|The Scottish Cemetery,2000.|
This historical site needs urgent repairs and restoration. In 2008 initial restoration was done under the aegis of KSHT - Kolkata Scottish Heritage Trust with support from the Royal Commission of Ancient and Historic Monuments for Scotland. According
to the article cited by the Kolkata Sottish Cemetery (https://scottishcemeterykolkata.wordpress.com/)
monuments and stones were in bad shape because of neglect.
Initial repairs and clearance of wild growth of plants, etc were done in 2008 by the above team. It seems, it might take sometime for them to restore this site back to its old glory. According to Lord Charles Smith, Chairman of KSHT(vide his interview to Metro, April 2014) the progress on restoration was advancing on all fronts though inadequate funds were limiting their work. He wished he had the kind of support the Serampore Danish Initiative had (from the state government). The Scottish Cemetery at St. Andrew's church is an important record of Scotland's past and should not be lost because of negligence or lack of funds. An important Indo-Scottish connection will be lost for ever beyond redemption, if like-minded people do not act now.
01. The Scottish Cemetery in Kolkata, a historical site that links this city with Scotland, is not yet declared "an historical heritage site of national importance"by the Indian government.
02. Kolkata was tagged as a piece of Scotland by Scots.
03. Ninety percent of the people buried at the Scottish Cemetery were of Scottish origin. The Scots worked for the East India company, a proxy British government and after 1857 (Sepoy Mutiny) worked for the British Crown.
04. There were numerous reputed administrators, military commanders, traders, investors in coffee, tea and jute plantations in Bengal. In addition, there were innumerable Scottish missionaries who came here to preach Christianity.
05. The cemetery is believed to be one of the largest overseas Scottish cemetery, stretching over 6 acres of land in the densely populated part of North Kolkata.
06. There are 1600 burial plots and 2000 burials and monuments. It has 4000 graves. The cemetery has a strong Scottish character.
07. St. Andrews Church has 11 volumes of hand written leather-bound burial records that are in advanced stage of decay.
08. The overall plan of the cemetery is square with grid patterns and random tombs.
09. The headstone are made of Aberdeen granite of Scotland. Further, they bear inscriptions of their makers or sculptors, so, it is easy to conclude that almost all were made in Scotland and transported here for use. It is believed most the stones were used as ballasts by the Kolkata bound ships. The epitaphs are fading.
10. Scots names such as Anderson, Campbell and Ross,
McGregor, etc are recorded in the Register of Interment in the Scottish Cemetery records. The rest 10% are Bengali.
11. Economist James Wilson, who introduced Income Tax and Currency notes in Colonial India was buried in this cemetery. Dr. Thomas Nelson Anandale, founder director of Zoological Survey of India was buried here.
12. A former British M.P. Tam Dalyell, it is reported, has 36 relatives buried here and they worked in India for 200 years.
14. In 1938, out of five large companies four were of Scottish origin and they had under them 400 subsidiary companies from railways to shipping to tea. The Indian company Tatas was a major conglomerate.
15. An extraordinary fact is many Scots were buried before the Scottish Cemetery was built in 1820.
Presidency University has created a digital archive
of the graves in the cemetery from its foundation to the
beginning of the Raj (1858) and this can be accessed at http://scotscemeteryarchivekolkata.com
Inside the Cemetery, one could find nothing but desolation all over the site with wild growth of plants, bushes and trees with strong root system. The main culprit seemed to be "root wedging"that became more active soon after monsoon season. Hundreds of tombs had undergrowth of weeds, etc that damaged or obscured the tombs. Clearing was done in 2008 and since then, repair and restoration work has been slowly progressing.
... Fearless Nadia (Mary Ann Evans; see my early post), a well-known vintage Indian actress was of Scottish Origin.
... George Andrew Yule, a well known industrialist, founder of Indian National Congress, Sheriff of Calcutta and President of Indian
George Andrew Yule,a well known industrialist, founder of Indian National Congress ww.telegraphindia.com
Chamber of commerce and Alan Octovian Hume, an ex ICS administrator and one of the framers of Indian National Congress were Scots of great repute.