Today we visited Smedmore house, a country house on the Isle of Purbeck, which was open for a charity event. In the garden is a small gravestone of which is told a strange and tragic tale.
In about 1880 a young army officer, serving in India, was keen to find a suitable present for his uncle home in England. After some thought he settled on -a tiger! A young animal was found, then carefully loaded on a ship for the long voyage home. The ship was delayed by bad weather and by the time it arrived the tiger was far from well. It also arrived in mid winter and, after only a few weeks, the poor beast died.
And so, in a lovely glade, just below the house the animal was buried. On the Isle of Purbeck, in one of the quietest corners of our country – There is some corner of a English Garden, that is forever India.