Mystery Stone at Powerscourt!

I saw this stone recently at Powerscourt, just beneath the Pepper Pot Tower. I took a photo to try to make out the engraving, but the last lines are difficult to make out. Has anyone any idea what it is about? I need a high-res photo to try to make it out, if anyone is knocking around that way in the next while…! What I can make out so far is:

Location of mystery stone...! Click to see full size.


In Loving Memory
of my dearest friend
Colonel Herbert C Laverton OBE [see comments below]
The Black Watch
Died 10th Jan 1923
This stone is placed
in the valley
in which he worked so often
and ________ so well


25 thoughts on “Mystery Stone at Powerscourt!

  1. Very mysterious! Is there a list of OBE recipients maybe? If the Black Watch was the Royal Highlander Regiment maybe the OBE was for military service?

    • Yes that’s clever. Might see if there’s a list. There’s a book called Wicklow War Dead too. I checked Census for 1901 and 1911 and no dice.

  2. I tried Google – here’s what came up in

    Major Herbert Curling Laverton1
    M, #459525, d. before 1926

    Last Edited=22 Nov 2010
    Major Herbert Curling Laverton married Hazel Valerie West, daughter of Alfred Edward West and Florence Levey, on 7 July 1908.1 He died before 1926.1
    He gained the rank of Major in the service of the The Black Watch.1
    [S31] Bernard, Sir Burke, editor, Burke’s genealogical and heraldic history of the landed gentry of Ireland, 4th ed. (London, U.K.: Burkes Peerage Ltd, 1958), page 752. Hereinafter cited as Landed Gentry of Ireland.

  3. Also note below as part of the Black Watch folks coming from Point Natal to Bombay on Oct 3, 02 (presumably 1902) in the London Times Shipping Lists on

    The Ionian left Point Natal Oct. 3 for Bombay with the following:
    J/RHA – Capt. B. Vincent, Lts. T.E.P. Pickham, O.M. Harris, A.C. Littledale(attached) and 156 men
    3/Hussars – Lt.-Col. H.C. Oswald, Maj. W.G. Murray, Capts. A.M. Tabor, H.S. Luverton, R.R. Henderson, Lts. G. Landale, D.C. Gilroy, J. Montgomery, J.J. Dobie, M. Burge, H. Leney, W.R. Tyldon-Wright, C.E. Mann, R.J. Coe, 2/Lt. J.E. Atkinson , Vet.-Lt. C.H. Joleeiffe, 2 warrant officers and 491 men .
    2/Black Watch – Maj. the Hon. H.E. Maxwell, Capts. E.S. Dawes, J.T.C. Murray, Bt. -Maj. A.R. Cameron, Lts. H.C. Laverton, the Hon. M.A.C. Drummond, C.W.E. Gordon, L.P. Evans, P.A.B. Baillio-Hamilton, H. Studley, 2/Lts. C.R.B. Henderson, R.M. Robertson, P.G.B. Henderson, 1 warrant officer and 720 men
    RAMC – Maj. A.T.J. Lilley, B. Forde, Capts. G.G. Delap, J.H.R. Bond, J.W. Langstaffe
    6/DG – Lt. Lloyd and 3 men
    9/Lancers – Lt. E. Abadie
    Indian Native Forces – Vet.-Lts. E.S. Giliett, R. Porteous
    2/N. Staffs. – 2/Lt. F.W.A. Wells and 43 men
    3/RB – Lt. R.E. Solly-Flood
    Celon Vols. – Lt. Beamish
    1/Devon – Maj. J.E.I. Masterson
    Returning Boer Escourts:
    2/R. Scots – Capt. R.W. Duncan
    2/Shropshire L.I. – 2/Lt. P.C.J. Johnson and 66 men
    1/R. Scots Fus. – Capt. C.H. Jackson
    Due Bombay Oct. 19

    • Yes, the last line includes something about “Powerscourt” (I was trying to make something out of “Scouts” but it is definitely Powerscourt). Maybe he was employed on the estate/gardens. Retired army men were considered reliable in the 19th century, no reason why the trend wouldn’t continue into the 20th…?! Or else he was a friend who advised about the gardens – perhaps the PepperPot Tower?

    • Thanks Ruth,

      Get some hits for the date range identified by Mary, above, will need to look in library to get access. Looks likely though from what Mary has posted.


  4. Herbert Curling Laverton is one of our ancestors. We have his dress sabre as a family heirloom. He was in the 3rd Wilts and then the Black Watch and did indeed get awarded an OBE. Thank you for this picture and transcript – one day we will travel to see it in person!

    • Hello Helen
      I am interested in your connection with my gg uncle HCL. How are you related. I have a Laverton family tree on Ancestry. I would love to hear from you by email.
      Tony Laverton (Bristol)

  5. Herbert was the son of my great grandfather and is one of many family members I am currently researching. So far I have the following..and would love to hear from Helen Roberts especially. I have never heard of the stone inscription.

    He was commissioned Second Lieutenant in The Black Watch on May 15 1897 and joined 1st Battalion, being awarded the Queen’s and King’s Africa Medals with the following bars: “Driefontein”, “Wittebergen”, “Cape Colony”, “Transvaal”, “South Africa 1901” and “South Africa 1902”.

    Promoted to Captain on 29 October 1903 and retired on 3 Jan.1914. He was recalled for the duration of “The Great War”, employed first as a Major with the 2/1st Scottish Horse and later as a temporary Lt. Col. commanding training batallions at home. He died in London on 10 Jan. 1923.

    Manager at Madbrook Farm, Westbury and went to Caversham Nr Reading.

  6. Herbert Laverton’s wife Hazel Valerie West was mentioned last night on a BBC television programme; she was divorced from him, in 1921-2 living on a houseboat on Lough Erne. It was used (requisitioned) by the NI government to patrol the lough at the time of the War of Independence; she commanded it to rescue British soldiers cut off at the “Battle of Belleek”

  7. Thank you Mary Lally and Linde Lunney. I have just revisited this site and would love to know how I can access the BBC tv programme. Mary, the photo of Hazel is missing her head…!

  8. The Wicklow link is via his wife, Hazel Valerie who was from Kilcroney, Delgany, near Enniskerry, 1 of 4 children of Alfred Edward West, born in Co Wicklow in 1852. She was 40 – and recently divorced, living on her houseboat *Pandora* – when she was its Helmswoman in the 1922 *Battle of Belleek*. Her ex-husband died in London on Jan 10, 1923. A Dubliner, Edward Carson who was also a son of a Dubliner, led Unionism in 1910-1921 and this fiesty Wicklow woman defended her adopted Province in 1922. But not a totally unique story as women had already beenn involved in Carson’s Ulster Vols – in transport as well as nursing.

    • I have just picked up your two posts. Can you tell me more about …..He was Adj of 1 [ North Fermanagh ] Bn Ul Vols which had 1,120 men when WW 1 started….please. HCL was my GG Uncle and I am planning a trip to visit both Fermanagh and Powerscourt.

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