Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh. A cemetery where some of Edinburgh’s most affluent and influential people have been lain to rest.
Occupying a place in a cemetery full of large monuments is this small old wooden cross, with the name David Cecil Hope MacBrayne pinned to it.
The cross was repatriated from a First World War cemetery. The young man was only 19 years old when he was killed in action on 21 June 1917. David has an easily traced life story. His name is no coincidence. He was the son of another David MacBrayne – as in the ferry company. One might think then that this is a family of well to do comfort. But the stone next to this cross tells a contrasting story. David’s sister Olive died in 1908, aged 8, his mother Frances passed away in 1915, aged 52. His father lived until he was 70, in 1932. By then, the government had stepped into to salvage the remains of his company.
There are many repatriated grave markers across the country. One source for finding them is Returned from the Front. Finding them and then finding out about the person whose life they mark can be a surprisingly enjoyable and contemplative activity.
The above photograph was taken using a Canon 30D, with a 50mm lens, f1.8 @ 1/125 sec. Post processing was kept simple in Lightroom, using my own “My Favourite Black and White” preset, with some additional vignette.