Bharuch: A son who lived only two hours

Since 1989 I have been visiting most of the Dutch heritage places in India at least twice, a few even more. It gives me the opportunity to compare pictures and slides over a 30 plus period. In that time I have also answered on average two requests per year on this shared heritage, from India as well as from Netherlands.

Two Groenevelds

In October 2021 a Mr. Pappachan e-mailed me with the request to translate the Dutch text on a tomb on the Dutch cemetery in Bharuch. It was a of Johannis Groeneveld.


It reads as follows:

Here rests Johannis Groeneveld,
Not longer here(?) as Death put him in our beloved Mothers womb
Whose name was ordered for him

The days(?) in his life Was only 2 hours long
Died and was born in Brootchya on 10 September
In the year 1666

J.T. Groeneveld
In 1989 I came across the name J.T Groeneveld on a sundial with a date of 1700 in old Bharuch, on a wall up on what was an open renovated space, and earlier the place of the Dutch factory. At that time the stone-carved sundial was in a good shape. But I remember thinking at that time: I am worried that this will be bulldozered soon to make place for a new shopping mall or apartment building.

In March 2019 I had difficulty finding the place in old Bharuch, a motor-rider helped me find it in the end. Now the open space was more filled up. I was shown a ladder that I had to go up to see that now quite a bit of the sundial is gone.