The Friends of St. Peter's Berkhamsted

Friends of St Peter's, Great Berkhamsted

Albert Loveless (1879 – 1929) and Gertrude Loveless (1881 – 1934)

Grave Number 1009

There may not be much representation of the human figure on gravestones here – the closest the Victorians tended to get was in their sculpting of angel figures. This example is late (1934), but it reflects the practice of the increasing feminization of angels in the 19th century, replacing previously genderless angels or the chubby cherubs characteristically found on seventeenth and eighteenth century memorials. You won’t find this type of angel in the Bible – in fact only two angels are named there, and both are male (Michael and Gabriel).

This is a beautifully crafted monument, with its leafed cross, the angel with a raised arm and hand cupped, beckoning the deceased up to heaven. Also notice the tiny cross above the angel’s head. The angel is clasping the upright cross, in this case with trailing leaves and passion flowers wrapped around it, like some of the upright crosses found elsewhere in the Cemetery. This all represents a steady relaxation of attitudes to the Catholic Church – crosses (previously associated with the papacy and the worship of images) become much more common, and artistic representation in the Protestant Church moves generally to reflect a more ‘High Church’ stance.

Albert Loveless was a timber merchant’s manager, born in Axminster, Dorset.  He married Getrude, also from Dorset, in 1911. The Bucks Herald (22 June 1928) reported Albert, then living at Bridge Street, being involved in a collision with a brewery lorry in Aylesbury, and sustaining cuts to his hands and face.  He died 17 months later.

Interestingly, in the following year, a William G. Loveless aged 39 was charged with bigamy, marrying Elsie May Latchford at Berkhampstead on March 22nd1930, having previously married Edith May at Axminister on March 21st1922.  

Other examples of depictions of angels include: 266 on the terrace, holding a box (what does the box contain – relics?); 365 angel wings on the back of the Foot Seat of Remembrance) and 304 on the terrace, Pickard-Cambridge – damaged angel).

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