Flogged to Death

Private Frederick John White, 7th Queen’s Own Hussars, is buried in the churchyard of St. Leonard’s Church in Heston, Middlesex. He was sentenced, at the age of 27, to 50 lashes for some unrecorded misdemeanor. The flogging over, he was unwise enough to mouth off and was sentenced to a further 50 lashes by the colonel (a relative of Private White). The second 50 lashes were too much, and Private White died on July 11, 1864.

There was close to a mutiny in the barracks, so great was the anger of Private White’s comrades. Col. White fled to avoid retribution. Parliament took up the issue, and eventually the maximum possible punishment was reduced from 150 lashes to 50 and then abolished altogether. Col. White was sent to India in disgrace.

The first stone was erected “by his comrades as a testimony of their sympathy for his fate and their respect for his memory.” The stone was re-erected by the officers of the 7th Hussars in 1886.

Photograph by Passante.


Buried Twice

When the wooden floor in front of the altar in St. Leonard’s Church in Heston, Middlesex, was taken up for repair, a stone floor and several graves, of which this is one, were discovered underneath.

Photograph by Passante.

City of the Dead II

When Vesuvius erupted on August 24, 79 CE, the prosperous Roman city of Pompeii was engulfed in volcanic ash, becoming a graveyard to those of its fleeing inhabitants who choked to death before they could escape and were buried where they fell. The city and its dead inhabitants remained undisturbed for 1,600 years.

Photographs by Passante.

Keeping Watch

This rather battered little angel keeps watch in St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery in New Orleans.

Photograph by Passante.

Rio nell’Elba

This desolate cemetery is outside Rio nell’Elba, on the island where Napoleon lived out his exile. I remember Rio from many, many years ago as very poor and somewhat bleak and unfriendly—very different in atmosphere from Portoferraio, the lively little capital city of the island. Things have looked up for Rio in the years since my visit. The village now has its own Web site and apparently has a good tourist business judging from the hotels and restaurants listed.

Photograph by Passante.

City of the Dead I

The rows of large above-ground vaults in New Orleans cemeteries look like streets of houses, so the cemeteries are referred to as “Cities of the Dead.” This city of the dead is St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery.

Photograph by Passante.

Tomb of an Exile

Dante Alighieri spent the last years of his life in Ravenna, exiled from Florence. I synopsized the circumstances of his exile and showed his monument in Florence’s Santa Croce church on February 5.

Dante rests in this tomb in Ravenna. The oil for the eternal flame that burns at his grave is supplied by the city of Florence.

Photograph by Passante.