I knew roughly where W.M. Thackeray was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, but it took me ages to find the actual grave as I was looking for something rather grand. In fact I walked past the unassuming plain tombstone with its tatty plastic container a couple of times before I noticed it and had to double-check that I had indeed found the right place.
I should have known better, as by then I had become accustomed to the law that seemed to state that the greater the person’s fame, the simpler the tombstone – but this really pushed my theory to the limit! I have no idea who had decided that the simple inscription “WMT”, engraved on the side of the tomb, needed to be embellished, and find their attempt rather touching – a plain brown plastic window box as found in any garden centre, with the full name and dates scribbled on the side in black marker pen. I presume that when first placed on the tomb it must have been planted with flowers, but these had long died and all that was left was a crowd of weeds and grasses.
A rather poignant epitaph to someone who was regarded as a bit of a “snob” in his time…