Friday, 3 April 2009
In Memoriam Cards
In memoriam cards are sometimes printed at family request as a momento to mark the passing and the funeral of a loved one. Some are very ornate, especially from the Victorian and Edwardian period. They can often be found in junk shops and at antique fairs, priced at just a few pence. Most collectors ignore them, but the odd surprise can be found. I picked up one in Hampshire and it commemorated a young man killed in a railway accident. I have yet to research the story. Another marked the passing of an entire family who were killed in an air raid during the London Blitz in 1941. I did find an account of the raid, but have still to track down the newspaper report of the time.
The death of young children is especially sad as they have not had the chance to live their lives. I can remember my late father telling me how, in 1917, he was among a group of children struck by a car (and there cannot have been many about in that time, one of whom was killed. He also mentioned having a sister who died as a baby. Years later, I was passing the site of the car accident and noticed a small cemetery opposite. I stopped and went in and immediately came across a cast iron cross that marked the grave of his sister. By way of coincidence, when I looked up, I saw the grave of a young boy who had been killed in an automobile accident in 1917.
The in memoriam card illustrated above marks the death of a young girl - Claudia Mabel Mahy - who died in St Sampsons in Guernsey in 1920. I am curious about the details for mourners attending the funeral which records the phrase 'Men and Women'. I can only presume that it means that both sexes may take part?