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English Cemetery

English Cemetery

Behind Greca Bay, and easily reachable by foot, is a small and secluded valley, sloping down to the sea that is exposed to the wild north-easterly storms. Here we find a small cemetery known as the "English Cemetery". The cemetery contains 13 graves, a small altar and a pyramid-shaped box a little taller than a metre, surmounted by two large juniper branches which have been nailed together to form a cross. The cemetery is often visited by people, especially on sunny warm days. On the northern side of the pyramid there is a marble gravestone that was placed there in 1891 by the crew of the "Italian General Navigation", a society, which at that time, ran the shipping route between Golfo Aranci and Civitavecchia. The gravestone is to commemorate the 5 sailors who perished in the shipwreck of the Ligurian sailing ship "Generoso II", who were found on the shore of Greca Bay and buried there in 1987.

The name "English Cemetery" derives from the idea that the only bodies in the cemetery are those of the English sailors from the Capo Figari shipwreck. The big Celtic Cross on the grave of an English sailor is misleading, this being the biggest and only legible grave, dominating over the other small and anonymous crosses in the cemetery. Many do not realise that this tomb belongs to the only English sailor buried here, the other tombs belong to Italian sailors from different shipwrecks throughout the years and past centuries. It is said that some of the tombs belong to inhabitants from Golfo Aranci, although their names and precise location of burial is unknown.

The above historical data is taken from the book "Figari storie del Golfo e di Golfo Aranci" by Mario Spanu Babay. Publisher Taphros Olbia. Published in 2005. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or distributed without express written permission from the author.