Visit to Braddan New Cemetery 13th August 2017
Order of graves from 1896 up to 1933
The Archibald Knox designed headstones in Braddan New Cemetery span a period of 37 years and are varied in style, structure and stone/rock composition. Some are showing signs of weathering whilst others look remarkably fresh.
As well as the front of the headstone many have the patterns continuing onto the sides; and the boundaries of the graves also have telltale Knox designs, cut aways and lettering on them.
Below are details of the 11 gravestones and the stories of the deceased, where known.
Catherine Louise Quayle (died 21st June 1896)
Catherine Louise Quayle was the daughter of Thomas Quayle, the well known Douglas stonemason, and his wife Catherine. She died at the age of 22 and her headstone says "A GENTLE LIFE".
The Knox motifs on the memorial are numerous and at the centre of the cross is a heart - probably showing God's love to the world, as he uses it many times in The Deer's Cry. "Jesu Mercy" or "Jesus Mercy" is also used on many of his memorial stones.
Thomas Quayle died at 71 in 1910 and his son Thomas Stephen Quayle carried on the stonemasons' business. Many of the Knox memorials were produced by these two great stonemasons and their names are carved into many of the graves.
Nina Shaw (nee Moughtin) (died 26th May 1900)
What a tragedy befell this young lady of 23 who was married to a well known Variety agent - Mr Tom Shaw. Newspapers in England and the Isle of Man poured out sympathy for the well liked couple and Mrs T Shaw (as she was known) was the daughter of Manx Councillor Captain Moughtin and grand-daughter of Alderman Curphey.
The couple had been happily married for just over 3 years and had a baby boy. They had just purchased a new villa residence in Brixton, London and were looking forward to their new successful life together. An accident of a trifling nature left Mrs Shaw with a scratch on the chin and, despite the skill of an eminent London physician, she died of blood poisoning within three days.
There are four hearts on the memorial and this is the first of a small group of memorials with wheel/ring headed crosses - there are 2 more in this cemetery - James Beale and David Kewley ("Dawsey").
At the bottom of the headstone is inscribed " Memory is the only friend that grief can call its own" - lines from "The heart bowed down" by Alfred Bunn (April 8, 1796 – December 20, 1860) who was an English theatrical manager.
The Manx Sun newspaper for Saturday 22 December 1900 wrote the following under the headline "A Chaste Monument." - "There are also shown on the socket four hearts in mosaic, the inlaying being of green and yellow marbles. The grave is enclosed with a fine marble kerb, surmounted by a rail in aluminium. Mr Archibald Knox, of London, and formerly of Douglas, is responsible for the design, and the beauty of the monument speaks volumes for Mr Knox's genius. Mr Thomas Quayle, of St. George's Street Douglas, executed the marble and mosaic work, and the carving; and the rail is by Messrs. J and W. Knox, of the Bridge, Douglas.
Dorothy Gell (died 18th April 1899)
Dorothy Gell was the 2nd daughter of Henry Thomas Gell and Alice Muriel Gell and she died aged 1 year and 8 months. She was also the grand-daughter of Robert Gell who has the headstone next to her and died 17 days after her.
Robert Gell (died 5th May 1899)
Robert was a builder and he died on 5th May 1899 (not 15th) just 17 days after his grand-daughter who is buried in the next plot.
He was 58 years old and lived at Pleasington Villa, Douglas.
The Isle of Man Examiner for Saturday May 13th 1899 stated that "he was most enterprising and ingenious. In earlier life he learnt the cabinet-making and joinery businesses. He left the Island about 30 years ago and took up his residence in Stretford, near Manchester, where he carried on business as a builder on a considerable scale. Mr Gell returned to his native Island in 1886, and continued in building operations. In 1889 and 1890 Mr Gell took up the business of automatic delivery machines, and invented one of the most ingenious contrivances in connection with these machines. He obtained a patent applicable to the whole of the United Kingdom for his invention, and sold it to the Mona Automatic Supply Company Limited - of which company Mr Gell was managing director up to the time of his death…."
The photogrphs of the two Gell gravestones are shown below side by side, as they are in the cemetery.
On looking through the newspapers for May 1899 it was revealed that Robert Gell died on 5th May and not 15th May as sated on his gravestone.
William Trigg Hale (died 10th June 1903)
William died suddenly at 68 Derby Road. Husband of Catherine Hale.
The headstone is quite worn but although it was carved by T Quayle.
On the internet it states that the lettering of "VITA" is surely Knox's. However, this Art Nouveau lettering was popular at the time. According to Tim Quayle (a descendent of Thomas Quayle the stonemason) stated the lettering is not by Knox and he put this remark on the back of a set of photographs at the Manx Museum.
James Beale (died 10 September 1901)
James F Beale was a brewer from Workington and only son of J H and M Beale of Bristol. He died at the age of 25 and was living at Stanley House, 4 Mount Havelock, Douglas.
T Quayle's name is carved into the bottom of the memorial stone. This is Thomas Stephen Quayle.
David Kewley "Dawsey" (died 25th March 1904)
A great Knox design for a great man of Douglas. David Kewley (often known as "Dawsey") was a boatman for the Steam Packet Company from 1877. He was born in 1850 and died on 25th March 1904. A member of the Douglas Rocket Brigade and volunteer in the Lifeboat service, renowned for his involvement in the saving of lives. He is recognised for being directly involved in the saving of 23 lives , and as a member of the Douglas Lifeboat Crew he assisted in saving many more. Some contemporary reports list that he saved as many as 38 lives. He received many awards from the Royal Humane Society for his life-saving exploits. He was undoubtedly a man of dauntless courage but he would never speak about his feats and disliked hearing other people talk about them.
If you look up his entries in wikipedia there are many newspaper reports of his rescues - 1879, 1882, 1884, 1888 and 1893.
He caught a chill in March 1904 and ended up in Noble's Hospital where he died of pneumonia which may have been contributed to by his numerous immersions in icy - cold water.
His funeral was attended by local dignatries and members of the Steam Packet Company board as well as a large crowd of mourners that stretched from the cemetery all the way to Quarterbridge.
The Mona's Herald for Wednesday March 30th March 1904 had the headline "A Brave Manxman"
The lettering on the gravestone was originally picked out in Indian Red- apparently Knox's preferred colour.
Following Dawsey's death a meeting was held, presided over by the Mayor of Douglas, at which it was decided that a monument was to be erected in his memory through public subscription.
The monument to the heroism of Dawsey Kewley, Douglas, Isle of Man can be seen in the first sunken garden on the promenade (nearest to the Ferry Terminal)., opposite the Sir William Hillary Lifeboat monument.
Th monument was erected by W. Cathcart of Glasgow and is made of Aberdeen granite. It was originally a drinking fountain and water trough with the water issuing from the mouth of a stone lion. In the panel above the lion is a sculpture typifying one of Dawsey's rescues. Originally situated at the apex of the Pier Buildings on the Victoria Pier the monument was unveiled by the Deputy Governor of the Isle of Man, Deemster Thomas Kneen, on Thursday 8 June 1905. Numerous civic dignitaries were in attendance and during the course of the ceremony two certificates from the Royal Humane Society were awarded to Samuel Webb, in recognition for his rescue of a young boy who's fallen into the sea off Douglas Promenade, and to G. Cowin for rescuing an elderly lady from Douglas Harbour. At the moment of the unveiling salutes were fired from the Douglas Rocket Station and Douglas Head Lighthouse.
Following the construction of the new Douglas Sea Terminal in the late 1960s the monument was sited for many years at the southern end of Douglas Promenade adjacent to a car park. It was moved to its current site in one of the promenade's sunken gardens following renovation work. A poem was also written in Dawsey's honour:
"'Tis said that 38 were rescued by his hand,
Yet naught did he relate of all these exploits grand.
Oh, many have fame not half as brave as he,
A man who duty made his aim and waited silently."
Wiiliam Robert Kennaugh (died at sea 17th November 1929)
This is an incredible gravestone and has many more people's names on it now. It was set up initially for William Robert Kennaugh who died at sea on SS Biafra on 17th November 1929 at the age of 33. He was the dearly loved only son of John Edward and Eleanor Kennaugh, 16 Peel Road, Douglas.
The memorial to Robert is around the top of the gravestone and reads: "To the glory of God in memory of William Robert Kennaugh who died and was buried at sea 17th Nov 1929 aged 33 years."
The standard of carving and the design are wonderful and I will let it speak for itself rather than comment on it.
It may be totally unrelated but looking through The Port of London records of 13th December 1929 SS Biafra was infested with rats and had to be fumigated with sulphur dioxide and traps had to be set.
Philip Henry Cannell (died 3rd December 1915)
A fantastic (red sandstone) memorial stone to the son of Joseph and Jane Cannell. He lived at 78 Buck's Road, Douglas He was Petty Officer First Class on board HMS Ardent having been born on 27 February 1882. He must have died on leave as he was buried in the cemetery on 6th Decemer with full military honours. He was ony 33.
HMS Ardent went on to fight in the Battle of Jutland, and was sunk on 1st June 1916 - only two of her crew survived.
Robert Knox (and family) (died 19th September 1924)
Robert was born in Scotland 1855 and was Archibald's older brother. He seems to be the only Knox who had children. Sons - John and James and daughters - Clino, Margaret and Annie. His wife was Margaret Ann Knox.
Robert joined his father's firm and was an engineer and after the father's death in 1901 he had his own marine engineering firm and owned several vessels. Very well regarded as an engineer and some of the firm's work was sent to all parts of the world.
Archibald Knox 22 February 1933
Born in Cronkbourne Village (c 1 mile away from Braddan New Cemetery) on 9th April 1864 to Scottish parents William and Ann. His siblings were :- 4 brothers - Robert, William, John and Carmichael, 2 sisters - Christina and Annie. The family moved to South Quay, Douglas where his father set up an engineering firm. Then to 70 Athol Street in Douglas where Archibald died suddenly on 22 February 1933.
I have included below notes and photos that were taken of the grave on 22nd February 2017 (84th death anniversary) and also on 9th April 2017 (153rd birth anniversary).
As you will see below, originally the gravestone was grey and white.
Trip to Archibald Knox’s grave 9th April 2017.
We have just visited Knox’ birthplace and here, less than a mile away, is his grave. But what a story of a life and a genius there is in that one mile Journey.
Knox designed many gravestones, memorials and plaques some of which are in the same cemetery as his. It is believed that Knox designed this present one for a member of the Quayle family (Thomas Quayle’s stonemasonry company produced many of them in different designs and materials). However, there seems to have been a family disagreement, and when Knox died suddenly of heart failure on 22nd February 1933 it was thought appropriate to use one of his own designs on his gravestone.
Who did the lettering and who wrote the epitaph? "Here lies Archibald Knox Artist…………….A humble servant of God, in the ministry of the beautiful.”
Winifred Tuckfield was a student of Archibald Knox in Surrey and was one of the founder members of the Knox Guild of Design and Craft. When she visited Knox's grave she sprinkled Marigold seeds on it because she knew they were his favourite flowers.