Cemeteries and graveyards, full of love, betrayal, tragic deaths, murder, and suicide. What will you find?

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Taphophile Tragics - Together In Sweet Slumber - Richard John Smith and Mary Ranger

Monuments to Richard John Smith and Mary Ranger, St Peter's Churchyard, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, England.

"Richard John son of Humphrey Hugh Smith R.N.  Born 1st August died 20th 1897."

Little Richard John Smith was the first child born to Humphrey Hugh Smith, a Vice Admiral in the Royal Navy and author of A Yellow Admiral Remembers and An Admiral never forgets, and his wife Blanche Scott Murrey on 1st August 1897 in Kensington, London.  Vice Admiral Humphrey and Blanche went on to have two surviving children from their marriage.

Vice Admiral Humphrey remarried after his first wife's death to Jean Ellis Hugh Mackintosh.  He served in the Royal Navy throughout World War One and sadly died on 26th September 1940 when the merchant steam vessel he was aboard, the S.S. Manchester Brigade, was sunk by U-Boat U-137 just off the coast of Malin Head, Ireland.  Of the 60 aboard, only 4 survived the sinking.


"In Loving Memory of Mary Ranger of Woodburn who departed this life on the 24th day of Sepr 1887 aged 14 years."

Mary Ranger was the third child born to Alfred Ranger, an engine fitter, and his wife Martha, in 1876 in Stantonbury, Buckinghamshire.

Mary first appears on the 1881 Census, aged seven years, living with her parents and siblings at 46 Buckingham Street, Wolverton Station, Buckinghamshire.  Sadly young Mary was to pass away six years later aged just fourteen.

Little Richard and young Mary now lie side by side in a small but pretty churchyard in the village of Marlow.

Linking with...

Taphophile Tragics
Tombstone Tuesday


  1. Another churchyard on my list to visit. Sad end for the Admiral but a fitting one I suppose

    1. Beneath Thy Feet7 January 2014 at 10:59

      After I researched this post I watched the programme Jeremy Clarkson did on the Antarctic Convoy Disaster of the Second World War. It was a real eye opener to what the Admiral and his men went through.

      St Peter's is a nice little church and well worth a visit, however the churchyard isn't that great, probably personal preference, but most of the older stones have been removed and stacked round the back of the church. I much prefer All Saint's just down the road.

      Another nice church is Bisham, All Saint's, but in the current climate I would avoid it.

  2. As always, interesting to learn about the lives of the people. And I like your photo effect on this one, too. Thanks for sharing on Taphophile Tragics!


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