Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Where foreigners who die in Afghanistan are buried

The British Cemetery, seen here in center of this photo at the bottom of the hill, is a grassy walled plot adjacent to a Muslim cemetery (the green-roofed structures and green flags on the slopes of the hill).

The entrance is located on a dusty side street in central Kabul. This is the caretaker's son.

It is a peaceful, silent retreat, where I could walk freely without being stared at or suffering cat calls.

The oldest graves date to the 19th century. In quotes below are excerpts from some of the signs.

"The British Cemetery in Kabul is believed to contain the graves of more than 150 British soldiers, casualties of the 1st British-Afghan War (1839-40), the occupation of Kabul (1840-42) and the 2nd British-Afghan War (1879-81). Over the years, the grave markers of these soldiers have gradually disappeared to the point that in 2001, when British troops once more returned to the city as part of the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF), only ten remained. These, as you can see, were rescued and have now been collected together and set into the southern wall."

About Lt. Charles John Rumball Hearsey, age 23: "On 11 December 1879 he took part in a brave but ultimately futile cavalry charge when 220 British and Native cavalry attacked 10,000 Afghan tribesment who were advancing on Kabul. He was shot in the heart."

There lie citizens of many nations -- soldiers, missionaries and hippies who died in Afghanistan during the various wars that have plagued this country and in times of peace.

Born 1934. Died 1982.

Soviet, 1923-1946.

Un des français enterrés içi.
Died in 1978, just two months shy of her 65th birthday.

Born in Prague, 1882.
Died in Kabul, 1942.

On the stone of William Joseph Jahrmarkt, who died on 1-30-72, during the hippie heyday of Afghanistan: "BILLY BATMAN LOVES Joan Jade Hassan Caldoania & Digger."

I found an interesting excerpt on Jahrmarket at this web site.

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