You won’t see an official Derry City Council or Northern Ireland Tourist Board sign to point the way - but a remote, rural graveyard in Co Londonderry hosts the remains of two of the Siege Heroes of 1689.
Colonels John Mitchelburne and Adam Murray are buried in the old Glendermott cemetery, on Church Road.
The graveyard is known locally as the “Apprentice Boys’ graveyard” because of the location here of the Mitchelburn and Murray tombs, who were not strictly speaking ‘Apprentice Boys’ but who did, nevertheless, play their parts during the Siege of Derry (1688-89).
On the Tomb of Colonel Mitchelburne, the epitaph reads :
Here lieth the body of Colonel John Mitchelburne, grandson of Sir Richard Mitchelburn of Broadhurst and Stanmore in the County of Sussex, a valiant soldier, faithful, pious, and charitable, expecting the resurrection of the just.
Col Murray’s reads: In Memory of Colonel Adam Murray of Ling in this countywho during the ever memorable siege of Derry A.D. 1688 led to the relief of that City a troop of horse which he had raised for its defence and who eminently distinguished himself by his skill and bravery during that eventful struggle for civil and religious liberty”.
Some of the most important events in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, following Parliament’s invitation to William of Orange to replace King James II, were the battles that took place in Ireland as James tried to regain his throne. The Siege of Londonderry was central to that story, remembered as much for the fortitude of the besieged as the war of which it was part.
It was also part of a wider European conflict.
While the official bodies play no part in acknowledging the whereabouts of the two Colonels’ graves, the Apprentice Boys lay wreaths every year in their memory.