[From IoM Times 6 Jan 1940]

The Graves in Patrick

The churchyard of Patrick would be unique among Manx churchyards for one reason alone. It contains the graves of over 120 German men who died while prisoners of war. and their tombstones are inscribed in the German language. It may prove to be unique among all the churchyard in the British Isles. For its inscriptions are not only written in German. Turkish and Hebrew, corresponding to the nationalities of the "enemy aliens" who were confined in camp upon the neighbouring farm of Knockaloe; most of them, naturally, are in English, there are a few in Manx, and one in Latin - six languages in all.

The story of the German graves is well known. The internees - they were not captured prisoners, but aliens working in English towns, and seamen from ships lying in English ports, who were placed in confinement immediately after hostilities had begun - formed a burials committee, and out of their own moneys bought a piece of the burial ground and paid for the erection of the tombstones. They employed a local sculptor, the late Mr Christopher Shimmin, to cut the inscriptions, and he carved neatly and accurately in a foreign language, and sometimes in strange characters, like the fine craftsman he was. The dead were usually buried four or five in a grave, and the tombstone states the name, and the dates of birth and death, of each. Over the names is set a passage of Scripture, and often, a symbol which respresents the palm of victory. This is a sign commonly employed in German monuments, and is found in at least one other Manx churchyard - in Maughold. where are buried three German sailors who were the victims of food poisoning while their ship was berthed in Ramsey harbour. The solitary Turkish tombstone, commemorating seven men, bears the emblem of the Crescent and Star. [All these tombstones were destroyed duringb the 1960's when the remains of the Germans were transferred to Cannock Chase - the Moslem Turks and the Jewish graves were no deisturbed but new memorials erected]

Patrick churchyard has also become a place of more than local interest because of Miss Florrie Forde's tribute to the memory of "Some mother's son," Among the various bodies which were washed up on the Patrick coast alter the submarines had done their deadly work upon merchant shipping, was a lad whose name was unknown. Over his grave was placed a simple cross bearing the words, "British-unidentified. Date of burial, 27/2/18." Some years later the Douglas music-halls were open again, and Miss Forde, at the height of her fame, took an affection for the Isle of Man, and for that quaint little creek The Niarbyl. She visited Patrick churchyard, saw this grave and was moved with compassion, and surrounded the cross with a handsome kerbstone, adding to the inscription the challenging phrase, "Some Mother's Son."

The great world tragedy is also borne home to the wanderer among these tombs by the sight of thirteen crosses in memory of elderly soldiers who died while guarding the Germans in the Knockaloe camp.

But Patrick churchyard had existed exactly 200 years before the Great War began. The dainty little church, with the handsome lych-gate set at the approach, is by no means so old. It was intended to be simply a mortuary chapel, and was built in or about the year 1879. A scheme tor replacing the then parish church with another situated near Glenmaye came to nothing, and at last an Act of Tynwald was passed recognising the mortuary chapel for all ecclesiastical purposes. It has received many adornments - a west window in memory of the Rev. Archibald Holmes, a former vicar; a chancel window with figures of the Saviour, St. Patrick and St. Stephen; two small windows given by members of the Quirk family formerly of Raby; choir stalls newly presented by the late Miss Katherine Corrin; and a fine tiled floor, the gift of Councillor Stephen A. Quirk, ot Douglas, whose birthplace is in Patrick.

The oldest stone in the churchyard was erected to the memory of Ann Callister, otherwise Kelly, who died in 1661. After that the interments seem to begin in 1743. But there are a great number of flat stones flung into the soil, and others upright, which may have once borne an inscription, or at least the faint scratching of a name.

A series of tombstones in the corner facing the highroad to Peel commemorates the Moore family of Ballamoore. Sir George Moore, Knight, died in 1787. He was Speaker of the House of Keys - his portrait appears, with those of other speakers, in the members' room of the House of Keys - and, says the Island's historian, Mr A. W. Moore, he was the leader in efforts to obtain better terms lor Manx commerce after the Revestment. He was predeceased by his wife. Lady Moore, in 1786, and the same grave covers the remains of their grandson, Philip Moore, and his daughter, Jane Price Dunn, wife of Maurice Dunn. An adjoining stone bears an inscription in memory of an elder Philip Moore, who was 91 years old when he died in 1828. It was from Ballamoore, and as the guest of Philip Moore, that the Duke of Atholl set out to go to St. John's on Tynwald Day in 1793, presiding over the Court for the first time after the British Government had appointed him Governor-General of the Isle of Man.

Into this family intermarried James Kelly, Esquire, of Castletown, who died in 1805. His son, John Kelly, High-Bailiff of Castletown and member of the House of Keys, married into another Moore family, that which occupied Rushen Abbey: and his grandson, John Kelly, died at Peel in 1896, having been a member of the Manx Bar for 50 years.

Mr James Kelly's second wife was named Faith Younger, and a very fine tribute is paid to her. "She was the companion and intimate friend of his first wife, Catherine Moore, of whose children she was the affectionate stepmother, faithful guardian, and kind benefactress. Spasmodic cholera terminated the existence of this amiable lady on the 14th September. 1832."

Not far away from High-Bailiff Kelly lies High-Bailiff John Llewellyn, who was also member and secretary of the House of Keys. In a previous article the grave of Mr Thomas Carran, brewer, member of the House of Keys, has been placed in the new cemetery of German. It is really at Patrick, though another Thomas Carran, and other members of the Carran family of Creglea, are buried in German.

Capt. Ewen Cameron, late of Glen Nevis, Invernesshire, who held a commission in the 79th Highlanders, was captain of Patrick parish and a justice of the peace, he owned property called The Raggatt, the succession being derived from William Bridson, M.H.K., who died in 1831, and Charles Kneale, who died in 1812. Another series of graves, enclosed by a low brick wall, relates to the Quirk family of Knockaloe, and also of Parvillc, Arbory. The best-known of the Quirks, James the High-Bailiff and George the Receiver-General, are buried in Malew and Arbory respectively; but there was another James Quirk who died at Knockaloe in 1821. A tall monument was erected to the memory of several children of James Parr and Margery Parr, alias Radcliffe. Among them was the Rev. John Parr, who died in 1777, at the age of 29. A notable Parr was the Deemster who compiled a valuable abstract of the Island's laws, customs and ordinances.

Adjoining is the grave of the Rev. Robert Radcliffe, vicar of Patrick, and one of the vicars-general of the diocese, who died in 1769. This gentleman is mentioned several times in Keble's life of Bishop Wilson. There were two influential Radcliffe families in Patrick, resident at Knockaloe and Gordon-in the older spelling, Gourden. Samsbury Radcliffe of Gourden took an active part in the Illiain Dhone rebellion.

The Reverends Evan Christian and Thomas Stephen, vicars buried in this churchyard, also held the office of Vicar-General.

Another notable family, now extinct, were the Cosnahans of Ballacosnahan. With them lie a relative by marriage. Dr. James Thomas, naval surgeon (formerly of Caermarthenshire); and John Gelling of Ballacosnahan, captain of the parish, and formerly a captain in the 67th Regiment of Foot. His epitaph shows that he was a son of Edward Gelling, of Castletown.

Nearby are buried some of the Quayles of Ballaquayle, a family now represented by Mr T. A. Quayle. M.H.K. Two other gentlemen bearing the name of Quayle have also represented Glenfaba Sheading in the Legislature - Mr John Quayle, of Glenmaye and Mr William Quayle, of Ballaspet. They were brothers.

The Clucases of Kionslien were another solid yeoman stock. Among them was Hugh Clucas, High-Bailiff of Peel, who died in 1817. and in the present generation, Mr W. E. Clucas (born in England), is president of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. A related family of Clucases owned and farmed Barrule.

One of the most distinguished natives of Peel was the Hon. James Kewley Ward, of Montreal, a member of the Quebec legislature and a prosperous man in the business of exporting timber. He died in 1910, at the great age of 92. He made gifts to his native land while living, and provided for their continuance when he was dead, and was the donor of the Ward Public Library in Peel. His father, John Ward (a native of Durham), and several of his brothers, are buried in Patrick, and he raised a memorial to them. They died in different parts of the Empire, and the epitaph, which has partly flaked away, states that they all served their country in promoting her best interests, in the paths of industry and peace. "Peace hath her victories no less than war."

Quirk is the characteristic surname in this parish, and is so extremely common that scholars have derived it from the parish"s patron saint. The Manx form of Patrick is Pherick, and MacPherick, Patrick's son, might very easily, in the course of generations, evolve into Quirk. On the other hand, the name Quark is pronounced exactly in the same way, and there is good evidence that Quark is MacMark - Mark being commonly pronounced in the Isle of Man as Merk; and Quirk is also found in Ireland, where there is no record of Mac being shortened into C, and the initial consonant of the following word being necessarily dropped.

The Quirks of Raby (now represented by Mr Richard B. Quirk, M.L.C., C.P.), were probably the most influential family in the place. Mr Richard Quirk, C.P., J.P., a member of the self-elected House of Keys, who died in 1892. is still spoken of with the utmost respect. He was the last man, by the way, to exercise the captain's ancient right of summoning the parishioners by sending round a man with the fiery cross. An earlier Richard Quirk, also captain, died in 1849, and is buried in the older portion of the churchyard. The present Mr Quirk's father. Richard Stephen Quirk. was chief engineer on the famous ocean liner Great Eastern. A tall monument to him was erected by '"a few friends and shipmates in Liverpool.''

The captains, officers, and engineers of the Harrison steamship line erected a tombstone in memory of Captain W. J. Gell, the company' s marine superintendent, who died on the 13th April, 1895.

Kay, earlier spelt Key, is a name peculiar to Patrick. A tall upright piece of stone, of no date but obviously of great age, bears the lettering "Patrick Keey' : and the name is scattered throughout the churchyard. It may be related to the much rarer Kee, now surviving in a well-known Ramsey family.

An artistic arrangement of letters gives the name of the Rev. Edward Henry Leatham Locke, who was vicar of Patrick from 1921 to 1930. Before that. as many people will remember, he ministered at St. Mary's, Castletown. Another vicar buried here is the Rev. Hugh Coleman Davidson, whose son, similarly named, wrote an early Manx novel.

Captain W. H. Thornton-Duesbery. who died in 1883, was the father ot Bishop Charles L. Thornton-Duesbery interred at Michael in 1928. Around the kerb of his grave is inscribed the text. "Then are they glad because they be quiet: so He bringeth them unto their desired haven."

James Drennan, grandfather of Mr W. R. Drennan, of Douglas, is buried in Patrick. The ancestor of the family came to the Island about 120 years ago. as a teacher of dancing.

The following inscriptions in Manx are to be found in Patrick:-
Ann Clarke, wife of John Clarke, of Glenrushen, died 1828.

Cre t' ayns y theihll nee mish cumrail
Vein gloyr as maynrys bra?
Tra ta ny hr.inlyn cheet my whail,
"Tar roycl,"' ta Yeesey gra.
Dy chur-my-per yn Eayn hur baase,
As cur ard-voylley da;
As goaill arrane jeh mooads e ghrayse.
As shen er son by bra.

The English, from a hymn by Charles Wesley, is as follows:-

What is there here to court my stay,
Or hold me back from home,
While angels beckon me away.
And Jesus bids me come? . . .
In rapturous awe on Him to gaze.
Who bought this sight for me;
And shout, and wonder at His grace,
Through all eternity!

Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Clarke, of Glenrushen. "Bannit t' adsyn ta glen ayns cree; son \er ad Jee my-ner" ("Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God").
John Quane, of Ballacrink, died 1853

In kione shen veagh ching ec aash,
E smooinaghtyn ooilley ec fea;
Yn aigney ta seyr veih angaish.
My smoo cha jean gennaght anvea.

This is the equivalent of a verse in the obsolete Wesley hymn,"O lovely appearance of death":

This languishing head is at rest .
Its thinking and aching are o'er;
This quiet immovable breast
Is heaved by affliction no more.

William Quirk, of Treljea. who died 1867. Nish, ta aym yn boayl dy fea, Ayn ta m 'annym nish ec aash. This is a very feeble translation of the opening lines of Wesley's hymn: Now I have found the ground wherein Sure my soul's anchor may remain.

Thomas Christian, died 1905:"Bannit ta ny merriu ta geddyn baase ayns y Chiam" ("Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord").

On the grave of William Clucas, who died in 1900. there is inscribed the simple Manx greeting "Oie Vie," "Goodnight." The same idea is carried out on a grave in the Peel cemetery, covering the remains of a stalwart old Manx speaker named John Watterson, or, as he insisted on being called, John Kodhere. Kodhere is a variant or Watterson only employed in Patrick and German. The well-known Celtic scholar Professor Rhys was so impressed with its similarity to the name Cottier, common in the same area, that he derived Watterson from MacOttar instead of the usually accepted MacWater or Walter.

Everyone has heard of the inscriptions carved in the memorial tower set up on Peel Hill by Thomas Corrin. of Knockaloe Beg, ancester of the family which has made such munificent benefactions to the town of Peel. Mr Corrin was an ardent Dissenter who would not, in his grave, have the ministrations of the Established Church. But before he took this course, he had exercised a passion for verse on the tombstones of members of his family buried in the ordinary way in the parish church. This is what he wrote over the actual remains of his mother. Alice Corrin, who died in 1802:-

How didst thou leave this mortal life so soon,
At 54 to be laid in the tomb?
Was it for want ot friends to soothe thy sigh.
Or did physicians careless let thee die?
No. my friends, your cordial love did ease
The pain that brought me to my destined place;
The doctor try'd with all his skill to save,
But could not rescue from the silent grave.
What was the reason, then, that thou didst leave
Thy dearest friends for to possess the grave?-'
Twas the great God of all. the King ot Kings,
That called me home from all terrestrial things.

Among other quaint inscriptions in Patrick, a prominent place must be found for that which commemorates Alice Cowin, whose burial took place in 1829:-

My mother dear, that lieth here,
And we feel for her borry,
Great is the loss that we sustain,
But we hope to meet in glory.
3 of her children are gone before,
5 yet are left behind her,
We hope to travel hand in hand.
Till the 8 all meet around her.

"Borry" is apparently an illiteracy for "body." Other notable verses are:- Charles W. Ward, mariner, died in 1882.

No more can rocks, or shoals or foes,
My perfect peace annoy;
For there is nothing to oppose,
Where all is perfect joy.

William, son of Thomas and Catherine Hodgson, who died in 1854, at the age of 20.

Few were his years, but yet enough to teach
Devotion, duty, faith and hope and love;
Repine not, therefore, ye who loved the dead.

Catherine, daughter ot Philip and Jane Price Moure, who died at the age ot five years and nine months.

Beneath this tomb a little infant lies,
Freed from the anxious miseries ol life;
Sleep on . sweet innocent! thy lot's a prize,
To leave a world of folly, care and strife.

Mary Ann (Fearn), wife of William Quirk.

Shed not for me the bitter tear,
Nor give your heart to vain regret;
"Tis but the casket that lies here,
The gem that filled it, sparkles yet.

Philip Quirk, of Treljea, died 1830.

Praises on tombs are trifles vainly spent.
A man's good name is his sure monument.

The place-name given above is variously spelt as Treljea, Trellga, and Troilgey.

William Smith, son of Matthew and Eleanor Smith, of Foxdale, aged 22.

When thy latter end drew nigh.
Thou wast afraid to die:
Thou didst work with all thy might.
Praise and prayers were thy delight:
But thy life was finished soon:
Yes, thy sun went down at noon.

One cannot but feel the dint of pity as one beholds the monument erected by Thomas Stevenson and Jane his wile, who emigrated to America on the 9th September. 1854, in memory of four young children. It is easy to picture these people leaving their native land for ever, and ensuring first that their dead babies should not lack a memorial.

Equally pathetic is the story recorded on the tomb of Eleanor Ahce Foster (daughter of James Quirk), late of Australia, who died in Bury Infirmary in 1919:

She travelled far and suffered much, her native land to see;
Ever faithful and gentle too, in patience ne'er was such.

The assumption is that this Manx woman set out to revisit the Isle of Man, and died on the way.

And over the graves of Dr. Douglas Parkes, who died at Knockaloe Camp in 1919. appear the well-known lines of R. L. Stevenson:

This be the verse you grave for me
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea
And the hunter home from the hill.

 [Manx Note Book]     



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