The Genealogical Society of South Africa

A Priceless Story

Jimmy Boyce and his sister May searched for the grave of their father for years. Jimmy accessed the photographs on the eGGSA library and found a photograph that he thought could be that of his father. He immediately contacted May and they picked up the trail through the eGSSA and the GSSA. He sent an e-mail first to Alta of the eGGSA and then to Eleanor Garvie of the Durban an Coastal Branch of the GSSA. It was this branch that undertook the photographing of the Stellawood Cemetery. (Read the article below for more detail).

Jimmy writes:

We have been searching for my father’s grave for years now and finally managed to find it thanks to your teams' efforts photographing the Stellawood cemetery gravestones. Just want you to know what a blessing your work is to us and so many more people out there. I was last there with my gran in 1987 when I still lived in Durban.

image
Gravestone after

Just a little information on the grave so that you can have an idea of how important the work that you are doing is. My grandfather, Susara P de Lange Boyce, died while at work one rainy day at the railways. A train had accidentally backed up and squashed him between an empty trailer. He was still alive and the police took my grandmother to him to say goodbye. When they moved the train away he immediately died from his injuries. He was the buried where he currently is. The other side of the book headstone was meant for my gran one day when she was to pass away. My father, DJJ Boyce, died 24 Sept 1974 while my mother was still pregnant with me. I was born 17 Dec 1974. His cause of death was that he had epilepsy and fell and drowned in the Durban harbor when he had a fit while fishing there. My gran therefore opted to put her son next to his father and gave up her rightful space.

So, you can now understand a little how each of those headstones and grave sites have a story to tell with many people like me that still want to sit and see the grave sometimes, but are in another province or country, so cannot just drive up the road to see it. Your photos are therefore a blessing to us, as it helps us feel closer to our lost loved ones.
You and the team are forever in my debt for your kind assistance and information.”