Harry diamond was a minstrel who attracted adoring audiences but he died practically penniless in 1907 (aged 33).
The inscription on the headstone says:
Musician & Vocalist
Died at Ross May 18 1907
Erected by a few friends
The marble headstone was erected after an extensive whip round.
Harry made his home in Ross during the winter months, where he taught the banjo, held musical evenings and partying. During the summer months he went off
to more fashionable resorts where he played his banjo for a living.
He was a muscular and broad shouldered man. He was well liked, a perfect musician and was always willing to helpout at charitable events but at
33 he fell victim to heart disease and dropsy*.
Frederick Cooper, a leading Ross citizen, organised the the fund-raising for the funeral. This was met with tremendous response; the book he used to jot down the
details is still in existance.
As a mark of sorrow, sprigs of yew were thrown onto the coffin and among the wreaths was a floral banjo. The headstone, made by Ursells of Ross, features a
banjo with a boken string to signify the loves and death of the player. The headstone used to be regularly cleaned in his memory, although the current state of the stone sadly suggests that this may not be quite such a regular event anymore.
*Dropsy is an old term for the swelling of soft tissues due to the accumulation of excess water, today the person might be said to have
edema due to congestive heart failure or something similar.
Ross Gazette - 29/3/2001 - Article: "Thomas Blake"
Western Daily Press - 2/11/1965 - Article: "Kate plods on almost alone"
Ross Gazette - 25/5/1983 - Article: "Ross 'character' dies"
Crossroads Fan Club - 19/12/2009 - Article: " Backstage stories
Hereford Times - 5/5/1988 - Article: "Tireless worker for Town"
[Page updated: Feb 15 2011 13:31:59]