Ignotus ex Aquis

I am of the view that meaning isn’t ‘just there’: you have to look for it. An example of this is an unusual tombstone in St Luke’s Churchyard, Newton Harcourt [annotated on the plan below as D5]:

The Daily Mercury of 10 July 1936 brings some meaning to the Latin inscription:

The Goddard family have been landlords of Newton Harcourt for generations. Their home being the Manor House:

The Goddard family have provided generations of architects, beginning with Joseph Goddard:

The current Laird is Joe Goddard. I believe this beautiful short film ‘The Reluctant Squire‘ is by him. The Bio for this film describes Joe Goddard as “the squire of the village of Newton Harcourt in Leicestershire. He uses poetry to express his feelings about the role and the changing face of the countryside.”

Feeling inspired: brave, madcap and adventurous: I phoned Joe Goddard [the number of the Manor House was available in the phone directory]. To my delight he answered. I explained my interest in this tombstone and how its symbolism moved me. Joe explained that it was his grandfather, Henry Langton Goddard, who graduated in Oxford, that had raised this tombstone to the man whose body had been found in the Grand Union Canal.

In the course of chatting we discovered that there was a serendipitous link in the names of Joe’s father and my grandfather [who died before I was born].

Joe’s father was named Henry Gordon Goddard:

My grandfather was called Henry Gordon [1902-1961]:

Pro Ora Anima [broken in half] Ora Pro Anima