'Historical importance’ Volunteers Hugh Davidson and Rudolph Morris with James Tucker, of the National Trust, at Ireland Island. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead
'Historical importance’ Volunteers Hugh Davidson and Rudolph Morris with James Tucker, of the National Trust, at Ireland Island. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead
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A survey of Bermuda’s unique and historical cemeteries will be undertaken by two National Trust volunteers next year.

Hugh Davidson and Rudolph Morris will embark on the project for the first time in three years next January.

The duo will travel the length of the island visiting all the military graveyards from St. George’s to Sandys, inspecting hundreds of headstones and monuments to see what restoration work is needed.

They will then report back to the National Trust, which is responsible for the upkeep of these historical treasures.

Mr Davidson, chairman of the Historic Cemeteries Committee, said: “We see examples of vandalism from time to time and we will be checking to see whether the concrete of headstones and monuments needs to be restored.

“These are historically important cemeteries and it’s important they are kept in a good state of repair.

‘Treasures’

“They still have an awe about them and every year a handful of people will visit Bermuda to see the last resting place of an old relative who died on Bermudian soil so we owe it to them to look after these treasures.”

Mr Davidson told the Bermuda Sun: “It may sound strange to say but many of the cemeteries are still alive with history.

“The Royal Naval Cemetery on Ireland Island is very romantic and a beautiful setting.

“I’m sure we will find that there is work that needs to be done as it’s been a couple of years since we have done a full check.

“In the meantime Parks and WEDCo have ensured the grass has remained cut and the graves have not become overgrown.

“But it’s our job to look at the monuments and the graves themselves to see if restoration work needs to be done.

“These cemeteries are living reminders of Bermuda’s unique past and need to be cherished.”

Up until 2010 the National Trust was provided with an annual grant from Government to help maintain the island’s military graveyards.

And over the past three years the Trust has done its best to look after the cemeteries with its limited budget.

But the charity recently received a new grant from a different department in Government to help with restoration work. And Trust bosses have applied for a similar grant to help towards the work for 2014.

There are principally 19 military cemeteries in Bermuda that include 138 war graves and the final resting place of Victoria Cross recipient Scotsman George MacKenzie Samson.

Some of the cemeteries are situated on small islands in the Great Sound and some graves date back to the 18th century.