The Crew Ship COLUMBO

In Faslane Cemetery, just by the gate, is this tombstone:

It was erected by the widow of John  Reeve who died of Cholera on board of the Crew Ship Columbo at Garelochhead. The date of death is weathered but seems to read  NOV 16th 1853.

It is unusual to find a cause of death on a tombstone and particularly any mention of cholera. This disease was so deadly that the living were terrified to be anywhere near a sufferer or corpse. It would seem that this stone was raised nearly 2 years after John’s death, and by this time, one assumes, the cholera outbreak was history.

It would be lovely to know some of the story of John Reeve. Was he a traveller? Where was he going? Had he been married long? All of which has been lost to the deadly history of cholera.

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