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Private William Seymour, 80th Regt., 1st Squadron M.I.
John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 923
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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Our own "William Seymour" has asked me to post these for him:





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Grave stone
William Seymour


Joined: 07 Mar 2007
Posts: 79
Location: Kent, UK
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Firstly, many thanks to JY for the above posting, and also to Graham "Sapper" Mason of this site, for alerting me to its location.

The memorial is on grave K1132 in the Manchester South Cemetery. The remains of Frederick Milne (Rorke's drift) are buried in the same Cemeterey.

Probably erected in 1894 when William's father, John, died and is buried here together with William's mother, Mary, (d 1917), and two of William's sisters, Amelia (d 1897) and Teresa (d 1911). 3 out of Mary's 7 children died under the age of 20.

I have no knowledge of the design of the gravestone, or indeed its cost, which I am lead to believe would not have been cheap. William's father was a farm labourer, waggoner and for a while a coal merchant - not exactly highly paid. His mother was a seamstress and had her own shop in Mosside Manchester, so she may have been able to finance it.

If any member of this forum could add anything to increase my knowledge of the design and cost of the gravestone, I would be most grateful.

JK
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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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John

Can't remember what I said when you first showed me this, but I agree that it appears to have been erected when the old man died. The Isandlwana casualty is not added as a retrospective appendage, however (as one might often expect) but makes up the bulk of the inscription. Although he died first chronologically, it would still me more usual to see him added afterwards, especially as he is not buried there.

The KLH would love it! I wonder if it is unique in having such a picture on a "KIA Isandlwana" stone? The experts will be able to comment on the uniform, I suppose, but - just for the record - I find noteworthy the long hair; the (slightly mis-shapen?) helmet on the ground; the prominent bayonet (rather shortish M-H?); the shield under his feet (reminiscent of the campaign medal?) and the assegai on the rocks or rampart behind him (mealie bags? - confusion with R/Drift?) A couple of items appear to lie at his feet but I can't make them out. Perhaps just rocks, but they appear to be there for a reason. The figure of Seymour appears short in the legs, suggesting a view from above. The use of "Isandula" reminds us that the public at large had not all necessarily yet converted to Isandlwana, even then.

Cost? Don't know. Shouldn't be difficult to ascertain approximately. (Also, some undertakers' archives surivive in county record offices). Quite a memorial for a humble family but he may have been a successful coal merchant? Or paid into a burial scheme for some time? Undertaker a friend? Masonic connections?

Peter
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Paul Bryant-Quinn


Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 535
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Peter -

Has the KLH webiste moved? I can't find it.

Regards,

Paul
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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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Paul

It's offline at the moment and has been for a while, which is a great pity. Hopefully it will be back in due course. Had the pleasure of meeting one of the famous trio, Rai England, at the recent NAM "do."

Peter
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Julian whybra


Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 435
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John, I take it you have copies of William Seymour's letters home?
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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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Julian

John is unable to reply at the moment but has asked me to PM you with a response to your last. I'm mentioning it here as I don't think we receive an email any more flagging up PMs.

Peter
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William Seymour


Joined: 07 Mar 2007
Posts: 79
Location: Kent, UK
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Julian

I do indeed have copies of said letters, should you wish to refer to them. Sadly, the originals were lost when the custodian moved house.

Regards

JK
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Julian whybra


Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 435
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It's OK, I already have copies from some years back, I was wondering whether you had them!
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Private William Seymour, 80th Regt., 1st Squadron M.I.
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