Pendeen Cemetery. The war memorial is in the centre of the photo at the end of the path, but we shall take a look around the cemetery first. As I mentioned in the previous Pendeen post, some of the headstones we shall visit here are those of miners who lost their lives plying their trade deep beneath the Cornish earth.
Of course, mining was a reserved occupation during the Great War; the miners were required at home to supply the ever-expanding needs of war-time industry. Apart, that is, from those whose expertise was needed overseas, where, from 1915 onwards, underground warfare was taking a more and more prominent role beneath the shell craters of No-Man’s Land.
Which makes the fate of the 31 men, like James Vingoe Trembath, who died in the Levant mine disaster on 20th October 1919, and whose grave is pictured here, all the more poignant. Although I don’t know for sure, men who had survived the horrors of the war beneath the trenches probably died that dreadful day when the man engine collapsed down the shaft, taking its human cargo with it.
A lone South African, a long, long way from home. His date of death is two years after the war’s end, and I wonder why he was still in this country at that time. I can’t imagine there are very many later South African First World War burials over here.
And so to Pendeen war memorial: