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Templecorran Graveyard

Overseas connections


Families with overseas connections have often added the names of their relatives onto stones, among them James Hume (died in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1925), Edward Hugh and Jenny McKinty (Canada, 1910 and 1914), Thomas Service (Sydney, Australia, in 1937), and Lily Taylor (South Africa, 1902). The United States forms the bulk of overseas family members, with surnames involved including Agnew, Allen, McDowell, Orr, Pinkerton, and Wright and locations including Philadelphia, New York, Indianapolis, Chicago, San Francisco and Monroe, Washington. Others who died away from home included sailors such as Samuel McIlwain, who was lost overboard from a ship rounding Cape Horn in 1897 at the age of 28. McIlwain is one of a number of locals remembered on gravestones who were lost at sea or drowned.


The overseas theme has one of the more unique gravestones in the area, in that the memorial to James Thomson Dowlin, who died in 1944, has a large map of his native Tasmania covering the front of the stone. The gravestone of David Barry notes that he was a former President of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce; he had extensive shipping interests both in Ireland and England and was awarded the OBE for services in requisitioning ships for war service during the Great War. The Barry family is well represented in gravestones in the graveyard, another being Miss Margaret Barry who was a teacher, following the footsteps of her father, William Barry. She died in 1929. Other teachers in the graveyard include James A. Colhoun, a native of Londonderry, and Adam Turtle, who taught for a time in Canada before returning to take up position as Master in Ballycarry and marry his sweetheart.


The connection with the sea was strong among the community, and this is reflected, as has been alluded to, in a number of graves - at least ten can be identified - which make reference to men who lost their lives through drowning; surnames include Aiken, Burns, Hoy, McFerran, McMurtry, Towell, Milliken, George, Penny and O’Prey, the latter being a servant of the Earl of Belfast who drowned with four others as they made their way to the Earl’s yacht Dalriada in Belfast Lough in 1817. The large horizontal heavy slate stone was placed in the graveyard by the Earl of Belfast, presumably one of five similar stones in the province.


The memorial to the Bard of Ballycarry highlights the strong poetic influence in the area, and at least two other prominent local poets are buried at Templecorran. William James Hume was author of a famous local folksong called ‘The Muttonburn Stream’, which was recorded by the late Richard Hayward, while William Calwell was also an entrepreneur and founder of a co-operative creamery in the village. He had also lived and worked as a builder in California for some years and imported San Francisco housing designs to the area, examples of which remain in the adjacent Main Street and elsewhere. Calwell’s grave is marked by a modern Celtic cross in granite and is among the more distinctive memorials in the 1906 section of the graveyard.


Close by is the grave of the Steele family of Leafield, whose most famous member was General Sir James Steele, an army officer who served through two world wars and in peacetime. His ashes are interred there, along with those of his wife, Lady Janet Steele, and other family members. A bronze relief memorial to General Steele is located on the amenity green alongside the graveyard. The Steele inscriptions also mention family members in Australia. Other service graves include those mentioning surnames including Gillespie (Whitehead), Haveron, Kirkcaldy (Magheramorne), McMaw (Eden, Carrickfergus), and Robinson. The most poignant gravestone in the Templecorran graveyard is probably that of a family of seven, the Hutchinsons, who were originally from the village and died in the Belfast Blitz of 1941.

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