Preservation

Restoring the Grave of Irvine Stephens Bulloch, CSN

by Bob Jones

 

In 2001 a ceremony for the two Bulloch brothers was held in Toxteth Park cemetery, Liverpool, England. This was arranged by Mr Roy Rawlinson in conjunction with Mrs Annette Elam Wetzel of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC).

 

After the event, efforts were made to try and raise funds to get the grave of Irvine Stephens Bulloch restored after it was vandalised in about 1990. After a wait of a few years and nothing being forthcoming on this matter, I took it upon myself to work for the money by giving talks on 'Liverpool's part in the War Between the States' and receiving donations towards the grave restoration fund.

 

Whilst attending a meeting of the St. John's History group in Waterloo, I spoke to a lady about the damaged cross on Irvine's grave and said I wished I could raise the money to get it restored. I was then told to contact the Liverpool Historical Monuments Association to see if they could help.


They in turn put out an appeal on my behalf, but nothing came out of it except for a contact with Mr David Charters, a freelance reporter for the Liverpool Daily Post. He met with Dave Tollerton and myself at the grave of the Bulloch brothers and we gave him the story about these men who having served their country were refused a pardon after the war and remained in Liverpool.

 

There was a full page report in the Liverpool Daily Post in April 2005 and councillor Berni Turner, who is responsible for parks, gardens and cemeteries promised to do what she could to help get this work done.

 

I was asked to supply quotations for the work, and I sent three that I had obtained shortly before hand. The problem was that the quotations varied wildly from about 800 to 1,800 to 4,000. The councillor was concerned at this variation in prices and asked her department head to investigate and report back on the true cost of getting this work completed.

 

All I expected was some help with the funding of this project, and so I waited for the response, which never came. This year I was reconsidering how to broach this subject without going over the top and upsetting people.

 

But the more I thought about it the madder I got. I e-mailed the lady in the cemeteries department with a copy to Berni Turner and one to David Charters. I explained that I considered that I felt that I had been more than a little patient over this matter and could I please have some response, as I was in a position to obtain a large donation from America and if I didn't give them a quote from the council as to what was considered reasonable within the next two weeks I could lose this financial support.

 

I also pointed out that I had entertained a distant relative of the Bulloch brothers on the Roosevelt side of the family last year, Mr Larry Berry from Florida, who was delighted at all he had seen and heard of whilst in Liverpool, but was disappointed at the way the graves were allowed to fall into such a state as that of his relatives in Smithdown Road cemetery. I also informed these people that Irvine was an uncle of President Teddy Roosevelt.

 

Now I don't know which, or if any of these comments swung it for me, but I got a reply from Berni Turner in half an hour saying she had e-mailed her department and asked for a quick reply to my question. The next morning I got a reply from a manager in the department saying that he had "jumped the gun" and passed this to the councils stonemason for his assessment and he gave me a phone number to contact him directly.

 

I was then told that the work would cost approximately 1,000 and that I needn't worry about it as the Council were prepared to cover the whole cost. I was curious about this and sent a picture of the original cross that was now missing, only to be told that they were obviously looking at the wrong grave. I take it that they were examining James Dunwoody Bulloch's grave which is next to Irvine's headstone. However they re-examined the grave and without any further comment on the cost said it would be completed in four weeks time.

 

After waiting five weeks I rang up to see if the work was completed as I wished to visit the grave and take photos of it to send to interested parties in America, and elsewhere. I was told that because of the lead lettering, some of which was of ornate design, it would take another two weeks.

 

I then waited another three weeks before making contact again and later being told that the work had been done and I could now visit the grave to take my photos.

 

I was delighted to find that my efforts had almost come to a final conclusion and all that is now needed is to obtain a replacement iron cross of honour to install after the one placed in 2001 was stolen in late 2002.

 

I have now been informed that the Georgia Division of the UDC are sponsoring a Cross of Honour for Irvine's grave and are just wondering how to get it over here and through the British customs. Once this marker has been received it will then be a case of arranging to have it planted and a rededication ceremony arranged in the not too distant future.

 

I am convinced that if I inform all of the people who have shown an interest in this item I will see a large number of people wanting to attend the event.

 

It was only my hope to try to raise the funds to honour this man in the way of replacing that damaged cross and cleaning it up, but it has gone a bit further than that, and this is all down to Berni Turner and the Liverpool city council for making it all happen.

 

For my part, once this project is concluded, l will then look at trying to raise the funding for either the Wyly girls grave in Sefton Parish churchyard, or the grave of Allan Stuart Hanckel in Holy Trinity churchyard in Wavertree, Liverpool.

 

The Wyly grave just needs cleaning and resetting as it has sunk over the years into the soft ground. Whilst the grave of Alan Stuart Hanckel needs cleaning, resetting the base plinths and a totally new Celtic cross applied as the original is smashed in three pieces. These projects will not be supported by the city council as they are on church grounds and it is not their responsibility, so private funding will be needed to get this work done.

 

I hope you have enjoyed reading of the way this project has been handled and will give as much support, in whatever way you can, to see that those who worked on this are thanked for their efforts.

 

P.S. Here are the people who worked on getting this project to fruition, including David Charters, without whose report in the newspaper it would never have happened.

 

Councillor Berni Turner (responsible for Parks, Gardens and Cemeteries)

 

Councillor Flo Clucas (Council Leader)

 

David Charters (Freelance Reporter for the Liverpool Daily Post)

 

Patrick Neill (The Friends of Liverpool Monuments)

 

Rob Ainsworth, http://www.liverpoolheritageforum.org.uk/ (Liverpool Heritage Forum)

 

(Text reproduced from 'Crossfire' No. 88 December 2008)