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Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Taphophile Tragics - Gate Of Everlasting Life

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

Gateway monument of Enid Mary U Campbell-Dykes and her mother Ellen Lewis Campbell-Dykes, All Saints Maidenhead Cemetery, All Saints Avenue, Maidenhead, Berkshire.

Mors Janua Vitae - Death is the gateway to everlasting life.

But thy eternal summer shall not fade.

Enid Mary U Campbell-Dykes was born in 1909 At 120 Mona, Grenfell Road Maidenhead, the second child to Thomas and Ellen Lewis Campbell-Dykes nee Clift.

Thomas Campbell Dykes was born in Dumfries, Dumfriesshire Scotland in 1882 to Thomas and Mary Dykes. At some point after 1901 Thomas linked together his middle name Campbell and surname Dykes to become Campbell-Dykes. In 1901 he is listed living with his parents at Spring Gardens Newall Tce and at the time he was a dental student. Sometime between 1901 and 1907 Thomas met and married Ellen Lewis Clift who was born in 1887 in Glasgow.

In 1907 their first child Cyril Thomas was born in Richmond Yorkshire. Two years later the family is recorded on the 1911 Census as living in Maidenhead where Thomas is now a Dental Surgeon E A S. Thomas appears in the 1915 Kelly's Directory as a Dental Surgeon practicing at 120 Grenfell road. In 1916 their family grew with the birth of their second daughter Doreen Eileen T Campbell-Dykes.

Sadly tragedy was to strike on 18th May 1924 when at the age of 15 Enid passed away. She was followed eventually in 1961 by her 78 year old father and on 17th September 1963 by her 73 year old mother. Thomas is not remembered on the gravestone and at the moment his final resting place still remains a mystery.

The remaining Campbell-Dykes children both lived long and hopefully happy lives moving away from Maidenhead, marrying and having children. Cyril was to even name one of his daughters after his young sister.

Research into the Campbell-Dykes family also turned up information on Thomas's social affairs as well as a picture of the man himself. In 1936 Thomas Campbell-Dykes opened the Twyford Bowling Club.

"The Club was formally opened on Wednesday the 3rd June 1936 by Thomas Campbell-Dykes, President of the Berkshire County Bowling Association, seen here bowling the first wood on the green." - Twyford Bowling Club.

For more Taphophile Tragic posts, please stop by Taphophile Tragics Blog.


  1. Besides your way of telling a story, I am impressed with your research. I haven't figured out a way of getting much information from names on gravesites.

  2. The monument looks both like a gateway and has the stringed effect and shape of a harp! Beautiful! Interesting too how Campbell can be a male or female middle name. My mother's middle name was Campbell!

  3. What an interesting post. Your research is indeed remarkable.

  4. I have never seen a doorway or gateway as a gravemarker before, very unusual. Thanks for a fascinating picture and all the info. So sad to lose a daughter at 15 - eternal summer indeed

  5. I like his hyphenated name...and you have brought the dead back to life by telling us a little about his life and his family...Awesome!!

  6. I like the symbolism of this headstone.
    And to see all those men playing bowls in a suit and tie...priceless!

  7. Beautiful tombstone, the angel holding the scrolled message is remarkable; and great research into the family, you really went the extra mile there...

  8. I, too, like the hypenated names. Reeks of the need to be noticed. And the playing of bowls whilst thus attired ... too funny. But then, an Australian would think like that!

    Yes, the doorway to the next world is unique to my eyes. Links nicely with 'window to the soul'.

    I find it very emotionally satisfying to give life to these people one more time. To research and to find out more about them and bring them to a wider audience.

    I really appreciate you post each week. Thank you.

  9. wow, what a grave. literally a door. i really, really like that. so pretty. i would never have thought of that!

  10. Now, that's a beautiful tombstone!

  11. Hi. I just noticed you stopped by my blog a week or so ago (for some reason, wordpress marked your comment as spam). I'm excited to find your blog through your comment. I am, indeed, a taphophile. I used to live in New Orleans where there are some amazing cemeteries. It was one of my favorite places to photograph. I absolutely love this Gate of Everlasting Life. It seems so strange, somehow, to see the doorway all alone.


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