Victoria Cross Recipient’s Grave Found In Nagpur

Victoria Cross, Seminary hills, Nagpur, All Souls Day, Major George Murray Ronald, Tiger-gap cemetery
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Victoria cross medal (VC) is a Military decoration, the highest award in the United Kingdom Honours system. It is awarded to the persons of any rank in navy, military and air forces of United Kingdom. This award was started under Queen Victoria’s instructions after the Crimean war, on 29 January 1856.

Victoria Cross, Seminary hills, Nagpur, All Souls Day, Major George Murray Ronald, Tiger-gap cemeterySource: lordashcroftmedals

A decorated major’s, burial was found at an unseen corner near the 200-year old cemetery at Seminary hills. The grave was of Major George Murray Ronald, who was awarded by a Victoria cross medal in 1903 during his services for the British Empire’s third Somaliland expedition in Africa. The grave was found during the cleaning process at the Tiger-gap graveyard by the members of the Anglian Chruch’s cemetery before the ‘All Souls Day’ which was on November 2, a ritual of remembering the perished. After the Somaliland expedition, Roland was posted in Nagpur where he died on July 9, 1910 and was buried at the Tiger-gap cemetery. Roland’s medal is displayed on rotation at the Imperial war museum and at the Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary heroes exhibition. Roland was the only VC recipient who was in Nagpur in his last days. The cemetery committee has now taken responsibility of maintaining the grave and also stated of contacting Ronald’s family members.  

Victoria Cross, Seminary hills, Nagpur, All Souls Day, Major George Murray Ronald, Tiger-gap cemeterySource: lordashcroftmedals

Rachana Singh one of the committee members stated while interviewing for TOI  “People visiting the cemetery could hardly notice Rolland's grave which lay covered under overgrowth. I have been coming here since childhood but did not know about it. When we cleared the shrubs I noticed the sign 'V-C' on the broken cross, it stands for Victoria Cross," said Rachana Singh of the Cemetery Committee. "We will now maintain the grave and also try to contact the relatives," Rachana added.

Many other unseen graves and many historical stories were found during the cleaning process. Some of them are, Robert Rouscoe, a 47 year old Tata Empress mill employee. Gertrude, the daughter of educationist Sir Harish Singh Gour was buried here.

In an interview with TOI Mr. Umarrao quotes “It was indeed surprising to see several old graves, we need to preserve the area”, said Reverend Arif Umarrao, the Chruch’s pastor.

Information Source: timesofindia

Title image: holidayiq

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