Waugh Family Urge Reinterment in Combe Florey Churchyard

The Spectator carries an article by Evelyn Waugh’s youngest son, Septimus, urging that the graves of his father, mother and sister be moved a few feet into the churchyard at Combe Florey:

Fifty years have passed since the death of my father, Evelyn Waugh. His remains, together with those of his wife Laura and daughter Margaret, are buried within a ha-ha which is now collapsing into the churchyard of St Peter and Paul, Combe Florey. My nephew, Alexander, and I hope that these graves could be incorporated in the churchyard as only a dilapidated wall separates them. But our efforts have been frustrated by bureaucratic obtuseness. I wonder if the creakiness of the bureaucratic process has been created by the undeserved popular perception of my father as a monster.

Septimus goes on to redress the popular misunderstanding by recounting several incidents from his boyhood in which his father’s kindness and good humor shine through. The first is the banana incident told by his brother Auberon which Septimus says involved caviar, of much less interest to children than a tropical fruit. He also remembers that his father always told the children never to smile at a camera but seldom followed his own advice. The result is dozens of family pictures of grumpy looking children surrounding a beaming papa.  Several other stories involve childish incidents where his father also comes out well. He concludes:

He was buried in the ha-ha that used to lie on his land, which has since been sold. This year Oxford University Press will start the mammoth task of publishing a scholastic edition of all my father’s writings. Equally important — for his family at least — is that we surmount whatever prejudice there may be against him, to see his earthly remains incorporated into the churchyard at Combe Florey, where we can visit them.

Here’s a link that should bring up the entire article. Thanks to David Lull for this link.

Comment (26 March 2016): As explained in more detail in a subsequent posting is not so much a matter of moving the graves into the churchyard but more of shoring up the wall and providing access to the burial site through the churchyard and up a set of stairs to be built along the wall. 

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