TQ1711 : Memorial to a young soldier, 1804, Steyning churchyard

taken 3 years ago, near to Steyning, West Sussex, Great Britain

Memorial to a young soldier, 1804, Steyning churchyard
Memorial to a young soldier, 1804, Steyning churchyard
Well-preserved tombstones from the years around 1800 aren't that hard to find, and some carry lengthy inscriptions. This one is unusual - in my experience, at least - because it commemorates a young soldier.

The spelling is a touch erratic, but the wording is pretty much as follows:

IN MEMORY OF
JAMES DAY OF THE NORTH HANTS. LIGHT
INFENTRY. HE DEPARTED
THIS LIFE THE 3. OF JUNE
1804, AGED 21 YEARS

James he is dead, is all his comrades cry
And grief was seen in every light bobs eye
No more the bugle horn to him shall sound
To hurry him ouer the furrowed Ground
But now alas his body lay at rest
In hopes his soul will be for ever Blesst

NB: This stone was errected by his
Comrades as a small tribute of respect
Due to a worthy Youth like him.


The verse seems disjointed, and I can imagine his comrades sitting round a table in the ale-house, taking it in turns to contribute a line. They have left us with no clue as to how young James met his end.

Epitaphs in Georgian times could be quite wordy, and all too often the mason would get into difficulties - perhaps because he wasn't fully literate, perhaps because he didn't plan his work in full detail. In this instance the word 'INFANTRY' appears as 'INFENTRY' - though some attempt has been made to change the second E into a T.
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TQ1711, 505 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Thursday, 25 September, 2014   (more nearby)
Submitted
Friday, 26 September, 2014
Geographical Context
Lowlands  Historic sites and artefacts  Village, Rural settlement  Religious sites  Burial ground, Crematorium 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 1791 1142 [10m precision]
WGS84: 50:53.4144N 0:19.4979W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 1790 1142
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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