There is nothing more disappointing to a family researcher than finding where their ancestors are buried, only to find that no sign of a headstone exists. One often asks why at least there is not a wooden cross to mark the spot. We often think of the normal decays of time being the answer.
This is often the case at Shortland Cemetery, Thames - where storms have been known t destroy graves, through fallen trees and land slips. In 1943 though it appears that fire played a part in the total destruction of hundreds of graves.
|Thames Star 19/3/1943|
(Source: Hauraki Herald Newspaper archive)
Regardless of the cause of headstone destruction, many remain in a poor state and thanks must go to the volunteer/s over the years who have admirably tried to keep fallen headstones semi-intact and in the right location. The Treasury at Thames is undertaking a project to photograph all remaining headstones, so that at least a photo will remain of those left standing.
|Aerial of Shortland Cemetery, Thames|
The South Eastern boundary being the portion to the far lower-right
Photo courtesy of TCDC Intramaps