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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Taphopile Tragics - Snow Angel

Taphophilia is a passion for and enjoyment of cemeteries The singular term is a taphophile.

The snow laden angel of 'The Finch Family Grave'. All Saints Maidenhead Cemetery, All Sainst Avenue, Maidenhead Berkshire.

William Michael Finch died 27th July 1919 aged 79 years
Emily Finch died 29th July 1902 aged 61 years

Also of their only son William Alexander Finch died 18th August 1925 aged 59

Monument by Emmanuel Harris & Son, Monumental Masons, Beaumont Street London.

William Michael Finch was born in Hackney London in 1840 and became a zinc worker by trade. In 1864 William married Emily Prockter in Shoreditch London and by 1866 they were blessed with the birth of their only child William Alexander Finch.

In the 1891 Census William Snr was listed as living by own means at 76 Victoria Park Road, South Hackney, London along with his wife Emily, their son William, by now an Architect and Surveyor and their house keeper Emily Lee. William and Emily Finch lived out their lives and died in Hackney London. So how is it they came to be buried in Maidenhead Berkshire?

In the 1901 Census their son William and his wife Emeline nee Blundell were listed as living at Ray Road Maidenhead. Could it be that when his parents died William couldn't bare to be parted from them so arranged their burial closer to his home in Maidenhead? William himself died in Wycombe Buckinghamshire in 1925, but what became of his wife Emeline? Is she buried within the Finch family grave but not listed or does she lay elsewhere.

Also I find it odd why the memorial angel would be depicted carrying a small child when everyone in the grave passed away well into adulthood, or is there more to the story?


  1. I agree with Joan, It is a bit like a stole.

    Was the monumental mason stamped on the base of the marker? That does not happen much here in Australia, that one can identify who created the marker. If this is a Berkshire cemetery, is it usual for a London mason to be involved?

    I am figuring that Emeline did the leg-work for her own husband's marker. Perhaps she is with her birth family.

    This is the sort of mystery that I love tracking down and one of the joys of taphophilia for me.

    Thank you for this contribution to Taphophile Tragics. I do hope you are surviving the cold snap with good grace.

  2. They look cold. An interesting story with a mystery attached.

  3. Interesting story and a lovely photo.

  4. Lovely pic.

    Maybe they got a discount on the statue :-)

  5. You have done a lot of research on this one. It is interesting how they ended up so far from where they had made their home.

  6. I'm always on the lookout for angels, and I've never seen one in snow! That's what I get for living in a warm climate, I suppose!

  7. She's pretty in her snowy wrap.

  8. When my mother was dying, I joked with her that I would take her ashes anywhere in the world to be scattered and asked if there wasn't some lovely spot (like maybe the Azores?) that she had always wanted to go to and this would be her chance. Maybe this was their chance to get out of London to the country (if Maidenhead was still country at that time!)

  9. Amazing how the snow seems to embrace the angel!

  10. pretty!
    i always like statues covered in snow.. they often look so different then. sometimes funny, sometimes more pretty..

  11. the photo is lovely! There is a mystery here just waiting to be solved!!


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