Wednesday, March 15, 2017

'Pet's cemetery, Paris' by K.J.S.Chatrath

One has to give it to the French - they are loving and sensitive people. Who  else could have thought of giving a decent burial to one's pets and remembering them, year after year.  I had heard about this unusual cemetery for dogs and pets in Paris. When I visited Paris in 2014, I had kept half a day in my programme to search and visit this cemetery.

Locating it was not all that difficult, but it did involve changing of metro trains  and a decent bit of walking. I did reach the Cemetery at around 10 am. To my utter horror, I discovered that it was the weekly closed day for the cemetery.The large entrance gate was securely locked.  I kicked myself for not having checked up before choosing that day.

I took a round around the boundry of the cemetery and took some photographs. When I was at one of the side doors, I saw an old car arriving. The occupant got down near the gate, opened the door with a key went in and the door got locked again. I could see him walking around in the cemetery and tending it here and there. I waited. After about half an hour or so, the gentleman came out of the entrance gate again.

I swiftly went to him and greeted him in my badly broken French.  Then I quickly told him that I had come from India and was interested in visiting this unique cemetery and taking some photographs. 'Sorry', he said, 'today is the weekly off day. Come tomorrow and I will show you around.' But Sir, I am taking a flight back to India tomorrow morning, I pleaded. He looked at me again. Here was me, an old man, in simple clothes pleading in French. He repeated that according to rules, he could not let me enter the cemetery on a closed day. Being an ex-bureaucrat, I appreciated his stand. I thanked him, turned around and started walking away slowly and sadly

'Monsieur, s'il vous plait' he called me softly. I returned back to him and said 'Oui Monsieur'. He told me in French to give him my camera. 'But you stay her at the gate' he added. 'I will quickly take some photographs for you.' He went in with the camera and returned after a few minutes.

And here are the photos that he took for me. In my excitement I forget even to ask him his name.

 'Merci bien, Monsieur.!

P.S. I have added a watermark giving my name on all these photographs. I realised later that it was not correct that only the first four photos were taken by me and the rest by that benefactor.

The Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques (The cemetery of dogs and other domestic animals) is often claimed to be the first zoological necropolis in the modern world. It opened in 1899 at 4 pont de Clichy on Île des Ravageurs in Asnières-sur-Seine, Île-de-France, France.
Address: 4 Pont de Clichy, 92600 Asnières-sur-Seine, France

Phone: +33 1 40 86 21 11

Saturday, March 11, 2017

'Ms. Anne Mordell reviews my book: "The Last Post: Inscriptions on French Graves in India" in 'The French Geneology Blog' - by K.J.S.Chatrath

I am happy to share with you that my book "The Last Post: Inscriptions on French graves in India" has been reviewd in "The French Geneology Blog" by Ms. Anne Morddel (


I am reproducing the review below, with the kind permission of Ms. Mordell.
.....     .....

"27 April 2012 French Graves in India
Pondichéry is upon us again! In truth, this happy find of a book covers nearly all of French India. The Last Post : Inscriptions on French Graves in India is a labour of love by K.J.S. Chatrath, (who also wrote something entitled  "The Joy of Mental Health", but let's not worry about that). Dr. Chatrath is a retired civil servant and now writes a number of blogs as well as books on the interaction between France and India.
The Last Post, he admits, is not an exhaustive listing of all names from all French graves in all of India, but it is a pretty good beginning, we think.  His table of transcriptions reads, in part:
  • French Graves in Agra
  • French Sisters of St. Joseph of Tabres, buried in Bangalore
  • French Priests and Sisters Lying Buried in the Sacred Heart Church Compound, Bangaluru (Bangalore)
  • Graves in the Erstwhile French Cemetery at Calcutta (Kolkatta) - Since Demolished
  • Graves in the Chanerdagore Cemetery
  • Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny Who Died At Chandannagar Along With the Dates of Deaths
  • Graves at Sarurnagar, Hyderabad
  • Graves in the French Cemetery at Karaikal
  • List of Reverend Parish Priests, Our Lady of Angels Church, Karaikal
  • Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny Who Lie Buried in the Premises of Nirmalranee Girls Higher Secondary School, Karaikal, Along With the Dates of Death
  • Graves in the French Cemetery at Mahé
  • List of Missionaries and Vicars of the St. Theresa's Shrine of Mahé From Its Very Inception
  • Graves in the French Cemetery at Pondichéry
  • French Jesuit Fathes and Other Reverend Priests Who Lie Buried in the Premises of the Church at Pondichéry From 1691 Onwards, Mentioning Their Respective Years of Birth, Ordainment or Death
  • Sisters of St. Jospeh of Cluny Who Lie Buried in the St. Xavier's Church at Pondichéry Along With the Dates of Death
  • Graves in the Protestant English Cemetery at Pondichéry
  • Graves in the French Cemetery at Yanam (Yanaon)
  • List of the Priests of Yanam (Yanaon)
  • List of the Dead Noted in the Death Register of Europeans, Pondichéry Commune, 1830
  • Some of the Recipients of the Légion d'Honneur Lying Buried in Graves in the Erstwhile French Settlements in India
There is discussion of some of the more celebrated names, including:
  • Victor Jacquemont, botanist
  • Jean Baptiste de Warren, astronomer
  • Eugène Courjon, billiards player
  • Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, jeweller
There are a few photographs. Within the above chapters, the names are in bold, followed by the inscriptions in normal typeface. There is a bibliography of works on French India. There is an index. Unfortunately, it is arranged firstly by cemetery, and secondly, alphabetically by the first name. The book is in Indian English and has been self-published, sans proof reader.
Nevertheless, we find this an impressive achievement, bringing to the world of French genealogy data that would otherwise be extremely difficult to acquire. Combined with previously mentioned resources on Pondichéry and French India, this could be a true aid to finding a lost ancestor. Should you be so lucky, it would appear that Dr. Chatrath would be willing to photograph graves for you.
Click on the book title above to be taken to (, should you wish to purchase it.

©2012 Anne Morddel. French Genealogy".
  (This was first published on my website on July 15, 2012)

'Graves around the world' by K.J.S.Chatrath

 Photo taken by me at Sardhana, near Meerut, India in 2012.
Welcome to my just started blog My existing website on graves, would be getting subsumed in this new website.

Grave matters….matters of graves…graves and cemeteries….tombs and graves…cemeteries and graveyards….photos of gravestones from all over the world…inscriptions from all over the world…sad, inspirational and some with a sense of humour…

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Photograph & text by K.J.S.Chatrath
My website:

Friday, March 10, 2017

' - arrival of a new kid on the block'

Graves have been an area of my interest since long. I started with a website a few year back. Subsequently it was closed, the scope enlarged and a new website was started.

I am happy to share the starting of a new blog  It would subsume my existing website, which would be discontinued.

Hope you like the get-up of the blog. Any suggestions?

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