Monday, 28 November 2011

Easily Missed

If you walk up the Duke of York steps,
ignoring the sight which always makes you wistful - policemen on horses, the job you dreamed of as a child (you saw a television programme about it once - it appeared to involve cleaning tack all morning, plus grooming, then ambling around London's streets on your gleaming horse for the whole of the afternoon):

Look at them, lucky sods - living the dream.

Anyway, as I said, if you ignore the mounted policeman and also don't get distracted by heading off toward Admiralty Arch and the poignant statue of poor old Captain Cook that stands down there on the right, hidden by those trees:
but instead climb the Duke of York Steps:

and turn sharp left at the top, you will see some railings:
and behind those railings you will find a tiny tombstone:

which you might easily have missed, if I hadn't pointed it out to you. And, if you do find it and you want to know what its story is, you can find out here - where you will also see some fairly startling photographs of a 1936 funeral - although not of the funeral of Giro.


  1. This morning I cycled to work from Waterloo and stopped to see Giro's gravestone. Thanks for the prompt. I also stopped at the Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park Corner and paid my respects to Bee & Walford (thanks for continuing their diaries).

  2. Thank you very much for that, the little concentration-point of a grave is terrific -- not only the history around it, but also the fact that someone came along afterwards and added another thought to the original thought, in the shape of that shelter, which, by framing the gravestone crooked gives you physical evidence that the stone is old, and has moved, and that time passes, and passes unusually, and in ways that can't be planned, things shift, the future changes to accommodate them, etc, etc.

  3. Thank you, Huw: how nice it is to think that you were prompted to do those things by this blog. It can't be a complete waste of time, therefore. That memorial is very moving, I think, although Wikipedia, rather fascinatingly, details the shifting - and often hostile - opinions it has attracted from critics. I was glad to come across another casting of one of the statues there at Hyde Park Corner - the Driver - outside the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne.

  4. Rarely did things shift as radically, perhaps, as in the years after Giro's death, Umbagollah