Peregrine Acland is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Located in the heart of Toronto on a former 200 acre farm between Yonge Street and Bayview Avenue, Mount Pleasant is the final resting place of some of Canada’s most notable citizens, from Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best (who discovered insulin), to Glenn Gould, Northrop Frye and William Lyon Mackenzie King. Designated a National Historic Site of Canada in the year 2000, more information on the cemetery can be found here.
Brian Busby, gentleman blogger, recently visited Acland’s grave and graciously provided the photo above. More photos of Acland’s long-neglected grave can be found at The Dusty Bookcase.
Brian’s concise description, “a neglected novelist’s neglected grave” coupled with those lonely grey-skied photos, left me musing on the nature of literary and historical neglect for several days after he shared them, as I kept opening and re-opening the photos. I’ve written previously of the frequent errors I’ve encountered in researching Acland: the frequent misspelling of his name (Ackland), the glaring historical errors (serving in a Montreal, rather than a Toronto regiment). But the most grievous error is chiseled onto his headstone: Acland was born in 1891, not 1890. How’s that for neglect?
If you’re a current or former member of the 48th Highlanders and can spare an afternoon when the snows recede sometime this spring, Acland’s headstone could benefit from some time with a stiff brush and some perimeter weeding. Below are three consecutively more detailed maps that will zero one in on Acland’s grave.