Funerary monument to Ardeshir Dadabhoy Chothia (1883-1921), whose cremated remains lie here in the Parsee section of Brookwood Cemetery, Brookwood, Woking, Surrey. "In 1863, the British Zoroastrian community obtained burial rights for Zoroastrians in Brookwood Cemetery" (Palsetia 328).
The inscription tells us that Chothia was born in Bombay on 16 October 1883, and died in London 4 April 1921. It would seem that he had been in the import/export business: a few years previously, someone of this name had inserted a notice in The London Gazette to the effect that his partnership with Framroz Dadabhoy Chothia, in the company trading as Framroz & Co., had been dissolved by mutual consent, and that he himself would deal with all outstanding transactions. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]
Chothia was still young, so, one way or another, there must be a sad story behind this — an inference borne out by the particularly desolate mourning figure clinging, almost disbelievingly, to his monument. The verse inscribed below his name reads, "He too has crossed the bridge 'twixt life and death / Whate'er there be, and wither beyond, who knows — / An [sic] it be so, the light of Mazda dawn upon his soul / With love refulgent and with immortal repose." Ahura Mazda, or "Wise Lord," is the name of God for Zoroastrians (Palsetia 338).
- Entrances to Brookwood Cemetery (shows the Zoroastrian entrance)
- The Tata family mausoleums in this area
The London Gazette, issue 30781: 7977. Web. 18 May 2014.
Palsetia, Jesse S. The Parsis of India: Preservation of Identity in Bombay City. Leiden: Brill, 2001.
Photographs and caption by Robert Freidus reproduced here by kind permission of Brookwood Cemetery. Formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the Victorian Web and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]
Last modified 18 May 2014