Tuesday, August 28, 2012
The burial of Alexander Rollo at Tynemouth Priory
Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O'er the grave where our hero we buried.
We buried him darkly at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning,
By the struggling moonbeam's misty light
And the lanthorn dimly burning.
Charles Woolfe's "The Burial of Sir John Moore after Corunna" was once a widely memorised and recited poem. Moore won the 1809 battle, which formed part of the Peninsula War, but lost his life in the process.
The bearer of the lantern (or lanthorn) at his burial was Corporal Alexander Rollo. He lived until 1856 and is buried at Tynemouth Priory.