Wednesday, September 30, 2009

From 1909 onward.

Cliveden House
Viewed from the South.

With the engagement of Captain Pepper as an estate manager to look after the day-to-day running of the estate, stud farm and White Place Farm, the Astors were free to be either in London for parliamentary sessions and social events, or to be in their constituency of Plymouth Sutton with their home on Plymouth Hoe.

With the event of the First World War, and so much of Cliveden House being empty, a part of it was given over to the Canadian Red Cross as a military hospital an association of which Nancy Astor maintained a very close contact throughout her lifetime. A small part of the house was kept for when they were just visiting. As you can imagine, they were leading a very busy lifestyle.

As you may gather, a certain number of the solder patients died while they were in hospital as a result of their wounds at the front in France. So a small oval glade of ground, just north of the family chapel, became the final resting place for some of the soldiers. In a couple of instances, the final resting place for two that I can recall were nursing sisters who, from the date of their death, appears to be the result of the Spanish flu epidemic. It is very hard these days to read the inscriptions on the gravestones due to do the fact that they are laid flat and the weather has eroded them. It is a great shame that the soldiers buried here are all but forgotten, where their brothers in arms buried in mainland Europe are still well remembered.

The photo above is an aerial view of the Canadian War Graves Cemetery at Cliveden. The headstones can be detected as little yellow dots on a green background.

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