Annual Report

For the year ending December 2016

 Structure, Governance and Management: Established in 1976, BACSA has an Executive Committee (ExCo) that meets five times a year.  Its members are the trustees of BACSA, supported by advice and help from the President and Vice-Presidents.  ExCo monitors such ongoing risks as may arise.  Two general meetings are held each year.  BACSA has no paid staff and no office; all work is done by volunteers, both in the UK and South Asia.  The BACSA Archives are in the British Library and are open to the public.  BACSA has a website: www.bacsa.org.uk.

Objects and Activities: BACSA is an institution for the recording, preservation and conservation of former European cemeteries and isolated monuments in South Asia prior to 1947.  It is governed by its Constitution and Rules.

Public Benefit: to guide the public into researching and increasing its understanding of European lives and deaths in South Asia before 1947, through specialist help from BACSA members and others.

Achievements and performance: 15 cemetery projects received funds for conservation or for maintenance.  The total value of grants was over £23,000.  BACSA joined the Deccan Heritage Fund in a partnership to conserve the cemetery of the former British Residency in Hyderabad.  The association’s website continued to be upgraded to contain much enhanced information and more images.  Members visited the Gurkha Museum in Winchester in April and the South Asian Decorative Arts & Crafts Collection in Norwich in November.

Financial Review: The detailed accounts for the year to 31 December 2016 are published later in this report.  Provisional figures suggest that our income from subscriptions rose to £5,130 from £4,295 last year.  Donations amounted to just over £22,000 which included a most generous one from the M St J Way Charitable Trust.  Further significant donations were made by Mr James Pyke and the Inchcape Foundation.  Other income streams including dividends, sales of second-hand books and publications remained steady.  The surplus of income over expenditure was fractionally over £10,000.  The investments held by BACSA were worth £260,985 at 31 December 2016 giving a capital return of 9.19% and this produced an income of £8,835 at a yield of 3.4% which is reasonable given the ongoing very low interest rates that prevail in the markets.  We had a number of issues with Lloyds Bank in 2016 which have been resolved with the bank giving BACSA compensation amounting to £320.  During the year a long-standing account held with Standard Chartered Bank in Madras (Chennai) was identified but access to the funds of a little under £4,000 at present exchange rates has been blocked and as of the end of 2016 the matter had not been resolved.

Future Plans: continue to support work at Calcutta’s South Park Street Cemetery and the Kolkata Scottish Heritage Trust’s restoration of the Scottish Cemetery Calcutta.  Support increased recording and conservation work in Burma.  Publish the Jhansi Cantonment Cemetery record book.  Continue to develop cooperation with the Families in British India Society.  Establish closer relations with the East India Charitable Trust.  Seek an association with the Archaeological Survey of India.

What we do

We record the locations of cemeteries and monuments, and the inscriptions on headstones. We publish cemetery and church records containing names, inscriptions and biographical notes on individual tombs and gravestones. We support local people active in the restoration and conservation of European graveyards. Well over 100 projects have benefited from Bacsa funding.

This site

On this site you will find more details About our activities, examples of the Conservation Projects which Bacsa has supported, lists of the Cemetery Record and other Books we have published, and details of our Archives which have been built up over more than 30 years  to form a unique record of over 1,300 cemeteries taken from many different sources and often including headstone inscriptions and photographs.