Nelson & His World

Discussion on the life and times of Admiral Lord Nelson
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 Post subject: Jack Mount - forgotten Trafalgar veteran?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:38 am 
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I came across the following in a newspaper of 22nd October 1899.

THE GRAVE OF JACK MOUNT

The old Trafalgar gunner Jack Mount, whose remains rest in the quiet litle churchyard at Frindsbury, Kent, was not forgotten. Chaplets of flowers were placed on the grave which received his body 60 years ago. Mount's experience was rather unique, as he served under Lord Howe in the brilliant victory on the glorious 1st June, and also with Nelson at Trafalgar. He spent 45 of his 75 years in the navy.


The Ayshford Trafalgar Roll includes a George John Mount - HMS Prince - received a Gunner's warrant in 1808. It looks as if this is probably the same man.

I can't find any mention of him via Google.

I wonder if the people of Frindsbury have forgotten him?

I wonder if his grave is still identifiable??

Is there anybody from that area of the country who could look into it???

MB


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:06 am 
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Interesting find, Mark!

I found the name of the vicar of All Saints, Frindsbury, so I'll drop him a line sometime today to see if he has any information about Jack Mount.

I note you say that he had a 'Gunner's warrant'. Were there specific tests for this, or was it awarded in recognition of experience? Does anyone know?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:17 pm 
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Mark:

your mention of the 'chaplet of flowers' noted in the newspaper the day after Trafalgar Day reminded me of Dr Hill's account in her book 'Nelson: a medical casebook' of the tradition of laying flowers on the grave of Walter Burke, purser in Victory, on Trafalgar Day. This was begun, she says, 'almost 110 years ago (i.e. about 1896) and continues to this day. The school children of the village of Wouldham where Burke is buried, process to the grave, lay flowers, and their own poems and pictures, and then a ceremony is held at which Nelson's last prayer is read. (see pp184-5 of Dr Hill's book.)

Now Wouldham is in Kent, and, like Frindsbury, is near Rochester. I wonder if these flower -laying ceremonies, begun in the 1890s, were connected - part of a plan by local people to honour both Trafalgar veterans?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:35 pm 
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Jack Mount is perhaps not forgotten. A book written just a couple of years ago (Hoo, Hops and Hods: The life and times of Robert Pateman, John Pateman, 2007) describes his grave as quite famous:
Quote:
Another quite famous grave is that of John George Mount. His headstone states: ‘45 years in the R.N. many of which he was a gunner, and was with Lord Howe 1st June 1794, also with Admiral Lord Nelson at Trafalgar. 21 October 1805.’

And yes Anna, a Gunner did have to pass an examination to get his warrant confirmed. The Gunner held one of the most responsible positions in the ship, being accountable for all the ordnance stores, and being responsible for keeping ready a supply of cartridges made up according to the captain's instructions. He was one of the standing warrant officers and so had a job for the life of the ship.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:58 pm 
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Tony,

Thanks for that.

I wonder where they got the description of the gravestone from?

I have checked out a few more sources including the Maritime Memorials section of the NMM website - and nothing to be found there!!

So I would still be interested to know what is the current accessibility and condition of the gravestone.

Anna,

Well noted regarding Walter Burke. He, too, was mentioned in that newspaper - but I know that there is still a ceremony at his grave on Trafalgar Day.

It is very likely, as you say, that the placing of flowers on the 2 graves started at the same time.

I don't know how many are aware of this but the celebration of Trafalgar Day as we know it today dates from 1895.

In late 1894 a pressure/lobbying group was formed called the Navy League. It was this group that first encouraged the decoration of Nelson monuments & the flying of flags on public buildings.

So there is every likelihood that the decoration of the graves of Walter Burke and Jack Mount started at this time.

Still intrigued to see what the vicar at Frindsbury has to say.

Thanks both for your interest.

MB


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 Post subject: John George Mount
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:35 pm 
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John George Mount was a veteran of the Glorious First of June 1794 and Trafalgar. He was probably Ordinary Seaman in 1794. Under Richard Grindall on Prince(98) at Trafalgar, he was Able Seaman. He received Trafalgar Prize Money of £10/14/2d. He was promoted after 1805 to the rank of Petty Officer, becoming a Quartermaster. He was promoted again in 1808 after taking his Warrant Officer examination and was appointed Gunner. He retired though age and rheumatism in 1816. Prince saw no further action to speak of being mostly in for re-fit, repair or as a receiving ship until she was finally broken up in 1837 - the year John George Mount died at Strood, aged 74. The grave at Frindsbury is under a large chestnut tree. I have been researching Mount's life for the past couple of years. I am in touch with the Parish Office and the Rev. Ian Brown with a view to getting the locals interested in celebrating the life of Mount in a similar way to the nearby Walter Burke (Purser, Victory) at Wouldham. I would be interested in pursuing further investigations!

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:02 pm 
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Hi

Good to hear from you and that "Jack" Mount is not in fact forgotten!

Is the wording on the gravestone still legible? We have a Trafalgar veteran in our churchyard here and the gravestone had to be recarved in the 1960's as the inscription had pretty much worn away.

It would be great if we can play some small part in reviving the tradition of decorating the grave for Trafalgar Day. I am happy to send you a copy of the little article I found from 1899. Then it would be well worth somebody checking out any local paper that covered the Frindsbury area. Further to my comments above I would start in 1895 as that was when there was a sudden upsurge in the commemoration of Trafalgar Day and decoration of monuments/memorials etc.

Have you had any contact with the 1805 Club - as they have a special interest in the preservation of graves and memorials such as this.

http://www.1805club.org/

And somewhere down the line it would be worth contacting the National Maritime Museum - as they don't seem to have this grave on their database of maritime memorials.

Please let us know how things develop.

MB


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:35 pm 
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By the way - I love the use of the word chaplet.

So evocative of a bygone age!!

MB


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 Post subject: John George Mount
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:58 pm 
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I will try to obtain the newspaper article from October 22 1899. The Kent Messenger Archive is not far from Frindsbury, so I will make the effort to find this reference. Thank you for that. I am indeed, a member of The 1805 Club, and have submitted JGM for consideration as to some help with preservation. The grave is actually in very good condition, every word is legible. It is a lovely spot as the churchyard over looks Rochester and the Medway. As far as research goes - I hope to find the time to go back to the Muster Books at National Archive and find on which ship JGM served in 1794. I may then be able to track his career. I have written a small article about Mount which may be published in November edn. of Kedge Anchor, the newsletter magazine of the 1805 Club. It is really good to see other people interested in this man. He is only one representative of thousands like him. He seems a proper un-sung hero!

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:58 am 
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My letter to the vicar preceded the information posted by Meaford (a belated welcome from me, too) but he sent me a very nice reply saying that she had been in touch and could help with our searches - as indeed she has! Many thanks for posting all the interesting information.

Good to know that Jack Mount is not forgotten.

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Anna


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Mount - forgotten Trafalgar veteran?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 4:41 pm 
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Meaford, I have just read your article on John George Mount in the 1805 Club's Kedge Anchor newsletter, and you have done him proud. I very much enjoyed the article, and it was good to see your photo of the gravestone. If I may, I will quote from your article the verse on the gravestone, 'erected by his disconsolate widow' Sarah, whose name is added:
    Consider man, weigh well thy frame
    The King, the beggar are the same
    Dust is all we breathe from today
    Tomorrow to our native clay.

Good luck with your further research.

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Mount - forgotten Trafalgar veteran?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:03 am 
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Here is a picture of the grave of Walter Burke (mentioned above) in Wouldham, Kent

http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index ... pic=2763.0

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Mount - forgotten Trafalgar veteran?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2022 12:09 pm 
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I came across John George Mount's grave after talking with an old journalist friend. I then found this forum, hello!


Jack Mount's grave is forgotten and is in All Saints churchyard, section A-number 78, Frindsbury in Kent. To find the grave, enter the main path and take a right at the church door. Continue along the path and when it turns into grass. Where the path divides into two turn left and walk with the small stone wall on your right. Jack Mount is the 6th grave.

The condition of the inscription is good and readable, with slight damage to the top and bottom of the stone. The grave has a good view of the church and the other way, the River Medway and Chatham Dockyard one way, with distant views of Wouldham the other way up river where Walter Burke is a resident.

I am writing a feature for Bygone Kent magazine on Walter Burke and came across Mount's connection this week. The present vicar is Reverend Nicholas Cooper and he is keen to make the grave better known but his words, most of my time is now spent dealing with building issues and leaking roofs. So he a busy man. An earlier mention of contacting the 1805Club may be the way forward.

The vicar also mentioned the church has a Trafalgar Clock given to the church in celebration of the victory by two church wardens. Showing signs of its age, the clock doesn't now keep the correct time and th wood surround needs attention. Then again, after so many years, so would I?

I will post an updated photograph if anyone is keen but, as an ex national newspaper photographer, I still enforce my copyright. Please don't post the image outside this forum, thank you. I am willing to answer any questions especially trying to raise this man's profile.

Kind Regards from Kent, UK



Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Mount - forgotten Trafalgar veteran?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2022 12:42 pm 
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Hi Mike!

Many thanks for that interesting post.

Maybe you could let the vicar know about the 1805 club which exists to care for the graves and memorials to the men of the Georgian navy http://www.1805club.org

I am sure they would be interested to hear about Jack Mount and might help with making his resting place more widely known as well as possibly helping with funds for the restoration of his grave and the Trafalgar clock.

Best wishes, Anna

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Mount - forgotten Trafalgar veteran?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2022 12:49 pm 
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tycho wrote:
Hi Mike!

Many thanks for that interesting post.

Maybe you could let the vicar know about the 1805 club which exists to care for the graves and memorials to the men of the Georgian navy http://www.1805club.org

I am sure they would be interested to hear about Jack Mount and might help with making his resting place more widely known as well as possibly helping with funds for the restoration of his grave and the Trafalgar clock.

Best wishes, Anna



Thank you Anna.

Yes I will, I am seeing him again soon. One thing that members could help with. On Jack Mount's grave there is a concrete body cover. I am sure this has a correct and proper name but I can't find it? Any ideas?


Thx Mike


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