‘Starting of a new blog www.gravesaroundtheworld.blogspot.com’ by K.J.S.Chatrath

sardhana 755 (2)                      Photo taken by me at Sardhana near Meerut, India in 2012.

Welcome to my just started blog www.gravesaroundtheworld.blogspot.com. My existing website on graves, www.gravematters.in would be getting subsumed in this new website.

Grave matters….matters of graves…graves and cemeteries….tombs and graves…cemeteries and graveyards….photos of gravestones from all over the world…inscriptions from all over the world…sad, inspirational and some with a sense of humour…

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Photograph & text by K.J.S.Chatrath
My website: www.fiftyplustravels.com

‘Homage to 993 Indian soldiers who died defending France during World War-I & commemorated in the Mazargues War Cemetery, Marseilles, France’ by K.J.S.Chatrath

cover-revised-8feb2017 800 95

This book is available at flipkart, amazon & paytm:

An extract from the Foreword to the book written by Prof. Chetan Singh, Director, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Rashtrapati Niwas, Shimla:

“… …In calculating the cost of war and victory, nations take for granted the death of soldiers and others directly connected with its conduct. Those expected to pay the price for the larger cause cannot, of course, appear in such calculations as persons with names and personal affiliations. That happens only after they have paid with their lives. Even thereafter, they often remain numerical figures in half-forgotten places.

Then someone, like Dr. K. J. S. Chatrath, makes a deliberate effort to hold up before us the names and tiny pieces of biographic information that lie attached to each of these numbers: a reassertion of their humanness. This book represents a commendable and painstaking effort to pay homage to the Indian soldiers who died during World War I and are commemorated in the Mazargues War Cemetary in Marseilles. Indian troops, recruited for all across the Indian subcontinent, were transported in ships and landed in Marseilles not much after the war in Europe had begun.

Dr. Chatrath, the author, who holds a doctorate from the University of Paris, has devoted enormous effort to undertake this task. This book is a labor of love and of his affection for the simple souls who lie in distant lands almost forgotten by their own people. As one goes through the names and particulars recorded in the book a picture of the Indian subcontinent begins to form in one’s imagination. It is that of a subcontinent still relatively free from the sectarian divisions and violent conflicts that wreck it today.

The book reveals a historic phase and talks of an alien place where men of all regions and religions of India met their deaths: a sad but touching reminder of their common subservience to colonialism. For the perceptive reader, who dares to explore the ‘ifs’ of history, this is also a book that hides within its covers an India that could have been.”


Sri Naveen Patnaik, Hon’ble Chief Minister Odisha, releases K.J.S.Chatrath’s book ‘Homage to Odiya martyrs of World War-I commemorated in the Mazargues War Cemetery, Marseilles in France’

I feel honoured that Sri Naveen Patnaik, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha released my book  ‘Homage to Odiya martyrs of World War-I commemorated in the Mazargues War Cemetery, Marseilles in France’ in his official chamber in the Government Secretariat, Bhubaneswar on 9th January 2017.

9-1-2017=7 640 50 9-1-2017=8 640 60odiya martyrs cover 1 640 80Cover of the book.

odiya martyrs back cover 2 640 80 The back cover.

9-1-2017=9 640 60The Hon’ble Chief Minister also graciously accepted two of my earlier books on Odisha. balasore papers 640 50 The cover.balasore papers back cover 640 75 The back cover. balasore vignettes 640 80 The cover.vignettes back cover 2 640 86The back cover.

‘Memorial plaques in St. John’s Church, Meerut, India, Part-I’ by K.J.S.Chatrath


In October 2016 I visited the Meerut War Cemetery in Boulogne Sur Mer in France. In December 2016 I visited the Meerut Cemetery in Uttar Pradesh India. In the same station I visited St. John’s (Garrison) Church, which is one of the oldest Churches in Northern India.

There are a number of memorial plaques on the interior walls of theis church. Take a look at a few and wish ‘Rest in Peace’ in whose memory these were put. IFSt. John’s (Garrison) Church, Meerut, India. Erected-1819, Consecrated 1824.  .


meerut-2016-129-580-50IFArchibald Buchan Hepburn


It is a little difficult to decipher it.




meerut-2016-115-640-50 Richard Edmund Bourchier Cleeve.

meerut-2016-116-640-50 meerut-2016-119-580-45Major Arthur GibbingsIF




to the memory of

Archibald Buchan Hepburn

Lt. Colonel, 26th P.I.

who died at sea

10th May 1885

Aged 43 years & 9 months.


In memory


Colonel S.S. Simpson, R.F.A.

Commanding 38th Brigade R.F.A. Meerut

who died at Mussoorie on the 9th Oct. 1904.

Erected by his Brother Officers.

‘A sad story from Meerut Cantonement cemetery, India’ by K.J.S.Chatrath


I had visited the Meerut Military Cemetery in Boulogne, France two months ago. Last week I went to see the Meerut Cantonement Cemetery, Uttar Pradesh, India.  Besides the graves of British soldiers and officers maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission there, ‘The British Association of Cemeteries in Asia’ has also helped in the maintenance of this cemetery where a large number of civilians also lie buried.  While walking through the vast premises, I came across a particularly sad story. It is the story of a young lady named Rosamond Carew.

meerut-2016-067-copy-640-50Rosamind was born on 7th November 1894. She was the eldest daughter of Lt. Col. Carew Smyth, of Royal Engineers.

meerut-2016-068-640-50At the age of 19, she got married to Balfour Oliphant Hutchinson of the 7th Hussars on 1st November 1915.

She died on 2nd November 1916 aged only 20, just one year after her marriage.

meerut-2016-069-copy-4-640-50I could not find out about the cause of her death.  The young British ladies died in India mainly during the monsoon months as they could not stand high heat and humidity. As Theon Wilkinson in his book The Two Monsoons has explains, the British found it difficult to survive the first two monsoon seasons in India, and hence the title of his book ‘The Two Monsoons: The life and death of Europeans in India’. But after that, they got a bit acclimatized. Incidentally Theon Wilkinson set up BACSA, which has done a commendable job in preserving old cemeteries in India.


Another possible reason of Rosamind’s death could have been childbirth, which also claimed a number of young British ladies in India.

A good number of British men, women and children died in Indian in very early age. This was one of the prices that Britain had to pay for colonization.

meerut-2016-071-copy-2-640-50This grave has the following inscription at the bottom:

‘In life two things stand like stone- Kindness in another’s trouble and courage in your own.

“The peace of God which passeth all understanding.’’

Rest in Peace Rosamond Carew.