Gravestone finally dedicated to Titanic survivor

A Swedish man who survived the sinking of RMS Titanic is to finally have a gravestone dedicated to him, almost 90 years after he passed away in a separate apparent drowning incident, according to the Livingston Daily.

Oscar Palmquist had never been honoured with a monument by the state of Connecticut to which he emigrated as a third class passenger on the legendary steam liner, despite overcoming a near-death experience in the icy waters of the Atlantic to eventually achieve his dream of settling in the city of Bridgeport with his brother.

This fact was recently discovered by the Titanic International Society, whose president emeritus, Shelley Dziedzic, has spearheaded an effort to rectify the situation. Speaking to a reporter, Dziedzic said that she ‘felt it was no justice for him, no recognition for what had happened to him and no one ever pursued it’.

A descendent of the deceased, David Palmquist, expressed his gratitude for the steps that have been taken by Dziedzic and her society, commenting that the act was ‘extremely generous’. ‘They’re seeking out the poorer classes of people who were otherwise forgotten’, he said, ‘and families that could not or did not pay for headstones’.

Doubt has been cast on the assumption that Palmquist drowned in 1925, with foul play suspected by some, but this speculation had no bearing on the decision to provide him with a long overdue granite memorial stone at Bridgetown’s Mountain Grove Cemetery. Amazingly, the $2,000 cost of the monument was covered entirely by the donations of people touched by the story from around the world.

US soldier given headstone 130 years after death

A US Civil War Union Army veteran who passed away in 1881 has finally been honoured with a headstone after a decades-long battle by his great-great-grandson to get him recognised finally ended in victory.

Private Henry Middleton Applegate served faithfully for two years in Company ‘I’ of the 38th New Jersey Infantry, yet had never been awarded the lasting tribute that his descendant, Tom Applegate, felt that he deserved. Now, after many years of working towards his ancestor being given a gravestone similar to that of his peers, his efforts have finally been rewarded; an official dedication ceremony has now taken place at the Methodist Church Cemetery where he has rested for 132 years, after the younger Applegate received a certificate of approval from President Barack Obama.

The story, which can be explored in full in this article, is a true testament to the importance many families feel of honouring their loved ones, even if the person in question has passed away long ago. What’s more, the official burial could prove to be of benefit and significance to the wider community in Burlington County, New Jersey, as it is the first to be held in the grounds of the Methodist church since 1993.

The site was abandoned many years ago, and is now boarded up, but the recent activity there, prompted by Applegate, seems to have reignited interest in it. Whilst the churchyard’s marble headstones are currently untended, it now appears that the church could soon be given new life as a museum or community centre.

18th century gravestone granted listed status

The conservation group English Heritage have confirmed that an iconic gravestone in Hertfordshire is to be awarded Grade II listed status, following a passionate campaign.

While it may not be as ornate or durable as modern marble headstones, the memorial that was erected for someone known as ‘Peter the Wild Boy’ when he died in 1785 has fascinated historians for many years, and is now to be officially recognised for its illustrative ties to a bygone era and the reign of George I.

Peter, who now lies in the peaceful churchyard of St Mary’s in the village of Northchurch, was brought over to England by King George from Hanover in Germany in 1724, where he was found in a forest, clearly unable to talk or walk in a normal fashion.

From accounts that were written about Peter at the time, historians and medical analysts have now come to the general conclusion that he suffered from a serious genetic condition known as Pitt-Hopkins syndrome which had not been officially discovered at the time.

One of the people to have campaigned for the awarding of the listing is Lucy Worsley, the chief curator for the Historic Royal Palaces, who described herself as ‘delighted’ at the long awaited recognition of an ‘intriguing character’ who was ‘much misunderstood’ by his peers when he was alive.

Whilst Peter’s grave has clearly not always seen the highest standards of memorial care over the many years that have passed since his death, his monument does serve as a lasting tribute to a man who was an important part of the Georgian era, and its listed status has been praised by many.

Tips for people receiving arthritis treatment


If you have developed any forms of arthritis recently and have been worrying about how you are going to cope with the condition, try to bear in mind that there are many other people in your position and that help is always at hand.

As well as purchasing one of the sophisticated mobility aids such as rise and recline chairs or adjustable beds which have thankfully now become more affordable and widely available, there are several other forms of ‘self treatment’ which can be employed by people looking to get a head start on the effects of their condition at home. However, it is important to remember to be patient if trying any of the DIY methods you may have read about, and that regular consultation with a doctor is always highly recommended.

On the subject of talking with your GP, it is vital to keep in mind that what is right for your friend who has arthritis may not necessarily be right for you. The disease can come in more than 100 different forms, which obviously means that individual treatment can and should vary somewhat from person to person in order for the best results to be achieved. Trust and stick with the action plan that you and your doctor have decided upon.

Finally, be prepared to consider a range of treatment options when trying to combat or slow down the spread of arthritis. The fluid and complex nature of the disease means that many different approaches may work at different times; don’t be afraid to explore methods as diverse as physiotherapy, prescription drugs, holistic healing, and changes to your diet. If it could help you overcome or limit the condition, everything is worth looking into.

Some tips on adjusting to a life on retirement

Retired couple

Although many of us spend much of our working lives looking forward to retirement, the truth is that a high proportion of people find making the transition from having everyday commitments to endless spare time more difficult than they could have imagined. A couple of tips on how to make the most out of what should be a truly golden period are given below, which we hope may help you if you have retired or plan on doing so soon.

Perhaps the most important thing you can do after finishing work is to keep in mind that you are no longer under any pressure to do anything on a strict schedule. It is only natural to feel somewhat unsettled in the first few weeks of your retirement, as both your body and your mind take their time adjusting to not having to get up with the alarm every morning, but this restlessness will pass if you choose to let it. Only relaxation will clear your thoughts enough for you to decide what it is you now want to do, so just sit back in your relaxing recliner chair and let your different ideas work themselves out. 

Even if decades of busy living has meant that you now rely on mobility aids for achieving maximum comfort, it does not follow that you should stop being active as soon as you retire. In fact, quite the opposite is true: stopping your tried and tested daily routine will leave you with a great deal more pent-up energy, and some of the best ways of using it up to your advantage include walking, swimming and, if there is suitable terrain near you, cycling.

Image credit: Ian MacKenzie (

Fauja Singh still running strong at 101 years-old

While there are many centenarians, not many of them would be able to go for a run at any distance. This is where Fauja Singh is strides in front of the rest, with the 101-year old one of the oldest marathon runners in the world.

Born in 1911, Fauja Singh is still more than capable of running the gruelling 23.5 mileroute despite his age. While he might not be officially the world’s oldest marathon runner, he is officially the world record holder for his age group. His personal best for the London Marathon is 6 hours 2 minutes, but the quickest he has ever completed a marathon in the 90-plus category is 5 hours 40 minutes. After displays of incredible athleticism from the centenarian, he is well deserving of a rest in a relaxing recliner chair.

When asked what the secrets to his success are, he simply put it down to humility, determination and a strict diet. Fauja only discovered running when he was 85, being told to start in order to improve his health. He feels that running has become a medicine in itself, helping his mind and body to stay alert.

Fauja is showing no signs of slowing down in his age, still keeping up a daily routine of walking four miles a day and running for as long as he can every eighth day. His incredible story is a fantastic example of health, wellbeing and independence in old age, some of the long list of benefits you could experience with an adjustable bed.

German boy gets gravestone after campaign

A brave German boy who died after battling a brain tumour has finally been granted his wish, with a gravestone erected above his resting place which celebrates his favourite football team.

The news comes after the boy’s parents locked horns in a dispute with a Catholic church in the city ofDortmundabout the nature of his gravestone. Shortly before he passed away, nine year old Jens Pascal told his mother he wanted a gravestone to mark his favourite football team, emblazoned with the club crest of Borussia Dortmund. This request was made even more special when Jurgen Klopp, the manager of Borussia Dortmund, came to visit Jens at his bedside shortly before his death.

It became a problem when the Churchof Maria Heimsuchungin the city refused to grant the wish, stating that the gravestone did not comply with the rules which ban non-Christian inscriptions and images on all gravestones. The decision sparked an outcry with football fans of Borussia Dortmund and other teams which play in the Bundesliga, the top flight of German football.

Fans took to the Facebook page ‘The Last Wish of Jens Pascal’ to portray their anger, with over 100,000 messages of disgust and outrage pointed towards the church. The church have overturned their original decision and said they will be happy to reach a compromise, with the gravestone to feature a sculpture of a ball on the ground rather than on the top, meaning that Jens can now rest in peace.

The death of a loved one is always an incredibly difficult period for the whole family, with all efforts made into taking time to ensure they have the perfect send off with dignity and respect. If you ever have to deal with the death of a young family member, children’s gravestones will serve as a lifelong reminder after the funeral, offering a constant place for remembrance.

Image Credit: (Wikimedia Commons)

Embrace the versatility of adjustable beds and rise and recliner chairs

Any of those suffering from mobility issues can testify to the importance of modern adjustable beds and rise and recliners chairs. Tailored specifically to meet any medical requirements, they create a sense of individuality for the user whilst fitting in seamlessly with the aesthetics of the room.

But what are the versatile features and functions that help make the products vital mobility aids and what do they offer that manual or ordinary chairs and beds can’t?

For starters, they both can be adjusted to support your body position and maintain comfort at a high level depending on medical requirements or needs. Also, most recliner chairs nowadays are made to measure to obtain maximum satisfaction for the user. There will be no need to worry about whether the chairs are too long, too wide or too deep, with a made to measure service designed to make sure your product is just like Goldilocks’ porridge.

Another advantage to versatile functions of both a recliner chair and an adjustable bed is how they can be made to support a range of mobility issues that normal and manual recliner chairs or adjustable beds just aren’t equipped to deal with. They are ideal to help sufferers of leg ulcers, back complaints and breathing difficulties, whilst there is plenty of expert advice around both online and at specialist stores to help you decide which product is best for you.

Should you or a loved one should be suffering from mobility issues, be sure to check out the range of rise and recliner chairs and adjustable beds on the market today and instantly improve your day to day life.

Image Credit: stuartpilbrow (flickr)

How best to photograph a gravestone










Taking care of any family gravestones which have been left in your care is clearly an extremely important duty. We at AK Lander know that your relationship with the deceased does not end once a burial has taken place, and many people like to take fitting photographs of their loved ones’ memorials, in order to make sure they have another form of lasting tribute at hand. This is especially true if those in question live far away and are not able visit the graves they are responsible for looking after as often as they would like.

Perhaps the most vital thing you can remember when planning how best to capture a record of a gravestone through photographs is to demonstrate patience. Weather must be fine and light conditions appropriate in order for the perfect shot to be taken. If you do not wait for an opportune moment and instead compromise when it comes to either of these factors, your pictures will suffer accordingly. One of the most effective ways of improving the light in any memorial photo, incidentally, is to place a mirror – ideally a full-length, plastic one that is longer than the grave – close to the headstone in a way that reflects sun onto the carving.

It is also a good idea to take a number of pictures highlighting the grave from different aspects and angles. An image taking in the entire cemetery, for example, as well as ones which focus solely on your loved ones’ memorial, with another showing it centred around two or three others in the immediate vicinity, will add an important sense of context.

For more tips on memorial care and to purchase a high quality gravestone, pay a visit to AK Lander’s website or give us a call today. The priority for our experienced, expert team of professionals is to provide advice, assistance and support to our clients; going through us will guarantee that your headstone is durable, and that the service you receive is unparalleled in terms of dedication and sensitivity.

Image credit: Christopher Goodband (

Recliner Chairs – Try Before You Buy

Everyone knows that you shouldn’t buy a new pair of shoes before you try them on, and plenty of decent shoe shops allow you to return the shoes after you have tried them out (as long as you have only done so in your own home and there are no signs of wear on them), so why wouldn’t you expect the same to be true of modern recliner chairs?

Anything you are buying that can affect your comfort, whether it’s a pair of shoes you’ll be walking in a lot, a recliner chair or even adjustable beds, you want to get a feel for them before you commit to buying them. That’s why some companies that sell rise and recline chairs will allow you to have a trial chair brought to your home that you can try out. Buying one of these chairs can be a big decision, so offers like this are a real advantage for anybody looking into getting a reclining chair.

Of course, you might discover that there is something you would like different in your recliner chair, or that the model you are trialling doesn’t provide the increase in comfort that you were hoping for. Either of those outcomes is fine, as that is exactly what a trial is supposed to reveal to you, and adjustments can be made to your chair before you go through with the purchase.

Hopefully, however, the trial will show you how much more comfortable you can be with a recliner chair, and you’ll feel much better about your purchase because of it.

Image courtesy of Flickr user klynslis.