Top News

Plan in works to fix up Holyrood grave of First World War veteran, doctor

Yvonne Besso of St. John's often visits the graves of  relatives at the Kennedys Lanes Roman Catholic Cemetery in Holyrood. She took notice of a gravesite belonging to Capt. Thomas Dwyer, which will be refurbished next spring.
Yvonne Besso of St. John's often visits the graves of relatives at the Kennedys Lanes Roman Catholic Cemetery in Holyrood. She took notice of a gravesite belonging to Capt. Thomas Dwyer, which will be refurbished next spring. - SaltWire File Photo
HOLYROOD, N.L. —

The elaborate grave of a Holyrood doctor and First World War veteran that was mostly forgotten because he had no direct descendants to tend it will get a makeover next year.

The Telegram recently told the story of Capt. Thomas Dwyer, and afterward a number of groups began making plans to refurbish the gravesite in the spring when the weather will be more amenable.

Dwyer’s lonely grave sits at the back corner of the North Side Cemetery in Holyrood.

Yvonne Besso of St. John’s has no connection to him, but noticed the grave while tending to her own family’s plots at the cemetery.

Besso had wanted to spruce up Dwyer’s plot, which is  surrounded by elaborate but rusty wrought iron fencing.

She didn’t want to interfere with family. 

But the Telegram  found obituary records that indicated neither Dwyer or his brother, a priest, had children.

SInce then, several groups, including the non-profit Trail of the Caribou Research Group and the Holyrood Historical Society, are making plans to pay some attention to the monument.

“I am so pleased he is going to be recognized again,” Besso said Tuesday.

“I am quite touched, actually, that people took that much interest to refurbish his grave. The man has been resting there for, what, 92 years? All these years later, he finally is getting some recognition for his service to his country, and his grave restored to what it should always have been.”

According to Dwyer’s obituary, he had been ill for awhile and had been in the General Hospital before being sent home.

The obituary said Dwyer registered with the Nova Scotia Medical Board in May 1917, the General Medical Council of Great Britain in 1919 and the Newfoundland Medical Board in 1920.

Previous to his enlistment in the Canadian Army Medical Corps, in May 1917, he was house surgeon in the Victoria General Hospital.

In August 1920, he joined the staff of the Lady Northcliffe Hospital in Grand Falls and then took up practice in Holyrood.

telegram@thetelegram.com
 


Related

Recent Stories