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 Service of Re - dedication of the grave of Lt Col FV Northey.

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PostSubject: Service of Re - dedication of the grave of Lt Col FV Northey.   Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:56 pm

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Lt Col Francis Vernon Northey 60th Rifles.

Service of Re - dedication of the grave of Lt Col FV Northey
1230 hrs
Saturday the 9th of December 2017
Ashley Road Cemetery
KT18 5BP

Lt Col Francis Vernon Northey Died of Wounds April the 6th Zululand 1879 Buried Epsom Cemetery 9th of December 1879
Francis Vernon Northey came from a leading Epsom family with a strong ethic of military service. Francis was shot whilst leading his troops against the Zulu’s at the Battle of Gingindlovu in Zululand. After treatment he continued to encourage his men but the wound was mortal and he died four days later. He was buried at first in South Africa, his grave marked with a cross cut from a wooden packing case. However, it was decided that his body should be returned to Epsom for reburial in the family plot in Ashley Road Cemetery near Epsom Racecourse, home of the Derby.

This was a very rare occurrence at the time, military casualties from active service were usually buried near where they fell.  His second funeral was intended to be a low - key affair but still attracted many Epsom townspeople, the Northey family were held in high regard. The grave stone marking his Epsom grave incorporated the wooden cross also brought back with his body from Zululand.  In 1999 the wooden grave marker appeared in a ‘Then and Now’ book on the Zulu War. Due to this and the vulnerability of the grave it was decided to remove the original grave marker.

Two Police Officers, both armed service veterans, carefully removed the wooden cross from the stone marker where it had been displayed for over 120 years.  It was taken to Bourne Hall museum where it underwent a course of preservation and is now in the care of the museum. This was undertaken with permission of the Northey family.

Since then the grave has fallen into disrepair. It is now to be restored and will be re-dedicated on Saturday the 9th of December 2017 at 12 30 pm, attended by members of the Northey family and Civic representatives of the Borough of Epsom and Ewell led by the Mayor. During the service a Guard of Honour will be provided by The Diehards Living History Society representing the 24th of Foot circa 1879. A Zulu war display will be held at the cemetery chapel the same day, included in the exhibition will be the original grave marker.

All are welcome to attend. Donations towards the cost of the restoration will be gratefully received.

Tim Richardson  c/o Bourne Hall Museum

Posted on behalf of Tim Richardson.
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