I am in Montreal, Canada, staying with one of my Canadian cousins, June. I have plenty to blog about, but for now I’m going to start with what happened today.
June has been a wonderful host and has been my chauffeur all around Canada since she picked me up from the airport, three days ago. Today started with breakfast at a beautiful French patisserie – Premiere Moisson in Vaudreuil-Dorion, where you chose three types of bread for toast and your jam and I chose a large cafe lait. Little did I know that meant it was going to be a BOWL of coffee. It was spectacular!
Sufficiently fuelled for our day, we headed off to Mount Royal cemetery, armed with the plot number of the grave that my Great Grandfather, Henry (Harry) Eden Crout was buried in, with his mother Annie and his second wife, Emily Jacobs. My Grandfather Harry Scarborough Crout was born to Harry Eden and his first wife, Marie Ogilvie in 1912. June’s father Henry Eden Crout (also called Harry) was born to Harry Eden and his second wife Emily Jacobs in 1911.
June called ahead for directions as she wasn’t sure where the Protestant section of the cemetery was and then off we headed. I didn’t realise that there was no headstone on the grave until we arrived and asked for specific instructions to the plot and June mentioned there was no headstone.
The plot was only a short walk away and so we followed our map, mentally ticking off all of the markers the administration person had told us about and got to the section where the graves faced the other way and then counted back seven rows, as instructed and looked for the second section. This was the hardest part, finding where the first section finished and the second began. Then we counted forward three plots, looking for an empty plot with no headstone and then I saw it – CROUT.
I said – “isn’t that it”? A shocked June agreed and there it was, the grave of my Great Grandfather Harry Eden Crout, buried with his mother, Annie (Moodie) and his second wife Emily Jacobs. How wonderful, not only to find the grave, but to find that it did in fact have a headstone, and to have discovered this with June, who hadn’t been there for many years, maybe even as long ago as when Emily died, which was 45 years ago.
June is pretty sure that “Uncle Les” – Leslie Eden Crout, the youngest and most recently deceased of Harry Eden Crout’s four kids is most likely the person who organised the headstone. She thinks most likely around the time that Leslie was burying his son, Peter, who died in 1983 at the age of 35, from an Asthma attack, or his wife Helen (Sorlie) in 1993.
That means that this headstone has been here for at least 25 years, maybe longer.
The lichen had taken over, and so we spent some time cleaning the writing to make it legible, with what we had. Even after doing that and editing the photo, it is still hard to make out the inscription. It reads:-
In loving memory of
1856 Annie Crout 1940
1880 Harry 1961
1881 Emily 1973
We thanked Les and enjoyed sharing the moment of discovery and unveiling and June said she hoped that Catherine (my Mum) could see. She said “we know your secret Grandad, and it’s all ok”. I agreed. How wonderful to be in this position, meeting family that I didn’t know I had for most of my life and all because of my Mum.
The cemetery is a beautiful garden cemetery. Spending eternity there wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
It was a special moment in time – the sun was shining and we were walking in a beautiful garden and I had just found my Great Grandfather’s and Great Great Grandmother’s Grave. I am so glad I invited myself to stay with June and she so warmly accepted. Wow.