BRITISH CEMETARY - CORFU TOWN

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Chris
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BRITISH CEMETARY - CORFU TOWN

Post by Chris » Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:19 pm

I was watching a programme a few days ago on Naval Wars and Conflicts which mentioned an incident that happened off Corfu in the October 1946. It involved the sinking by Albanian mines, of the ships HMS SAUMAREZ and HMS VOLAGE. The graves of some of the crews, and a Head Stone in memory of those who died is errected in the British Cemetary Corfu. There is also stones erected in memory of Soldiers from both wars, and indeed the Crimean War.

This made me think, and after looking we have nothing on the site regarding the British Cemetary. Therefore I thought it would be nice to place something on the boards.

I have visited the Cemetary, and I have to say it is well maintained and cared for. In fact I beleive by one guy, by the name of George. The cemetary is well laid out and very much in the form of established gardens. A very nice serene place for those at rest, and for those who wish to visit, and pay their respects.

Please take a look at the following site for more information:

BRITISH CEMETARY IN CORFU TOWN

Yeiamas, Chris.

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BRITISH CEMETARY ORCHIDS

Post by Chris » Mon May 14, 2007 5:52 pm





Anyone visiting Corfu this month, or in the near future should take a visit to the British Cemetary in Corfu Town. This is the time or season that the Orchids come into flower, and in the Cemetary there are some 40+ species to see. These plants have been planted over the years, and tendered and cared for by the Cemetary Caretaker, George Psailas.

If anyone visits, would love to see some of the pictures of the flowers and cemetary uploaded to the site. Many thanks.

Yeiamas, Chris





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Post by Chris » Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:14 pm


I was reading this today, and thought it would be a good addition to this thread. Reading this, makes it more a good reason to visit the British Cemetery in Corfu Town on one's next visit.


The orchid season comes in early May, and with it the best time to visit the British Cemetery. Some 45 species are indigenous on the island, and most grow in the Cemetery, planted and lovingly tended by caretaker George Psailas. In May 1988 George was awarded the British Empire Medal ‘in honour of loyal and dedicated service’ to the Cemetery. He was born in 1927 in the house at the Cemetery gate, which has been his home ever since. In 1944 he took over the running of the establishment from his father, who himself had been caretaker since 1924. In 1946, aged just 19, he had to deal with the aftermath of the Corfu Channel Incident, in which 46 British sailors died when two Royal Navy destroyers hit mines off the coast of Albania. Twelve of the sailors are buried in the Cemetery, whilst the names of others whose bodies were never recovered are inscribed on a memorial. The Cemetery was opened during the British Protectorate of the Ionian Islands (1814-1864) and remained open after the British left to serve the needs of the families who stayed on. The earliest legible grave dates from 1817; it is the burial place of Major-General Havilland Smith who died aged 44 after no less than 34 years army service! Was he a drummer-boy made good? A student of social history will find many such tantalizing glimpses into past lives. Evidence of the epidemics which were rife in those risky times is etched on many gravestones. Soldiers and administrators brought their families to Corfu, and many babies and young women were carried off by diseases such as typhoid, sometimes whole families within days. The number of tiny graves speaks of a tragically high infant mortality; one German family lost six children before they reached the age of five. The extreme youth of 19th century sailors is also striking. Midshipman John Garew Brown was one who perished at sea aged just 14. Many of the Germans who are buried in the (British) Cemetery were in the service of the Kaiser when he made his summer home at the Achillion Palace. With remarkable absence of discrimination, German soldiers killed in the war were laid to rest in a plot within the Cemetery, but their remains were later removed to a burial place in Athens. The Cemetery also showcases typical examples of 19th century commemorative architecture, some of it oozing the sentimentality of the period - like the ‘weeping woman’ on the grave of William Rycroft, dated 1846. A handsome building set amongst the headstones is an ossuary, the receptacle of bones dug up in 1895 from a second cemetery that was located where the Corfu Palace Hotel now stands on Garitsa Bay. But the Cemetery is best known worldwide for its orchids, and visitors come from as far away as Australia to admire them in this unusual setting, just steps from one of the busiest roads on the island. ‘Due to the great development of the island,’ writes George in his book ‘The Foreigners’ Garden’, we unwittingly destroy many wild flower species, especially the wonderful and rare wild orchids. Out of the 200 orchid species found in Europe, 90 or 100 can be found in Greece. 50 species can be found in Corfu, out of which 30 are in the British Cemetery. ‘The wild orchids are not as big as the tropical ones, and their flowers are not as large. However, they can fascinate you with their colours, the variety of forms and their natural scent. ‘The wild orchids... in the British Cemetery of Corfu blossom approximately by the end of February with Barlia Robertiana and end by the beginning of June with Anacamptis pyramidalis v. Brachystachys.’ George marks the best specimens with a stake, and puts off cutting the grass until the last flowering is over. In addition to the orchids, the Cemetery contains many other plants and flower. Entering, the main, gently ascending path is covered with moss and daisies. Depending on the season, hyacinths and cyclamens grow, as do tulips, amaryllis, agapanthus, anemones, lilies and snowdrops, among others. Various species of cacti put on a good show even in the hottest weather. The stately cypress trees which shade the garden, some of the largest on the island, are more than 150 years old - but they are dwarfed by a number of Giant Californian Sequoia. Wide paths sweep around the flower beds and lawns, and lead into ever more intriguing corners. But the most intriguing of all is a little walled arbour with a simple plaque that reads ‘George’. This is the spot he has himself chosen to lie, surrounded by the contented souls whose resting place he has tended for sixty years. The British Cemetery is located on Kolokotroni Street, about 300 metres south of San Rocco Square, just off the road to the airport.


Yeiamas, Chris

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Re: BRITISH CEMETARY - CORFU TOWN

Post by sharonbee » Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:53 pm

Well done to George who tends the cemetary, so sad that so many lives were lost at such young ages too.

Sounds like a place well worth a visit to pay respect and see all the beautiful flowers planted there.

Sharon

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Re: BRITISH CEMETARY - CORFU TOWN

Post by Chris » Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:31 pm



Being a serviceman, now an ex-serviceman, I have visited the British Cemetary everytime I have visited Corfu. It is such a quiet place, full of beauty, peace and tranquility. To see the orchids is something spectacular. Well worth the visit, I would recommend going.

Yeiamas, Chris



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Re: BRITISH CEMETARY - CORFU TOWN

Post by hikerroeland » Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:32 am

Chris do you think that the Orchids will be in flower arround half way may ? Because we are coming the 16th

roeland

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Re: BRITISH CEMETARY - CORFU TOWN

Post by Chris » Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:46 am

hikerroeland wrote:Chris do you think that the Orchids will be in flower arround half way may ? Because we are coming the 16th

roeland



Hi Roeland.
The Orchids, some 30 - 50 different species will in most cases last throughout May, so I am in no doubt that you will see them on your visit mid May. I have just been reading a story about someone who visited Corfu in May, towards the end, and in that story they also refer to seeing the Orchids at the British Cemetary.

I hope during your visit, you come across George the Caretaker, or his helpers. They will explain the Orchids to you in detail. These Orchids are of the smaller type, and are indigenous to Corfu. I hope you can get some wonderful pictures for the forum Gallery.

Any further questions, please do let me know.

Yeiamas, Chris


http://endofhistory.com/stephanie/wp-co ... RCHID7.jpg

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Re: BRITISH CEMETARY - CORFU TOWN

Post by Chris » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:52 pm




Perhaps Flowerpower you would consider uploading some of your photos to the Gallery. If you email your photos to Al, the Administrator at admin@holidaycorfu.org he will upload at source to the Gallery for you.

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