A Message from The British Cemetery of Valencia

Dear Supporters,

What you all have in common is that you have been kind, in one way or another, to the British International Cemetery

– and we thank you once again.   You know about our drive to pay for the stained-glass renovation – and here is our

Early Autumn of Activities :-

Thursday 19th October –        Fund-raising Lunch in a private salon of the Ateneo ( – and raffle!!) – Eu 15

(Plaza del Ayuntamiento, Valencia).

The precise menu details are below – as you will need to select your entree preference.

First course – Choice (in advance)

Vegetable soup with crutons

  • Caeser´s salad with yogurt sauce and anchovies
  • Fried potatoes with bacalao (dried cod) topped with cooked egg

Second course – Choice (in advance)

 

  • Roast Pork sirloin  with sauce
  • Rice with tuna, prawns, squid and mussels (like a fish paella)
  • Goat in clam sauce

Desserts Choice – with changes permitted

  • Fruit
  • Almond tart
  • Baked pumpkin
  • Whipped cinnamon milk and lemon ice-cream

    Includes 1 drink

Sat/Sun 21st-22nd October – Cemetery Clean up Days   Volunteers are needed to prune, weed,  sweep, bag leaves

– and fly the 21 flags representing the nationalities lying at rest there

All to prepare for visitors – to show that it´s a dignified and ACTIVE Cemetery!

From 8 until lunchtime – and in the late afternoon if anyone prefers that!!!

Sunday 29th October            1st Open Day – to welcome anyone who is curious to see a little gem of Valencian

(from 8.30 til 6 or 7 in shifts)   history, to inspect the Bonnie Garden, and the Garden of Remembrance (where we

are now able to bury ashes as well coffins “6 feet under” – in the Northern tradition –

    and it is vital that this news is spread far and wide!)

Wed. 1st Nov. All Saints´ Day 2nd Open Day – again to welcome everyone to see we are NOT “an abandoned place

(from 8.30 til 6 or 7 in shifts)     but one of recognised local, cultural importance, that continues to offer a service.

On both Open Days there will be a space in the courtyard for the sale of donated paperbacks (only Eu 1), lavender sachets

and jars of lemon curd.   We shall need shifts of smiling sales folk – wearing money belts and taking the dosh!!

Obviously if you want further details – or to book the lunch – or to donate a national flag, – or to volunteer (PLEASE!)

e-mail me as soon as you know your other plans.    I shall be away 27th September to 5th October

Thank you very much indeed!

 

The British Cemetery of Valencia is one of the city’s best kept secrets and one that demonstrates that Valencia has always had a large population of foreigners dedicated to all kinds of commercial activity, particularly the development of Valencia’s railways and port.

In 2015 an international group of residents in Valencia tidyied the cemetery up, and  opened it to the general public on November 1st, All Saints’ Day, when people often visit their relatives in graveyards. In 2017 they will be doing the same on 29th October and November 1st.

Project Bonnie is an initiative of the same group started in 2012, dedicated to the memory of one of their friends, Bonnie Hintzpeter , who died of cancer. A part of the cemetery is now named Bonnie Garden in her memory by members of the International Women´s Club and friends who subsequently created a Garden of Remembrance for the internment of ashes in an inner corner of the Cemetery, which remains active and open for the burial of both coffins and ashes of whatever denomination.

british_cemetery_Vlc

Since the mid 19th century, some kind of British cemetery has been known to exist in Valencia from municipal records, although it wasn’t until 1870 that the present site began shaping up to be the cemetery that stands today and contains not only the remains of British citizens, but of other nations also, some 350 in all from 21 different countries.

Among those to be found there are members of the International Brigades of the Spanish Civil War, A Turkish-born Greek  jew on the run from the Holocaust, merchants, engineers, ex-Consuls and even the founder of Valencia Tennis Club, Alfredo Faulcombridge, who despite the name was British, and who exported oranges to the UK from Valencia.

Municipal records from 1851 refer to the inadequacy of the site being used to bury British citizens in Valencia, who before the Royal Decree of 13th November 1831, along with non-catholic nationals of all countries, were dumped into the sea at low tide.

The first British cemetery was built the same year in Malaga, and among those buried there is Gerald Brenan, the English writer who brought fame to the Alpujarra mountains through his books such as ‘South From Granada’ or ‘The Spanish Labyrinth’.

Nine years after the assignment of a site in Valencia, Valencia Councillor Cristóbal Pascual y Genis (who has a central street named after him where, coincidentally, the British Council had its first site in Valencia) was still calling for the resolution of the problem, while noting that trade with the UK was increasing substantially.

It was largely the intervention of British Vice Consul Enrique Dart y Anglin that made the present day cemetery a reality.

The cemetery today is usually locked, although a nearby florist and a maker of headstones, both situated next door to the cemetery, have keys.

The entrance was designed by architect Antonio Martorell Trilles and bears the date 2nd April 1879. As you enter through an arch that leads to the peaceful interior, there is an inscription dedicated to Dart that reads:

“Erected by the British residents and other friends in Valencia as a token of esteem for his sterling worth and many invaluable services as British Vice Consul and personal friend during his thirty years residence.”

This article was updated on August 29th 2017 thanks to information provided by Diana Clifton-Sewell.

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