Ms. Anne Mordell reviews “The Last Post: Inscriptions on French Graves in India” in ‘The French Geneology Blog’.

I am happy to share with you that my book “The Last Post: Inscriptions on French graves in India” has been reviewd in “The French Geneology Blog” by Ms. Anne Morddel (

I am reproducing the review below, with the kind permission of Ms. Mordell.

…..     …..

“27 April 2012 front-the-last-post-small-cover-reviewFrench Graves in India

Pondichéry is upon us again! In truth, this happy find of a book covers nearly all of French India. The Last Post : Inscriptions on French Graves in India is a labour of love by K.J.S. Chatrath, (who also wrote something entitled  “The Joy of Mental Health”, but let’s not worry about that). Dr. Chatrath is a retired civil servant and now writes a number of blogs as well as books on the interaction between France and India.

The Last Post, he admits, is not an exhaustive listing of all names from all French graves in all of India, but it is a pretty good beginning, we think.  His table of transcriptions reads, in part:

  • French Graves in Agra
  • French Sisters of St. Joseph of Tabres, buried in Bangalore
  • French Priests and Sisters Lying Buried in the Sacred Heart Church Compound, Bangaluru (Bangalore)
  • Graves in the Erstwhile French Cemetery at Calcutta (Kolkatta) – Since Demolished
  • Graves in the Chanerdagore Cemetery
  • Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny Who Died At Chandannagar Along With the Dates of Deaths
  • Graves at Sarurnagar, Hyderabad
  • Graves in the French Cemetery at Karaikal
  • List of Reverend Parish Priests, Our Lady of Angels Church, Karaikal
  • Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny Who Lie Buried in the Premises of Nirmalranee Girls Higher Secondary School, Karaikal, Along With the Dates of Death
  • Graves in the French Cemetery at Mahé
  • List of Missionaries and Vicars of the St. Theresa’s Shrine of Mahé From Its Very Inception
  • Graves in the French Cemetery at Pondichéry
  • French Jesuit Fathes and Other Reverend Priests Who Lie Buried in the Premises of the Church at Pondichéry From 1691 Onwards, Mentioning Their Respective Years of Birth, Ordainment or Death
  • Sisters of St. Jospeh of Cluny Who Lie Buried in the St. Xavier’s Church at Pondichéry Along With the Dates of Death
  • Graves in the Protestant English Cemetery at Pondichéry
  • Graves in the French Cemetery at Yanam (Yanaon)
  • List of the Priests of Yanam (Yanaon)
  • List of the Dead Noted in the Death Register of Europeans, Pondichéry Commune, 1830
  • Some of the Recipients of the Légion d’Honneur Lying Buried in Graves in the Erstwhile French Settlements in India

There is discussion of some of the more celebrated names, including:

  • Victor Jacquemont, botanist
  • Jean Baptiste de Warren, astronomer
  • Eugène Courjon, billiards player
  • Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, jeweller

There are a few photographs. Within the above chapters, the names are in bold, followed by the inscriptions in normal typeface. There is a bibliography of works on French India. There is an index. Unfortunately, it is arranged firstly by cemetery, and secondly, alphabetically by the first name. The book is in Indian English and has been self-published, sans proof reader.

Nevertheless, we find this an impressive achievement, bringing to the world of French genealogy data that would otherwise be extremely difficult to acquire. Combined with previously mentioned resources on Pondichéry and French India, this could be a true aid to finding a lost ancestor. Should you be so lucky, it would appear that Dr. Chatrath would be willing to photograph graves for you.

Click on the book title above to be taken to (, should you wish to purchase it.

©2012 Anne Morddel

French Genealogy”


May I invite you to see my other website: and my blog ?

“French graves, Pondicherry, Part-1” by K.J.S.Chatrath

Sketch of world map showing Pondicherry

 Here are some photos of the graves in the French cemetery at Pondicherry.


Ici repose Mme. D. Janet nee’ Sice, nee’ le 6 Janvier 1851, decedee le 1 Mai, 1881.

Priez pour elle.

(She died at the young age of 30.)


Ici reposent, la famille Neff. Paul Neff. Catherine Neff.



Ici reposent, Ursule et Edmon Phaure.

Louise Phaure- nee’ le 3 Mai 1814, decedee’ le 1 Octobre, 1819.

(The little girl child died at the age of 5.)


Laure Cornet, nee’ le 19 avril 1892, decedee’  30 Janvier 1898.

(This girl child too died at the age of 6 only.)


Ci-Git, Joseph Le Peltier, Sous Comre. de la Marine de 1re Classe, age de 50 ans. Decede’ le 25 Mars 1865. Priez pour lui.


Hermance Pereira


Tombeau de famille. Eliza Desjardins, 1854-1936.

Marcien Desjardins, 1882-1938.

A. Sice’.

P.P.E. (The full form priez pour eux means ‘pray for them’)



(Please see my book for the full inscription)



Ici reposent, Elmyre et Paul Baptiste



Claire O’Connell nee’ Blin, decedee’ le 25 Decembre, 1904.

It is said that the young lady died on the night of her marriage – on 25th December, 1904. Clasped hands, a male and a female indicate marriage. There is also a small owl depicted on the grave- depicting bad luck.

Readers may like to go through my book  

“The Last Post: Inscriptions on French graves in India”

( for more on this topic.

Photographs, text and copyright by K.J.S.Chatrath.


May I invite you to see my other website: and my blog ?

These photographs are also available without watermark and in high resolution. Please contact

“Ilulissat cemetery, Arctic Circle, Greenland” by K.J.S.Chatrath


p1390411-ilulissat-cemetery-480 Gate and a symbolic wooden fence of the old cemetery, Ilulissat.

Some time back I had put up a photo article on the southern most christian cemetery visted by me – Ushuaia in Argentina. The cemetery at Ilulissat is the northern most christian cemetery that I have visited.

Ilulissat is a small town located on the west coast of Greenland, 250 km north of the Arctic Circle. This town has two cemeteries, the old on which is located near the Icefiord and the new cemetery which is just short of its airport. All the photos below are from the old cemetery, except the last one which depicts the new cemetery.


Lars Ove L. Lundblad

*5.2.1966, + 27.12.1982

p1390432-ilulissat-480In the background, one can see ice blocks floating in water of the Ilulissat icefiord.



Manasse Pavia Svane

*8.8.1959, +7.12.1981

p1390426-ilulissat-480In general use is the simple white wooden cross. However there are a small number of  grave stones with inscriptions.



* 19.11.1916, + 17.12.1977


Benigne K.F. Thor

In 5 Febr. 1907 – Tok 31 Juli, 1980.


 Magdaline M.D.A. Peterson

In 20.9.1909, Tok 1980.

p1390601-ilulisat-new-cemetery-480A view of the new cemetery.

 Visit to this cemetery in the arctic circle has made me think about the decompositon of buried dead  human bodies. We know of the discovery of a number of frozen mummies in very good level of preservation, in the Peruvian Andes on perma-snowtops of mountains. Some of these mummies ( which I saw a year back in the museums in Peru) are said to be dating back to the 15th century. In India too, a large number of human dead bodies, some of those in a remarkable state of ppreservation have been discovered in the frozen Roopkund lake at a height of over 14,000 feet in the Garwhal himalayas. A few years back, I made an attempt to reach that place had could not handle the last day of the trek up, while the rest of the group, in the age group of thirties, reached the lake and came back the same day to where I was waiting. However the frozen mummies of Peru and of Roopkund lake are the bodies which were frozen in snow. Generally the bodies buried in the tropical regions almost fully decompose within a year and only the bones remain. One wonders how much time  is  taken by the bodies buried in the earth in the arctic region to decompose. May be some learned reader would throw light on it.


Photographs, text and copyright by K.J.S.Chatrath.


May I invite you to see my other website: and my blog ?

These photographs are also available without watermark and in high resolution. Please contact



“The Glasgow Necrapolis, Scotland” by K.J.S.Chatrath

I visited the Glasgow Necrapolis in Scotland some time back. It was  not a  bright day but there was sufficient light nonetheless. It is a large necropolis that covers an area of 37 acres (15 ha).A necropolis  is a large cemetery or burial ground, usually including structural tombs. The word comes from the Greek – nekropolis, literally meaning “city of the dead”. Apart from the occasional application of the word to modern cemeteries outside large towns, the term is chiefly used of burial grounds, near the centers of ancient civilizations, such as an abandoned city or town.


As the history goes in  1831, John Strang, Chamberlain at the Merchants’ House, wrote “Necropolis Glasguensis”, or “Thoughts on Death and Moral Stimulus” and commented: “The Fir Park appears admirably adapted for a Pere la Chaise, which would harmonise beautifully with the adjacent scenery, and constitute a solemn and appropriate appendage to the venerable structure (the Cathedral) in front of which, while it will afford a much wanted accommodation to the higher classes, would at the same time convert an unproductive property into a general and lucrative source of profit, to a charitable institution” it was to be “respectful to the dead, safe and sanitary to the living, dedicated to the Genius of Memory and to extend religious and moral feeling.”(source:


There are stories of ghosts residing in this necroppolis. In fact now there is an organised ‘ghost walk’ also. For a fee of 10 GBP (5 for children) one is offered a one hour walk with the guide dressed in an appropriate costume. One is promised to be told all about  Glasgow’s ghosts, history, mysteries, and murders. It starts at 7.30pm from the Cathedral House Hotel within one minute from Glasgow Cathedral.Source:



William Miller, The Laureate of the Nursery, author of Wee Willie Winkle, born in Glasgow August 1810, died 20th August 1872.

glasgow-sept-2009-480-jpg-3James Watts, the famous inventor of the steam engine.



Grave of Charles Tennant (1768-1838). He  was a Scottish chemist and industrialist. He discoveredbleaching powder and founded an industrial dynasty.


Grave of Duncan Macfarlan. He was the Principal and Vice Chancellor of Glasgow University in 1823 at the age of 52


glasgow-sept-2009-023-480Photo by Anurag Chatrath

Text, photographs and copyright  by K.J.S.Chatrath

You are also invited to visit my other website: and the blog :