Tombstone Tuesday: Military (US) Edition

Tombstone Tuesday has quickly become my favorite genealogy prompt from the Geneablogger with Thomas MacAntee. Last week it was the first edition. I’m a sucker for cemeteries (I have well over 500+ photos of gravestones on my hard drive right now). Each week of Tombstone Tuesday, I’m going to feature different stories, ideas or facts about cemeteries, tombstones and anything related to the field of death and burial.

Evergreen Washelli Columbarium

Military tombstones and graves are quite unique among gravestones in general. They typically have a uniform look that is the same in almost any cemetery that you will visit. There are three types of headstones and markers available — the upright headstones, the markers, and the medallions.

John Peter Watson

While I did share the above picture in the last Tombstone Tuesday, I just love the visual representation of the winter ice on this picture. This was John Peter Watson,  born in 1895 in Minnesota and died at the age of forty-one in Bellingham, Washington.  This is an example of an upright marble headstone. These measurements are uniform 42-inches long, 13-inches wide and 4-inches thick. The stones are about 230 pounds or 104 kilograms (according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs) There may be variations in the stone color, but in general, all the stones are going to look the same.

These following gravestones are all of the upright marble headstones:

Dr. William Huey
Dr. William Huey
Thomothy Paul Walton
Thomothy Paul Walton
William Loyd Hubka
William Loyd Hubka

The next type of military marker you are going to find is the flat-type marker. These have become more common over the years as marble has fallen out of style. These markers are bronze and are 24 inches long, 12 inches wide, with 3/4 raise and weigh about 18 pounds or 8 kilograms. These are most commonly seen in cemeteries since the late 60’s and 70’s.


Olaf G. Overrein
Olaf G. Iverrein, flat marker

Because the markers are bronze, they can oxide and turn bright teal and aquamarine like Max M. Jenkins below.

Max M. Jenkins

The last kind of gravestone or marker for members of the military is a medallion. You’ll rarely see these on individual gravestones. They are typically located near a selection of military gravestones like this one in Bayview Cemetery.

United States Merchant Marine

What other military markers have you seen? Thank you to Life After Death Photography for lending their photos to this post. Be sure to follow us on Facebook here to keep up with the latest blog posts.

4 thoughts on “Tombstone Tuesday: Military (US) Edition

Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on Calvary Cemetery and commented:
    Here’s a wonderful rundown on military cemetery markers. Many thanks to The Hipster Historian. According to Calvary Caretaker Terry Miller, bronze military markers are the only exceptions to granite allowed at Calvary.

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