Hello, this article may be of background interest:
Graveyard open owing to death by Rahul Sharma, Globe and Mail, date unknown but probably some time in the early 1990s.
KANDY, SRI LANKA.
Had it not been for a violently deranged caretaker, the historic cemetery in the centre of Kandy could have been resurrected some years ago. But the Anglican Church, British settlers and government officials had to wait 15 years until the caretaker, who threw stones at everyone and everything that passed the cemetery, died last year. Then at last, they could begin clearing the Kandy Garrison Cemetery of weeds, mud and squatters.
Tucked away on a hill in the former Sri Lankan capital near the famous Buddhist Temple of the Tooth, the cemetery opened in 1822, seven years after the British defeated Kandyan kings to take complete control of what was then known as Ceylon. The cemetery closed in the late 1880s.
A group gathered in Kandy this month to rededicate it and pray for those buried here after it was cleared. Officials of the British High Commission (embassy), members of the British parliament, local government officials and priests from Kandy’s St. Paul’s Church attended the rededication.
Also present was Colin Worthington, a former planter who now makes cheese. He was instrumental in organizing the project to clear the cemetery and bring it back to life.
“I am a retired person and had a bit of time on my hands. The British Wives’ Welfare Group (BWWG) grabbed me,” he said…
What emerged was a bit of colonial history – graves of people who, to a greater or lesser extent, shaped Sri Lanka’s history.
“John Spottiswoode Robertson, the seventh and last European to be killed by an elephant”, can reclaim his place as a footnote in the island’s colonial history. So can David Findlay, who was killed in 1861 when his house collapsed…
Among those who left a deeper impression on Sri Lanka’s colonial history was Sir John D’Oyly, the first British resident, or governor, of what were then known as the Kandyan provinces. D’Oyly, the second son of the archdeacon of Lewes in Sussex, southern England, fought in the Kandyan War in 1815 and died in 1824 at age 49.
One of the graves belongs to Lady Elizabeth Gregory, wife of William Henry Gregory, Ceylon’s governor from 1872-1877. “A year ago this place was jungle. Now it is a source of nostalgia and evokes the memories of the past,” said David Tatham, the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.
“Soldiers who died during the capture of Kandy in 1815 were buried here. So were others, like planters,” said Father Sam Gunewardene, former vicar of St. Paul’s Church. People could now come to the cemetery to locate the graves of their ancestors, he said.
Worthington added: “We could have cleared it 15 years ago but for the mad caretaker. He eventually died. I can’t actually say praise the Lord, but…”