Recently, Cavalier Logistics was honored to be a part of a very special move – the tombstone of William Kennish. Kennish was born in 1799 in a small farmhouse on the Isle of Man. At the very young age of 12, he began a 7-year apprenticeship with a shipbuilder and at the age of 22 joined the Royal Navy until his retirement in 1842. While in the Royal Navy, among other inventions, he developed a method for concentrating the broadside of a ship of war which greatly improved the aim of naval artillery. Upon retirement from the Navy, Kennish returned to the Isle of Man where he published Mona’s Isle, a collection of poems he had written over the years. In 1848, he moved to the United States where he continued his career as an inventor and began a new career as an explorer, discovering the only canal route linking the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
Kennish died in New York on March 19, 1862 of Typhoid Pneumonia. Burial regulations at the time required that, due to his cause of death, he be held in a receiving tomb for a number of years prior to final burial. Due to the passage of time the cemetery and the family lost contact and he was eventually interred in a public lot in New York with a simple grave marker stone. Sadly, the passage of time eroded public knowledge and awareness of William Kennish.
Many years later, Kennish’s descendants (delighted by the Isle of Man Department of Education and Children naming its new facility the William Kennish Engineering Center in 2014) were motivated to find the exact location of his final resting place and provide a befitting tombstone. A fund was begun to do just that and in January 2017, having raised enough money for the project, a suitable stone was selected at the Dhoon Quarry in Maughold, Isle of Man. It was shipped to Belfast for cutting, eventually making its way to England where Cavalier UK took up the challenge. After taking all precautions that the stone would pass stringent US Customs regulations, the marker was flown from LHR to JFK and finally delivered to Brooklyn. The memorial dedication took place on March 19 at Green Wood Cemetery, where William Kennish had always intended to be buried and exactly 155 years after his death.
Cavalier is happy to have been able to play a part in delivering a beautiful tombstone to the very deserving poet, engineer, explorer, scientist and inventor, William Kennish.