The British Cemetery Haydarpasha Istanbul

History Of The Civilian Cemetery

Since 1867, more than 700 civilians are interred in a separate section within the cemetery. Among them is the grave of Sir Edward Barton, British ambassador of Queen Elizabeth I (1533/1603) to the Sublime Porte between 1588 and 1596, who died in 1598 on the island of Heybeliada in the Sea of Marmara, and his remains were transferred later here. A chapel in memory of Sir Nicholas Roderick O'Conor memorial chapel, British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1898 to 1908, is another historic monument in this cemetery includes many prominent members of the English Levantine community that lived and worked in Istanbul from around the 19th century to the early part of the 21st century and not only are there British subjects buried here but people from other parts of world that have either perished due to the conflicts around the region or as foreigners that lived and worked in Istanbul including are many prominent members of my family on my fathers side (Whittall/La Fontaine ) families that have lived and worked in Turkey from the 19th Century till now. Some military graves outside of the World War periods are also located in this section. It is very well kept cemetery although it has a civilian graves it is still very much a war cemetery and its always a pleasure visiting very peaceful and an on the odd occasion tour groups do visit.

History Of The War Cemetery

HAIDAR PASHA CEMETERY was given by the Turkish Government to the British Government in 1855, and contains about six thousand graves of the Crimean War, mostly the result of a cholera epidemic in Istanbul. An imposing grey granite obelisk erected by the British Government of that era commemorates the British dead. In 1867 . During the First World War the cemetery was used by the Turks for the burial of Commonwealth prisoners of war and after the Armistice, when Istanbul was occupied, further burials were made, mainly from No.82 General Hospital. During the Second World War, Turkey retained her neutrality and those Commonwealth servicemen buried there were mainly men taken prisoner during operations in the Aegean, who died while attempting to escape from camps where they awaited transport to Germany and Italy, and whose bodies were washed up on the Turkish coast. The war graves plot contains 407 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 60 of them unidentified. Second World War burials number 39, 14 of them unidentified. Also within the cemetery, which the Commission maintains as a whole, are about 6,000 Crimean graves, mostly unmarked, and numerous non war military and civilian graves and memorials. Within the war graves plot stands the HAIDAR PASHA CREMATION MEMORIAL, which commemorates 122 soldiers of the Indian Army who died in 1919 and 1920 who were originally commemorated at Mashiak and Osmanieh Cemeteries. In 1961 when these cemeteries could no longer be maintained, the ashes of the Hindus, whose remains were cremated in accordance with their faith, were scattered near this memorial, while the remains of their comrades of the Muslim faith were brought here and re-interred.

The Cemetery Gallery

Click here for detailed images of the graves in the civilian part of the British cemetery in the area called Haydarpasha in the suburb of Uskudar which I took in the summer of 2015 where I spent a whole day taking pictures of all the graves in the civilian area and I have put them in order according to my own index and not of the cemetery's official layout however some graves have been damaged or are missing epitaphs due to either their age or they have been desecrated by vandals, Istanbul’s Christian cemeteries have been desecrated on a number of occasions in the past 60 years bringing back memories of September 1955. As I have visited the cemetery on many occasions as I have many relatives buried here, I find it the most peaceful place especially on warm summers day.

The Crimea Memorial

An obelisk was erected in 1857 by Queen Victoria (1819–1901) within the cemetery to commemorate the British soldiers from the Crimean War. A bronze plaque, attached by the British community in Turkey on the plinth of the Crimean Memorial and unveiled on Empire Day, 1954, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s nursing service in this region, bears the inscription: To Florence Nightingale, whose work near this Cemetery a century ago relieved much human suffering and laid the foundations for the nursing profession. Other monuments in the cemetery include a symbolic broken column in memorial of German Jäger officers who fell in the Crimea, and a British memorial, which was erected in 1855 initially in the Therapia Crimean Cemetery (today Tarabya in the European part of Istanbul), and later transferred here together with the graves of 18 personnel of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines who died in the sultan’s mansion in Therapia, which had been converted into a military hospital.

Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale, the pioneer of nursing and modern hospital management, a vision and mission the Group strives to continuously improve as well as carry forward the patient care standards set forth by the “Lady with the Lamp”*. Florence, a humble social British reformer and statistician, was born on May 12, 1820 in Florence, Italy, and died on August 13, 1910 in Mayfair, London. Florence Nightingale became known through and for her contributions of aiding the wounded soldiers during the Crimean War. She was deployed on October 21st, 1854 at the main British camp base along with 38 volunteer women nurses trained on her behalf. Poor conditions and overworked medical staff resulted in short supplies, neglected hygiene and mass - often fatal - infections. Nightingale’s deployment delivered improvements in organization, hygiene and care. Hand washing and other related practices were soon after her arrival implemented and as a result of more efficient medical care, death rates drastically dropped, something for which she never claimed credit for. *Lady with the Lamp: a nickname gained by Ms. Florence Nightingale for saving thousands of lives during the Crimean War.

Website: Edwin La Fontaine