The Forgotten Cemetery

The Cemetery in History

Mathiatis cemetery is not listed by the CWGC or shown on any major website concerning military burials in Cyprus.
It appears to be the "forgotten cemetery".

The last official reference to Mathiatis cemetery was made in 1959  - the year before Cyprus became independent.

There was some concern about the security of isolated British cemeteries in a post-colonial world.
In an exchange of letters between concerned parties, Mathiatis is mentioned in a list of such cemeteries.

"This very small cemetery, in the Nicosia district, is no longer used; it contains the graves of a few English [sic] people buried during the early days of the British occupation of Cyprus last century."

The final reference concerning Mathiatis was on the 4th November 1959 by the last Governor of Cyprus, Sir Hugh Mackintosh Foot.

"This very small plot of land (25 x 15 yards) is in an out-of-the-way part of the Nicosia district and according to a 1922 report contains only 2 graves.
The last record of any substantial expenditure on it is dated 1923, when £38 was spent.
It is nominally maintained by the Public Works Department but the amount expended annually must be very little.
It is rarely visited by anyone, and it seems hardly necessary to take it into much account."

The 25x15 yard cemetery plot in the middle of a recently harvested field

The reference to two graves is explained by the fact that the cemetery did, at one time, contain two graves.
Sapper James Brown, Royal Engineers had been buried in Mathiatis having died of brucellosis at the Cantonment hospital on the 2nd February 1879.
However, at some point, he was reinterred in Wayne's Keep in Nicosia.
For the full story of Sapper Brown read Page 29 onwards from Colonel Vassallo's book.

"Who was Sapper Brown" by David Vassallo