My visit to Leicester meant that I could add yet another cemetery to my list, and see whether I could pick up more of the CWGC graves that needed photographing. I had 2 possibilities in mind, Belgrave or Welford cemeteries, Belgrave was the closest, although at the time I did lean towards Welford more as it seems to be the older of the two. I am however glad I did go to Belgrave, the first reason has to do with the railway experience that I had, and the second has to do with angels.
The cemetery is not a large one, which was a good thing because I had limited time to do what I had to. There are 49 CWGC recognised casualties in the cemetery, although on the notice board in the entrance it states that there are 90 killed in action named on family stones. That is probably the most PM’s I have ever seen in a cemetery. Interestingly enough there are 364 stillborns and under two year olds buried here too.
The cemetery is divided into 5 distinct areas, with the B and C areas on a bit of an upwards slope. There are also toilets! which is a bit odd seeing as they are in the centre of the cemetery. However, I wonder if that particular space was not where the demolished chapel used to be?
The War Memorial is not a complicated one, and if I had not walked past it I may have missed it.
The plaque simply reads:
the Brave Men of Belgrave
Who Lost Their Lives
in Both World Wars
The memorial was placed in November 2008.
The headstones are not in too bad a condition, and there is plenty of evidence that they do take a lot of care with the cemetery, the grass was cut and there was no litter or anything that detracted from the experience. Quite a few headstones have been toppled though, but I suspect that is from a safety aspect. There are a lot of of accidents caused by toppled headstones, and the legal and bad publicity ramifications can be large if a headstones falls on a child.
And then there are angels. Belgrave has seven distinct angels, 2 of which are truly spectacular and which I am reproducing here.
I have to admit that the first angel is really beautiful, my photographs do not do her justice. At one point I really felt as if she was looking at me, but that is probably because she is on a pedestal and looks down on everybody below her anyway.
I was able to cover the cemetery quite quickly, picking up the CWGC headstones as I found them and occasionally spotting a PM close by. It will be awhile before I sort my images though, so as yet I do not have a final tally of how many graves I found. But I do know there were a lot of very unique PM’s too. There are over 15000 burials in the cemetery, and it has a friends society that looks after it.
It was a great little cemetery, one of those rare gems that are a pleasure to see, and of course, a pleasure to explore. As much as I would love to return here I probably will never get the opportunity, but, I am glad I did chose to visit, because at the end of the day this visit was full of surprises, including Bugs Bunny or was it Roger Rabbit?
The final grave tally? 36 out of 49 CWGC found as well as 12 PM’s. It could have been many more, but that is for somebody else to complete.
DRW © 2015-2022. Images migrated 30/04/2016, images added 31/12/2021