The old cemetery of St. John's Meerut is in need of urgent repairs. Will the government look into it?

Meerut Military Cemetery

At St John’s Cemetery of Meerut a 200-year-old burial place there are  lots of  graves hidden under the fallen leaves and among them under the   foliage, nine are of British - victims of  the 1857 revolt. Despite appeals by many heritage lovers this old grave that dates back to 1810 remain a  neglected site and as of today it is not yet restored. In many places in this vast graveyard the  overgrowth of vegetation and wild grass is not cleared and consequently the site has  become a haven for poisonous critters -  too dangerous to go step in and wander around. Further, one may step on  snakes and scorpions etc. It is a s  tough job  to walk around in the interior parts of the grave. neither the central government nor the state government has taken any step to preserve this monument, a legacy of English company rule in this part of Meerut that once had the second largest Cantonment with a large garrison. 

The authorities of St. John's Church pay little attention to the maintenance of the tombs in the graveyard for reasons of cost factor and additional burden besides maintaining a registry of those who were buried in the graveyard. There are stories of ghost sighting, spooky shadows, decapitated apparitions   in the graveyard. Besides, the local people report paranormal activities  and   mysterious sounds  coming from the burial place. not proven with evidence they may be hallucination based on conjecture.  

Meerut Military Cemetery

 The architecture of memorials built on the graves is a blend of    Mogul and European design featuring typical dome. Notwithstanding the  impact on the graves over centuries due to climatic changes, the inscriptions, motifs and sculpture are fairly preserved with fading inscriptions here and there. 

May 1857 death of John Finnis,

Above image: Colonel Finnis of the 11th Native Infantry was killed at the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny in 1857, at Meerut India. Engraving from 1858, Engraver Unknown Photo by D Walker"......He was the first British officer  killed while in action.  He (aged 53) on May 10, 1857  fell while trying hard  to quell the marauding  mutiny. ’His gravestone reads: ‘Colonel Finnis, who fell while endeavouring to quell the mutiny in the 20th regiment, May 10, 1857, 53 years.’ 

’There is a gravestone of Donald Macdonald. ‘Captain of the 20th regiment. As ill-luck would have it, he  was killed by his own men on the 10th of May 1857, His wife Louisa Sophia aged 30 years was not fared She was pathetically murdered the same night while trying to make her escape with her three infants from her burning house to the European Line.  Helped by her servant Louisa Sophia, with her infants wore a bourka along with other women of her  family.  But was shot shed near her house.

More than 100 names of European soldiers  are carved on  a tall memorial gravestone. They died between 1888 and 1905, during their service in India.

 Of the 50 British army personnel killed during the mayhem here at that time, 32 were buried at the cemetery, according to  Partha, a Meerut based radiologist; only  nine graves are traceable. 

The shadows of the dark past of indiscriminate killing and violent revolt against the corrupt British company and their horrible retaliation still haunt the city particularly, the cantonment area.   The old cemetery in St. John's church needs  urgent repairs and   restoration.