Hereford Cemetery and Crematorium is perhaps a rather unusual topic for a blog entry but not for people like Claire and I who survey cemeteries as a hobby. It took the two of us 4 hours to check every grave but far less time to realise that, with just one exception, this was a well-run site.
The grounds with neatly mown grass and attractively presented flower beds were a credit to all concerned - but it did leave us wondering about similar facilities in other towns, some of which come across as depressingly shabby. Simple things like providing detailed maps of the site and plenty of benches for visitors to sit on can be provided at negligible cost and it is hard to understand why some large cemeteries are seat and toilet-free zones.
Just about the only area of concern was a certain inconsistency in the treatment of war graves. Almost every cemetery we visit has war graves and most of the time the stones are brilliant white and clearly must have cleaned relatively recently. In the bigger cemeteries such as Hereford the war graves tend to be concentrated in a small area and the grass around the graves is always kept short and well-manicured. Equally well maintained war graves can sometimes be found scattered across the sites we have visited and I can only assume that this is in accordance with the wishes of the respective families.
This overwhelming evidence of the respect shown to our war-dead makes the sad fate of a few of the graves we have seen all the harder to understand. Some of these scattered graves have become dirty and overgrown and are unquestionably not receiving the intended degree of care and attention. This seems to imply that the master list of war graves, sub-divided by location, contains some errors?