English Cemetery Residents

© Michelle Chaplow Gravestones in the English Cemetary
Gravestones in the English Cemetary

Some interesting residents of the English Cemetery

Philip Ashworth, the son of Edmund and Charlotte Ashworth of Egerton Hall, Bolton, who died on 17th January 1871 aged 26 years, is buried at the English Cemetery. It is also the final resting place of one of the principal figures of the Generation of 27, Spanish poet Jorge Guillén (1893-1984) and of his Italian wife, Irene.

The cemetery has numerous sculptures and monuments, one of which is dedicated to 62 officers and crew of the Gneisenau which belonged to the Imperial German Navy and sank in the port of Malaga on 16th December 1900. The survivors of the disaster were rescued by the townspeople and, in gratitude for their help, the German government paid for the construction of the Santo Domingo Bridge, popularly known as the Germans' Bridge, which spans the Guadalmedina River in Malaga city centre. The unfortunate victims were buried in a common fosse in the English Cemetery.

The graves of four members of the Royal Air Force (an Australian Royal Air Force Flying Officer, a Royal Navy Commander and two RAF radio operator-air gunner Sergeants) are easy to spot. Their bodies were washed up on the beaches at Marbella during the Second World War, and were reburied on 2nd April 1946, their names being inscribed on four grey headstones in the cemetery. One of their epitaphs, that of Flight Sergeant C.A. Ross, reads: "My darling husband The war united us The war parted us I'll love your memory always."

Sir George Langworthy, philanthropist to the poor people of Torremolinos, is buried in the cemetery. When he arrived in Torremolinos he was immensely rich. He visited the poor when they were ill and gave them money and in 1918 was granted the unique honour by the Town Hall of Torremolinos of 'Hijo Adoptivo y Predilecto de Torremolinos' - Favourite and Adopted Son of Torremolinos. He died a pauper in 1945 surrounded by his employees and the entire town came to pay respects to his simple coffin.

Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson (1909-2003), Baroness Von Schlippenbach, historian of economics who left her native England in 1951 to settle in Spain with her husband, spent much time studying the history of The English Cemetery. In the mid-fifties she wrote a booklet entitled The English Cemetery at Malaga, the fruit of a year of research. She is one of the few people to have been buried in the cemetery since the 1990s. Her estate in San Julian, near the airport, with its tropical botanical gardens was left by her to Malaga University, one of the many universities to award her honorary degrees.

Gamel Woolsey, the wife of Gerald Brenan, who died on 18th January 1968 the victim of cancer, was buried at the English Cemetery. Both she and Brenan were very fond of Malaga and lived in nearby Churriana. Her husband had the first two verses of a song by Cimbelino inscribed on her gravestone: "No longer need you dread the heat of the sun or the furious rage of winter."

Gerald Brenan died in 1987 and left his body to medical science; some say to save the funeral expenses. Untouched for fifteen years because nobody wished to dissect such an eminent body, it was left floating in formaldehyde in Malaga University until 2001 when he was interred alongside his wife. His epitaph reads simply: "Escritor Inglés, Amigo de España."

At Brennan's funeral were his grandchild Stéphane Corre (from Paris), son of Miranda Helen y Corre (his illegitimate daughter born in Granada in 1931) now a French doctor. Stéphane Corre's wife was at his side and Edward Oakden from the Embassy in Madrid. Carmen Calvo, Culture Minister of the Junta de Andalucía, and Francisco de la Torre, the mayor of Malaga, were also present. Ian Gibson, Irish writer and hispanist, made a short speech in which he described the English Cemetery as the most beautiful in the Mediterranean region. Few people disagree with that.

 © Michelle Chaplow A trickling fountain in the English Cemetary
Decorative fountain in the English Cemetary