English - looking at memorials and epitaphs:

Chaddesden, St Mary (in Derbyshire)

epitaphs on gravemarkers

Read the epitaph on this headstone

Here is the transcript for the last few lines that are more difficult to decipher:

‘No more I feel each urging breath
My steam is now condensed in death
Life’s railway o’er, each station’s passed
In death I’m stopped and rest at last
Farewell dear friends and cease to weep
In Christ I’m safe, In him I sleep’

Teaching and learning activities

Consider how the writer of the epitaph summarises the life of this person:

Think about...

  • What characteristics do you think they had? What is likely to have been the interest or occupation of this person? Was this person lively and vibrant or were they a quieter, reflective sort of person. Justify your answer from the text of the epitaph.
  • List all the vocabulary linked to a train or railway.
  • How does the writer of the epitaph connect this imagery to the life of this person? You might consider the use of personification. Is it being used effectively? Are there other images from a train that might have been better?
Extension task:

Choose an inanimate object. Write an epitaph for someone based on the imagery from that object. Remember that this needs to connect with a person’s life – maybe how they lived their life, what was important to them, what death might mean to that person. Consider the way in which the original epitaph has life and movement to it – suggesting that a person’s life is constantly moving and changing.