As might be expected, such a formidable combination of scholarship has done a very thorough job. The evolving changes to the physical site are documented with maps, drawings, paintings and letters dredged from London collections, and identities clarified that have been disrupted by earthquakes, fallen branches and general dereliction that damaged the marker stones, rendering some unreadable.
Every grave in the British cemetery in Kathmandu is catalogued, but there are others further afield. The Gurkhas had burial sites in Paklihawa and Dharan, the Jesuits at Godavari, two memorial parks mark the terrible 1992 air disasters in Kakani and Lele, each facing the direction of the catastrophe, and there is even a solitary grave in the grounds of the British bungalow in Kakani.
We find exhaustive descriptions of the British cemetery graves, headstones, location maps, names, dates, images, stories and anecdotes, and even details of trees and shrubs that grow there; a glossary, bibliography, sources, endnotes and index; and a list of the British heads of mission assigned to Nepal, responsible for this patch of ground ‘that is for ever England … A body of England’s, breathing English air’.
But not really. Of the 100 or so people laid to rest here only about 40% are British, the remaining represent at least 16 nationalities and several religions other than Christian. Their causes of death are an eye-opener into the Nepal of their lifetimes.