Projects Report 2015

ACTIVITIES IN SOUTH ASIA

 INDIA

Uttar Pradesh: Lucknow:  Nishatganj Cemetery: A grant of £6,000 towards the restoration of this cemetery was made in two tranches.  Dr Rosie Llewellyn-Jones will make a site visit early in 2016.

St John’s Church, Meerut:  A grant of £323 for the purchase of a brush cutter to control vegetation in the Cantonment cemetery.

Agra Cantonment Cemetery:  Report received from Trevor Rosemeyer, Area Representative (AR): ‘the cemetery bears an almost new look.  Many local people and NGOs have come forward to keep the cemetery clean.  New benches have been installed, there is a new shed over the altar, the centre path has been paved and planting has been undertaken.  Many people visit and are full of praise and appreciation – achieved with the help of BACSA’s maintenance grant’.

New Delhi, St James’s Church:  Skinner Family Graves: an estimate of £10,000 for restoration of these graves was received from Mrs P Sedwards, a family descendent.  Mrs Sedwards hoped to raise up to £5,000 from family members.  BACSA agreed to match this.  Work began in October 2015. 

Kolkata, South Park Street Cemetery:  Restoration of monuments funded by the Calcutta ‘Old Boys’ donation of £1,750.  £1,000 from the Bishop Weekes legacy to restore the tombs of Captain Edward Cooke and the Revd John Diemer.  Jennifer Garwood (AR) reported that BACSA’s maintenance grant enabled South Park Street to undertake clearance of ‘jungle’ that threatened to damage monuments and restrict access for visitors.  Drains cleared and extended to help prevent flooding in the monsoon.

Himachal Pradesh: St Patrick’s RC Church, Dagshai:  Dagshai came into being as a British military station, cantonment and prison in 1847 partly to safeguard Shimla.  Work at this large and complex cemetery has been protracted due to Fr.Titus becoming ill.  A grant of £2,500 was agreed for repair to the boundary wall which has progressed despite flooding, and further funding may be released in 2016.

Tamil Nadu:  The Dindigul Graves, Dindigul:  A grant of £1,420 towards the repair and maintenance of graves and the boundary wall.

Uttarakhand:  Grave of Dr Flora Butcher (1896-1926), Banbasa:  After considerable research to locate it and identifying a stonemason to undertake the work in its remote location, the missionary doctor’s grave was restored at a cost of £1,066, fulfilling the legacy wish and donation of Dr Butcher’s niece.

Andhra Pradesh: Vizagapatnam, Mors Janua Vitae (Regimental Lines) Cemetery: Tom Inglis (AR) recommended a grant of £2,350 for repairs due to cyclone damage and to provide a ‘green lung’ in an urban area.  Suggested that the local branch of HSBC should be approached to help finance this work.  Nothing further to report.

Grants agreed but pending further information

Tamil Nadu: All Saints’ Church, Tiger Hill, Coonoor, Nilgiris:  Report received from Christopher Penn (AR).  £2,661 granted in principle for repairs to the Tiger Hill Cemetery subject to the appointment of a chowkidar.

Karikop Cemetery, Nagapatnam:  Important cemetery in the historic port of Tanjore with magnificent but ruined 17th C Dutch monuments as well as British graves.  A major restoration is planned costing £40,000 to be contributed from Dutch cultural funding and the Thomas Foundation.  BACSA agreed in principle to grant £2,000.

Assam: Meghalaya, Nongkhlaw Village Memorial:  £1,000 approved but banking information awaited.

Future Plans:

Himachal Pradesh: Kanlog Cemetery, Shimla:  Encourage the local community to conserve this graveyard.

 Karnataka: St Thomas’ Church Cemetery, Shimoga (Shivamogga):  Member Paul Gelardi is urging the cemetery committee to put forward a proposal to make a garden of rest.

Kulpally RC Cemetery, Bangalore:  Suggested by member Mr David Barnabas, BACSA will consider a proposal to make a photographic survey of some 100 British graves.  If this pilot project is successful, it may be extended to Bangalore’s other, larger cemeteries.

Delhi, Delhi Suburbs and Haryana:  William Crawley (AR) reported that the future of the Gordon Highlanders graves and monument at Badli-Ki-Sarai (Chowkidar of October 2015) remains unclear.  The British High Commission is monitoring the situation.  The Nicholson Cemetery was very over grown despite being protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.  BACSA aims to encourage local parties to take up an active watchdog role.

Kashmir: Sheikh Bagh Cemetery, Srinagar:  This historic cemetery, the last resting place of explorers, statesmen and missionaries who ‘stayed on’, suffered extensive flood damage in 2014.  Eileen Hewson (AR) reported that a necessary site visit remains outstanding.  An ‘unknown’ benefactor may have contributed funding, according to unconfirmed reports.  .

BANGLADESH

Dhaka, Narinda Cemetery:  Dr Llewellyn-Jones and Tim Steel (AR) visited Colombo Sahib’s Mausoleum.  BACSA would like to see this architecturally important 18th century monument conserved, but disputes within the local community have halted any progress.

PAKISTAN

Lahore, Mian Mir Cemetery:  Member Sue Farrington continues to monitor projects in Pakistan.  £450 was sent to Mian Mir for a photographic survey of surviving headstones.

Sindh, Sukkur Cemetery:  A grant of £2,000 was approved but work has yet to commence pending full funding being in place.       

SRI LANKA

Colombo General Cemetery:  The project for the relocation of gravestones was not carried forward due to lack of information from the Sri Lankan side.

BURMA

Mawlamyine, St Patrick’s Cemetery, Shwe Daung Qtr:  Matilda Steevens (AR) reported the satisfactory completion of repairs to the walls, drainage system and paths for which £4,603 had been granted.

Mon Baptist Church:  The cemetery has been destroyed but it is hoped to relocate some thirty rescued headstones to a Remembrance Garden.  Permission is awaited from the Burmese authorities. Two members travelling in Burma undertook to follow-up possible projects.

INDONESIA

Muntok, Banka Island:  A further £500 grant towards the building of a memorial to European internees who perished during World War II.

MAINTENANCE GRANTS

Grants sent to cemeteries in Meerut, Agra, Kota, Jhansi and Dehra Dun.

 AREA REPRESENTATIVES

Mrs Steevens and Mr Robin Barnard resigned as AR for Burma, and Bangalore, South Karnataka, Seringapatam and Goa respectively.  BACSA is grateful for their work.

Note:  BACSA pays the bank charges for the overseas transfers.

 Rosemary Lee.  Projects Coordinator

Latest news on Grants

In recent months Bacsa’s Executive Committee approved grants for conservation or other work at several cemeteries, including:

The former British Residency at Hyderabad, India.  In cooperation with the Deccan Heritage Fund, clearance work began in September.

Clearance work in the Residency cemetery funded by Bacsa

Clearance work in the Residency cemetery funded by Bacsa

The Scottish Cemetery, Calcutta, India.  Conservation work continues at this historic graveyard, led by the Kolkata Scottish Heritage Trust.

South-west quadrant where clearance work supported by Bacsa has been completed

South-west quadrant where clearance work supported by Bacsa has been completed

St Patrick’s Church Cemetery, Dagshai, Himachal Pradesh, India.  Repairs to the boundary wall and drainage system.

Kulpully Roman Catholic Cemetery, Bangalore, India.  Over 100 headstones were cleaned and photographed in order to record each grave and its monumental inscription.