Graveyards in Ceylon Colombo Vol II by Eileen Hewson
Kabristan Archives 2009 66 pages PB
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A collection of memorials (about 900 names) in the Holy Trinity Church and the old graveyards of Nuwara Eliya from surveys, written records and biographical details is recorded in this publication, the first since 1913. Several tombstones have been found from the early 20th century survey but many others not previously recorded were found in this later survey of 2008-9.
Nuwara Eliya with its comfortable climate was an oasis for the planters who came from the surrounding tea estates for some home comforts and social life .Under the influence of Sir Samuel Baker the hill station had become a prosperous commercial town and a carbon copy of an English village with the planters’ Hill Club as its social centre. Many planters opted to stay after retirement why go home when you can eat steam pudding and roast beef here and be served by waiters wearing white gloves. Their pensions went a long way in Ceylon and the thought of the cold and expensive climate at home did not appeal.
There are still some reminders of the British period in Nuwara Eliya, the Grand Hotel once the residence of Sir Edward Barnes, Governor of Ceylon, the Hill Club, the Post Office and the fragmented remains of the planters’ lives in its graveyards.