Cemetery secrets and community conversations

Thanks so much to all the St Helena Island Community members who have responded so enthusiastically to the new eBook “St Helena Island Warders’ Children’s Cemetery.” Feedback via Facebook and the blog is a wonderful thing, as it boosts our spirits and fans the flames of writing and research. Loads of exciting new avenues have opened up as a result and we’re busy following up these leads to see where they take us.

The St Helena Island Warders’ Children’s Cemetery has certainly sparked an interest in the St Helena Community.

I can see that lots of you have downloaded the book and I hope that it was interesting reading! I can see that we already have an active and interested community focussed on St Helena Island’s rich, unique history. St Helena Island Warders’ Children’s cemetery is only small, but the secrets that it has revealed have allowed us to connect more to this isolated, iconic landscape. The Warder’s Children’s and Prisoner cemeteries have always been a beacon for tourists, so we’re proud to extend what we know about this cemetery and add new historical research to the official record. Click here to get your free copy.

As a thanks, I’ll add below some beautiful drone footage taken by Heritage Parks Ranger Mette Juel and her husband Niels in 2017. I have shown you drone footage of the Stockade and Warders Row previously, and would now like you to have a aerial view of the Southern Flats and the cemeteries. Please click here to watch the video:

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 10.35.07 amWe’ve had contact this week with one member of the St Helena Community, Sandy, who has offered to help with some historical research. This will help a great deal with unearthing the many hidden stories of the island. I’m thinking of asking Sandy to use her archive and librarian skills to tackle a few Warder’s families that I’m struggling with, such as the Howards. Hopefully a fresh pair of eyes and a sharp brain can discover new information that remains elusive to me! The extra set of research hands will be much appreciated.

We also had contact with Lyndell on Facebook who is a descendent of Chief Warder and Acting Superintendent David Graham. She remembers her Aunt Grace Graham (image below) talking fondly of her time living on St Helena Island with her parents. I am busily writing a Warder’s Profile to send to her with loads of rich information on the Graham family.

If anyone is connected to a warder from the past and would love to share information, I’d love to hear from you and share what I know also. At this stage, it is the best way to build new information about the prison community. I’ll show you what a Warder’s profile looks like next week, in case you have secret ancestors that are connected to St Helena Island and would love to know more about them.

Nell Pearce (4 yrs old) & Anut Grace (2)
Grace Graham was born on St Helena Island and lived there with her family for many years. She is pictured here with her niece Nell on St Helena Island in about 1920.

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