Just around the corner from my home is, as cemeteries go, a cemetery with several high profile bodies buried in it. Regrettably it is also a typical run down Victorian site, given to mindless vandalism and desecration. It is also the toilet for local dogs, this despite warnings about fouling and allowing dogs off their leash.
The cemetery has a lodge which is currently <2005> up for sale, one small Anglican church and an even smaller non conformists chapel. It is small by comparison with other cemeteries in the area, and has a large amount of military and naval graves. On one visit alone, I counted five Paymasters-in-Chief [top of their Rank Supply and Secretarial officers] and naval engineers by the score. Big ships, small ships and the Royal Yacht are represented, as are the Royal Marines. On one naval grave [a Paymaster-in-Chief from the Victorian Navy] there is a cocked hat, a sword and sword belt and miraculously, they are still in their original position, as yet untouched by the louts of Portsmouth.
Few grave yards can claim eight VC holders, one of whom, the very first recipient of the medal from Queen Victoria is mentioned in my OLD NAVY photograph album. There is also an R.N., warrant officer VC holder buried here and he was the last of the eight.
The following PDF file http://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/living/6771.html comes from the Portsmouth City Council web site, who clearly state that they encourage publicity for their files. If that site fails or goes down, look at my back-up file which is a copy of the Portsmouth file PORTSMOUTH_SITE. Scroll down to HYACINTH LYNCH died 1947 last survivor of the Battle of Miawand. Either <in those days> Hyacinth was a mans name, or that she was the widow of "a last survivor of the disastrous....." for here is that battle for you to read
On page 2, under VICTORIA CROSS, look at
William Goate. How is it possible that such a national
hero could lay in an unmarked grave for 102 years ?
I wouldn't recommend that you go out of your way to see this cemetery for the dereliction will offend you, but if you are ever in Portsmouth, for a reunion perhaps, and you want to view some old and splendid naval gravestones, the culture-trip is worth it.