1800's.  The area beside where Richard's father is was simply an open field till a few years ago.  

Entrance to cemetery

Burial registrey

The registry is kept in the office at the cemetery and the supervisor showed us the original and the copy.  A copy is necessary particularly in this climate since it helps preserve the original from damage by oil on hands etc.
Canon Elphick conducted the burial

St Mark's cathedral where the burial service was held

Richard checked the office here but they do not have any records - all are at the cemetery itself, as we saw.
Inside St Mark's

Rev. Canon Elphick

Poignant story from empire days

Peggy and Sandy D'Mello

1 comment:

  1. Canon Elphick later becams the minister at St.Peters church on Coakers Walk in Kodai. Had not realised your father died at such a tragically young age Richard