Corner of a Foreign Field, The British Cemetery at Kathmandu, by Mark F. Watson

Softcover, 268 pages, color illustrations, Kathmandu 2022, new

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This history of the British Cemetery in Kathmandu encompasses the entire story of Western involvement in Nepal. In the nineteenth century British diplomats in the remote Himalayan outpost of Kathmandu Valley had no choice but to bury their dead in the corner of a farmer’s field close to their embassy. Its memorials to colleagues, wives and children – some grand, some humble – are a poignant reminder of the long interaction between Britain and Nepal. When other foreigners arrived in the 1950s, demand for burial space grew. This tranquil graveyard now houses the mortal remains of a hundred or so individuals from two centuries – mountaineers, missionaries, soldiers, tourism entrepreneurs, development workers, writers, poets and artists. This is their epitaph.

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