Graves in the churchyard

Walter Richard Daines

The first grave - 1864
Bruna (Walter) Blaschke

The last grave - 1897
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When St James's was built in 1863, the churchyard was just a small area immediately surrounding the church, the cemetery at the mother church of St Mary's, Hampton, still serving the new parish. The churchyard still contains several large family memorials, including the earliest grave, the only one in 1864, being that of eleven month old Walter Richard Daines, a name well known in early parish times. The grave is near the noticeboard at the junction of Park Road and St James’s Road. As the population of the new parish was growing, the original churchyard surrounding the church was found to be too small. As the cemetery at Hampton was thought to be impractical, in 1882 the vicar of Hampton gave an acre of land in Park Road next to the church to be used as the parish burial ground.

Christian graves are always orientated longways East to West, that is to face the rising sun. The headstones usually also face East although there are exceptions to this; when the grave is by a path the headstone may be reversed so that it can be seen more easily. The incumbent must give permission before gravestones are erected.

There are over 1,000 graves and over 4,000 people buried in the churchyard. The very last burial was Bruna (Walter) Blaschke in 1987 and his grave is in the far corner near the gardens in St James’s Road/Avenue. Many fascinating people are buried in the churchyard: Canadian Joe Boyle, whose remains were exhumed and returned to Canada in 1983, 60 years after his death; three station masters from Fulwell Station; John Templeton, the opera singer; and many more.

Gravestones and Headstones serve as memorials to the dead and are made of stone, marble or granite. An epitaph may be carved on them and the nscriptions can tell us a little of the history of the families who have lived in the district. RlP stands for the Latin words Requiescat In Pace, meaning 'rest in peace'. Their inscriptions can tell us a little of the history of the families who have lived in the district.


1881: The grave of Revd Fitzroy John Fitzwygram

Four of St James's vicars are buried in the churchyard. The grave of the Revd Fitzroy John Fitzwygram is marked by a celtic cross standing on four square tiers roughly seven foot high.

The Grave of Rev. Fitzroy John Fitzwygram

The Grave of

1st tier: Fitzroy John Fitzwygram
A.D. 1863 - 1881
Fell asleep 13 August 1881 Aged 54
2nd tier: Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord From henceforth
Yea saith the spirit That they may rest from their labours
And their works do follow them

3rd tier: Also Alice
Widow of Fitzroy John Fitzwygram
Daughter of Sir Henry G. Ward
Entered into rest March 9th 1912

The rear of the memorial reads: The redeemed of the Lord shall return and comewith singing unto Zion and everlasting joy shall be upon their head.
They shall obtain gladness and joy and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

1886: The grave of John Templeton

The book, 'Birth and Growth of Hampton Hill', tells us "We learn from the SURREY COMET, September 4th, 1901, that the first owner of Templeton Lodge was one John Templeton, 'one of the finest tenors of the early part of the last century'. He retired to New Hampton and is described as 'one of the earliest to make his abode there'. John Templeton was a British opera singer. A tenor, he sang at the first English productions of Mozart's operas Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute and was acknowledged to be the greatest musical artist of his time.
The magazine of August 1886 had this Memoriam: "At the age of nearly eighty-four there has passed away one who was known to many of us as a quiet and retiring old gentleman, but who, for many years was the popular tenor of our country, and throughout America too. He retired into private life about thirty years ago, and unheeded by the busy world has spent his declining years in his pleasant little home in our village. In a full old age, respected by those who knew him, he has passed to his rest and is buried in the same grave as his wife in our Churchyard."

The grave of John Templeton



1893: The grave of the Revd Henry Bligh

The Grave of Revd. Henry Bligh  

The Grave of Revd. Henry Bligh

1897: The grave of the local station-master

Grave of Mr. Vesey

Grave of Mr. Vesey

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The 'Birth and Growth of Hampton Hill' tells us "The importance of the individual to the community comes out in different reports. For instance, at the funeral of Mr Veysey, for many years station-master at Fulwell Station, many local tradesmen and many of his colleagues of different grades on the railway 'came from all parts of the line to do honour to his memory' and the local fire brigades of Hampton and Hampton Hill were represented and local gentry attended in appreciation of his services."

John Vesey, the local stationmaster, died in 1896. The February 1897 edition of the Parish Magazine reported: "All who are in the habit of using Fulwell Station will be pleased to know that steps are being taken for erecting a Memorial Stone to Mr Veysey, the late Station Master. Donations will be received at the Station, and at the Post Office."

The inscription on the tiered memorial gravestone reads; "In memorium of John Vesey - Died November 16th 1896, aged 47 - 13 years stationmaster at Fullwell and Hampton Hill. Erected by his many friends and neighbours as a token of their high appreciation of his many excellent qualities."

1918: World War graves

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The Canadian war graves

During the first world war a contingent of Canadian troops was billeted in Bushy Park, and Upper Lodge became the King’s Canadian Hospital for Canadians wounded in battle. Some died of their wounds and were buried in an area of our churchyard reserved for them. Special care is still taken of these graves; the Canadian War Graves Commission has given us help in their maintenance.

There are thirteen graves, all of a similar pattern with plain white headstones, kept with close-cut grass and tended flowerbeds. A Canadian maple shades the graves, and the whole area is of particular interest and importance to Canadian visitors, some of whom were related to the soldiers. A further Canadian soldier, Joe Boyle, was once buried in the churchyard. He had a very remarkable war record (see below).
There are also five British war graves.

A new gravestone for someone who died on active service or as a result of their wounds was added to the churchyard in 2016. Provided by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), the graves are marked by small white stones that include details of the regiment the person served in. In addition to the graves for Canadian soldiers, there are other war grave memorials around the churchyard. The addition of the new distinctive stone brings the total number of war graves in our churchyard to 27. At the beginning of November each year we place a wooden cross with a red poppy on each grave.

1920: The War Memorial

The stone cross

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During 1916 it was proposed to have a war memorial for those "resident in, or connected with, Hampton Hill, who have fallen, or may fall, in the War". After the war the Vestry ordered that "no artificial wreaths under glass should be placed on the graves". So it was decided to erect a memorial to all those parishioners who had lost their lives during the war.

The Revd Coad-Pryor reported in the magazine of December 1918: "For the first time since I have been Vicar I am able to wish you all a very Happy Christmas without the shadow of war hanging over our Country and our homes. It was very delightful to see so many of you in Church to thank God for His great mercy in giving Victory to the Allied Countries, and our very earnest prayer must now be that we may be led to a durable and righteous peace. I am glad that it has been decided to erect a memorial in the Village Churchyard to those who have given their lives for us in the war. A strong and representative Committee of more than thirty has been elected to make the necessary arrangements, and it is hoped that a donation, however small, will be given by every inhabitant in the Parish. You will shortly be called upon for that purpose. It will be a thank offering for the safety and deliverance which the sacrifice of these brave men and lads has secured for us."

The July 1920 magazine reported: “May 26th, will long live in the memories of those who took part in the impressive service of unveiling the War Memorial; the Bishop's address, the singing, the quiet sad thankfulness of the occasion all contributed to make it a real ‘Red Letter’ day in the Parish. The arrangements were carried out with a restful reverence which we must all have felt. There was careful preparation of the ‘Form of Service’, containing the names of those whose death of honour we were commemorating.”

The inscribed plinth is surmounted by a tall stone Latin cross, shown above left, which is visible from nearly all the churchyard. The memorial was designed by PM Andrews and eventually unveiled on May 26th, 1920. It bears the following inscription: “Their name liveth for ever more. These died the death of honour for God, King and Country in the Great Wa
r 1914-1919.” At the intersection of the cross head is a crowned sword, carved in relief. Roses are carved onto four sides of the octagonal cross shaft, which rises from a small octagonal plinth. That stands on a two-staged base. The upper stage of the base is formed of four broad pilasters on which panels record, in metal lettering, the names of those who died during the First World War. The lower, octagonal, stage is carved with a general dedicatory inscription and floral designs. On the lower stage there are four separate panels which record the names of those who died during the Second World War. The memorial is surrounded by the original low bollards carrying a chain.

The war memorial actually commemorates those men and women from local families who died in the forces in the service of their country during both the two world wars. The plinth of the memorial is inscribed with the names of 124 such men who died in the first world war (1914-18) and the 29 men and women who died in the second world war (1939-45). Wreaths are laid at the War Memorial in a ceremony on Remembrance Sunday every year.

The war memorial became a listed monument in 2015. The recommendation for Grade II-listed status came from Historic England as part of their First World War Commemoration Project. It described the monument as ‘tall and striking’ and ‘an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community and the sacrifice it made’ in two world wars. The church already has Grade II-listed protection. Read the Report.

The War Memorial
The War Memorial
A wreath
A wreath
A wreath

1923: The grave of Revd Richard Coad-Pryor

The Grave of Revd. Henry Bligh  

The Grave of Revd. Henry Bligh

1923 and 1983: The grave of Lt Col Joseph Boyle DSO

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Revd. Chubb and churchwarden at Lt. Col. Joseph Boyle's grave and urn

Lt Col Joseph Boyle DSO

Left: Revd Chubb and churchwarden at Lt Col Joseph Boyle's grave and urn

Above: The memorial stone

Joe Boyle was a man of great initiative and great independence. Born in 1867, he made his fortune in the Yukon as a gold prospector. At the outbreak of the world war in 1914 he tried to enlist but was refused because of his age. Undeterred he raised and equipped a fifty-man machine-gun troop for the allied cause. His subsequent career was quite extraordinary. He was head of an allied mission to Russia in 1917 where he re-organised the Russian railways. He was given a series of diplomatic missions, and was awarded honours from Russia, France, Britain, Romania and was given the title of Duke of Jassy by the Queen of Romania. He received many decorations for this work and for the valuable work he did for the Rumanians.

After the war he settled at Wayside in Hampton Hill, where he died on 14 April 1923 and was buried in St James’s churchyard at his own specific request. Members of his family along with many others of high rank attended his funeral. Queen Marie had the ancient cross and urn sent from Roumania, and for a number of years made visits and put orange lilies on his grave. The Canadians requested that his remains be returned to them, permission was given by our church and diocese, and in 1983 his remains were exhumed and and reinterred in his home town of Woodstock, Ontario with much ceremony and a plaque in his honour. At a simple ceremony in 1987, exactly three years later, a memorial to Lt Col Joseph Whiteside Boyle, DSO was unveiled on the site of his original grave in St James’s churchyard.

The magazine of December 1971 reported: "The only grave in our churchyard to which anything approaching pilgrimages appear to be made is that of Colonel ‘Joe’ or ‘Klondyke’ Boyle. There are many people throughout the world who hold his memory in the greatest respect - and there are some who reverence him as almost a ‘saint. A visitor this summer was Professor William Rodney, of the Department of History in the Royal Roads Military College, Victoria, BC, not by any means the first to come over to do research into Colonel Boyle’s life and background with the intention of producing a book about him.......Apparently he had done remarkable things in the Klondyke in 1898, but the climax of his adventurous career came in 1917, when he appeared dramatically on a motor-cycle at Jassy, and took decisive action to save the lives of the Rumanian Royal Family, and then proceeded so to take charge of things that he was able to save the whole country from famine and disaster, becoming in fact its ‘uncrowned king’........Queen Marie trusted him immediateliy, and the friendship between them became almost an idyll. After his death she wrote of him: ‘He was all strength and honour, and he had given me his faith and I had given him my trust . . . I was in distress; he recognised at the same time some of his own spirit in me - I was something of a miracle in his life - and when he had his stroke I was the haven in which he anchored for a while. My companionship helped him over that first break in his colossal strength, and the companionship became sweeter than anything he had ever known.’

Queen Marie had the ancient stone cross which stands at the head of the grave brought specially from Rumania, and she herself dug up at a lonely spot in that country - ’as lonely as Joe was in the days of his life’ - a small shoot of Rumanian ivy which she planted at the foot of the cross, where is still flourishes today. On the simple flat stone are inscribed the cross of the Order of Regina Marie, and beneath it (almost indiscernible now after nearly fifty years) the name Marie. But it is still possible to read the striking lines which the Queen chose from one of Robert Service’s poems: ‘A man with the heart of a Viking, and the simple faith of a child’. That perhaps sums up as well as any few words can the character of this great but humble man."

1947 and 2008: The Manning grave

The Manning Grave
The Manning Grave The Manning Grave The Manning Grave
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HA Manning, known as John, a resident of Hampton Hill, was a driver with the Royal Army Service Corps in the second world war. He died of injuries incurred during the war on April 7th 1947 at the age of 29, and was buried in the churchyard.

John’s widow, Phyllis Marjorie Manning, emigrated to Australia. She never remarried, and died on August 4th 2008 at the age of 93.

After her death Mrs Manning's family got in touch and requested that her ashes should be brought from Australia, and her mortal remains buried with those of her husband. A stone tablet dedicated to Phyllis is placed on the grave under original headstone; thus the Mannings were re-united some sixty-one years after John's death.

1850: The grave of the Revd Frederick Pearce Pope Harvey

The Grave of Revd. Frederick Harvey  

The Grave of Revd. Frederick Harvey

Revd Frederick Pearce Pope Harvey was buried in the churchyard in 1850.

1962: The Garden of Remembrance

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The Garden of Rest
Revd.Brunt plaque

The Revd Brunt died in 1989 and his ashes were buried in the Garden of Remembrance in the churchyard after the Parish Communion on 15 October.
Until about 1962, there were, in the now rough grassed area around the central copper beech, thirty or so unmarked small burial mounds which were believed to be the graves of children who had died in the influenza epidemic of 1919. These were levelled and a Garden of Remembrance created for the interment of ashes near the lych gate.

Book of Remembrance

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This garden is not far from the lych gate entrance which is at the north-east corner. Paving stones were laid to enclose a rectangular lawn with two rose beds at each end.

Uncontained ashes are interred with a formal ceremony with no marking being left on the lawn. There is also a wooden bench which can be used as a quiet place for reflection.

Flowers are sometimes left by mourners on and around the lawn and the surrounds, but they are gathered up after a few days so that the lawn is kept clear and the permanent flowerbeds undisturbed. All the names of the persons whose ashes have been interred are recorded in the Book of Remembrance in the church.