Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Lieut. James Kay

J. Kay
Can. Garrison Artillery
28th July 1917
Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery
Souchez, Nord-pas-de-Calais, France

This is the tombstone of my step-great uncle, Lieut. James Kay. I found this picture this past weekend while going through some old pictures of my mothers. I was very excited to find this as I didn't think that one was to be found. I had found one online on a war memorial site, but the engravings were all worn off so I hadn't ordered it yet. Although the above picture is very faint (it was taken in 1937), it is still better than what I had previously seen. What's even better is that I have the original negative as well! I'm going to take it to a camera store to see if they can produce a better copy.

Along with the picture was a letter sent to James' sister, Helen and her husband, Captain John Beare, sent by a Captain Lawson. Captain Beare was a Merchant Seaman and I'm assuming that Captain Lawson was a friend of his.

May 1st, 1937
SS Holmbury
Port of Santa Fe

Dear Capt & Mrs. Beare,

I am afraid that you will be thinking that the snaps did not come out, but I am pleased to say that most of them in spite of the rain are very good.

Unfortunately we were only 24 hours at both Antwerp and Le Havre, so were unable to get the films developed at either port.

However please find enclosed the negative and a print of your brothers grave, which I am very pleased to be able to send to you, especially considering the weather, that it is so clear. The other print is the best out of two.

I hope that neither of you felt any ill effects after the dampness and the rain. It was unfortunate that we chose such a bad day, but my wife and I were exceedingly pleased that we did go.

I should like to know if you receive this in good order so would you kindly drop a card to my wife just to say that you have received the snaps. Hoping that we meet again sometime.

Kindest regards,

Yours sincerely
Capt. Lawson

The full story of Lieut. James Kay can be read here:

1. Lieut. James Kay
2. Lieut. James Kay (1888 – 1917) - Update
3. Lieut. James Kay (1888 – 1917) – Part 3
4. Lieut. James Kay (1888 – 1917) – Part 4


  1. You have two blogs...please let me know which one you'd like a banner for...You can just leave a comment on www.cemeteryexplorers.blogspot.com and let me know which one you'd like done. I have a couple other requests...and please add me to your blog list...thank you...

  2. I enjoyed reading this post. My great-uncle was killed in WWI in France in 1918 where he is buried. Thanks.