Monday, 7 September 2009

Royston Cemetery

Yes, a good title for a Blog.

My cousin and I have been doing a joint effort on the family trees of his close relatives spouses - Shephe(a)rd from Royston/Barnsley.

Well, we found them in the census of 1911 and followed them back in the previous decades. It was then that we came across an Albert Edward Shepherd V.C. who died in the 1960's. The trail lead to a family member originating in Shropshire - coming up to Yorkshire following the coal fields, as a lot of our relatives who were miners did.

As the trail was getting cool and it was a nice day on Sunday, off I went to Royston, killing two birds with one stone, snapping the memorial and looking for Shepherd and Lees family in the cemetey. But..... finding our Albert Edward was a daunting task as I knew the headstone was quite small and white. When you want a white headstone, what colour are all the headstones, yes.... white !!

I accousted..oh ! asked a few people if they knew of Albert E, most said yes but where he was, they had no idea. But I did find a small leaning headstone, rather dark in colour to Rosezillah, the wife of A E Shepherd V.C. But where was Albert. Then I struck gold..... a lady who I had asked had been looking at the headstones on her way back to the car, she asked a gentleman if he knew where A E he replied and she very kindly came all the way back to me, just to tell me what she had done and confirm the name......... How nice some people are.

As the gentleman walked down the path I too spoke to him. He wondered why I was looking for his headstone, I passed on my reasons and bid him farewell. I was meant to speak to him for as I turned and walked away, he called me back and I turned .....well whose grave was I stook next to.. You've got it, good old A E's. It all turned out that he knew A E, he was older than my new friend, who told me he was a small man but had a good heart. What a better way to be remembered.

We again parted and I wondered off to photo the memorial with its new plaque to A E. At the back of the town memorial stood a gate. I knew of A E's grave and his shiny new plaque but the gate was a surprise, a nice surprise as it was given by his regiment in the 1960's in remembrance of Albert and his V.C.

A quick chat to the verger in the church and I learnt that both the memorial and the gate had been moved from their original position to within the church boundary. She said that the gate was now beginning to look its age, but they had felt that it should be left to age gracefully and hence the new plaque.

That was my Sunday lets hope the Heritage Weekend next week will be just as nice. You can find out whats on in your area by a simple google search for Heritage Weekends.

Happy searching