Activity Update

With Christmas and the long spate of wet weather recently there has not been the opportunity for more grave clearance in the past month or so.  The next working party is planned for Saturday 6th February at 10am when we are hoping to clear the area of graves of the Croydon family.

Herald Express collage

Herald Express collage

However, the project did receive some useful publicity in a double-page spread in the Herald Express in early January.  Click on the headline to see the full story:

Stories of forgotten South Devon residents told after their hidden graves are revealed

The article raised awareness and brought a few responses.


Norman White, from Hampshire, contacted us about his grandfather, Thomas Bloomfield who was a chief coastguard officer and is buried in the cemetery.

Site of Thomas Bloomfield's grave

Site of Thomas Bloomfield’s grave

I have tracked down the area of the cemetery but as you can see from the attached photograph, more work is needed to identify the exact plot.  The photo gives an idea of how overgrown the cemetery has become – this is only grass but I suspect the hedge has also encroached and hidden all the headstones.

Another letter came from Don Cockman who told us about a terracotta bowl he has with a still-life painting of fruit.  The painting is signed “T Bidwill, Teignmouth, 1894”.  Again we have identified the area of the cemetery where he is buried but can not locate the exact grave because of the undergrowth.  We are awaiting a map showing precise plot locations.

Cemetery - TBidwill plate v2

Still Life, Thomas Bidwill

Finally Barbara Donnelly offered to help with the research we are trying to do.

Barbara is keen on Genealogy and has already unearthed family information about Thomas Bidwill.  He is listed in the census information as a ‘Painter’ so I wonder if we can discover any more of his works?