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  1. #1

    Default Famous Last Words and Epitaphs

    Famous Last words and/or Epitaphs

    Here's one to start with ...

    "I am just going outside and may be some time" Captain Oates


    On 15 March 1912, he told his companions that he could not go on and proposed that they leave him in his sleeping-bag which they refused to do. He managed a few more miles that day but his condition worsened that night. Waking on the morning of 17 March and recognising the need to sacrifice himself in order to give the others a chance of survival, Scott wrote that Oates said to them "I am just going outside and may be some time."[4] Forgoing the pain and effort of putting his boots on[5], he walked out of the tent into a blizzard and minus 40 °F temperatures to his death.

    Scott also wrote in his diary, "We knew that poor Oates was walking to his death, but though we tried to dissuade him, we knew it was the act of a brave man and an English gentleman". Oates' noble sacrifice however made no difference to the eventual outcome. Scott, Wilson and Bowers continued onwards for a further 20 miles towards the 'One Ton' food depot that could save them but were halted at latitude 79°40'S by a fierce blizzard on 20 March. Trapped in their tent by the weather and too weak, cold and malnourished to continue, they eventually died nine days later, only eleven miles short of their objective.

    Their frozen bodies were discovered by a search party on 12 November 1912. Oates' body was never found. Near where he was presumed to have died, the search party erected a cairn and cross bearing the inscription, ‘Hereabouts died a very gallant gentleman, Captain L. E. G. Oates, of the Inniskilling Dragoons. In March 1912, returning from the Pole, he walked willingly to his death in a blizzard, to try and save his comrades, beset by hardships.’

    Oates' reindeer-skin sleeping bag was recovered and is now displayed in the museum of the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge with other items from the expedition.
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    Last edited by 2020hindsight; 12th-July-2008 at 08:26 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Famous Last Words and Epitaphs

    "Such is Life"

    Ned Kelly


  3. #3
    The Contrarian Averager So_Cynical's Avatar
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    Sydney - Muntinlupa

    Default Re: Famous Last Words and Epitaphs

    What the hell was that!

    Mayor of Hiroshima...08.16 AM, Monday August 6, 1945

  4. #4

    Default Re: Famous Last Words and Epitaphs

    lol - couple of good ones there ..

    Maj Gen John Sedgwick, US Civil War (Union)
    "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance"
    sometimes shortened (for fun) to
    "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist-..."


    Sedgwick fell at the beginning of the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, on May 9, 1864. His corps was probing skirmish lines ahead of the left flank of Confederate defenses and he was directing artillery placements. Confederate sharpshooters were about 1,000 yards (910 m) away and their shots caused members of his staff and artillerymen to duck for cover. Sedgwick strode around in the open and was quoted as saying, "What? Men dodging this way for single bullets? What will you do when they open fire along the whole line? I am ashamed of you. They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." ........

    Just seconds later he fell forward with a bullet hole below his left eye.[2][3]

    Sedgwick was the highest ranking Union casualty (the most senior by date of rank of all major generals killed) of the Civil War. Upon hearing of his death, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant repeatedly asked, "Is he really dead?"[3]

    Sedgwick's reputation was that of a solid, dependable, but relatively unaggressive general. He was well-liked by his soldiers, who referred to him affectionately as "Uncle John". His death was met by universal sorrow; even Robert E. Lee expressed his sadness over the fate of an old friend. George G. Meade wept at the news. Ulysses S. Grant characterized Sedgwick as one who "was never at fault when serious work was to be done" and he told his staff that the loss for him was worse than that of an entire division.

    John Sedgwick is buried near his birthplace of Cornwall Hollow, Connecticut. An equestrian statue honors him and the VI Corps at Gettysburg National Military Park.

    There is a statue of John Sedgwick at the United States Military Academy. Local legend has it that a Cadet who spins the spurs of the statue at midnight while wearing full dress uniform will have good luck on his or her exams.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Famous Last Words and Epitaphs

    George Sanders..

    "Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck."

    "His second marriage was to Zsa Zsa Gabor etc etc ..and his fourth was to Magda Gabor, her elder sister; the marriage lasted only 6 weeks. Following this he began to drink heavily."


    On 27 October 1940, Sanders married Susan Larson. The marriage ended in divorce in 1949. From 1949 until 1954, Sanders was married to the Hungarian actress Zsa Zsa Gabor. (In 1956 he and Gabor starred together in the film Death of a Scoundrel.) On 10 February 1959 Sanders married actress Benita Hume, the widow of actor Ronald Colman. Benita Hume died in 1967. Sanders' final marriage, on 4 December 1970, was to Magda Gabor, the older sister of his second wife; the marriage lasted only 6 weeks. Following this he began to drink heavily.

    His autobiography, Memoirs of a Professional Cad, was published in 1960 and received critical praise for its wit. Sanders, himself, suggested the title A Dreadful Man for the biography of him later written by Brian Aherne and published in 1979.

    ... In his later years, Sanders suffered from bewilderment and bouts of anger, both made worse by health problems. He was losing his balance, among other things, and can actually be seen visibly teetering in his very last films
    you drink that much, you'd lose your balance too

    Soon after, in April 1972, he checked into a hotel in Castelldefels, a coastal town near Barcelona, Spain. His body was discovered two days later, along with five empty bottles of Nembutal. He left behind a suicide note that read:
    Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck.

    His friend David Niven recorded in his autobiography Bring On The Empty Horses that Sanders had predicted, many years earlier, in 1937 at age 31, that he would commit suicide at the age of 65. In 1972, he fulfilled this prediction.

    His body was cremated and the ashes were scattered in the English Channel.
    Attached Images  

  6. #6

    Default Re: Famous Last Words and Epitaphs

    Plenty more here :-

    whether intentional or accidental, some of these quotes can appear humourous at first glance

    example :-

    I can't sleep.
    ~~ James M. Barrie, author, d. 1937

    Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM (9 May 1860 – 19 June 1937), more commonly known as J. M. Barrie, was a Scottish novelist and dramatist. He is best remembered for creating Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up, whom he based on his friends, the Llewelyn Davies boys.

    He is also credited with popularising the name "Wendy", which was uncommon (especially for girls) in both Britain and America before he gave it to the heroine of Peter Pan. He was made a baronet in 1913; his baronetcy was not inherited. He was made a member of the Order of Merit in 1922.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Famous Last Words and Epitaphs

    "I told you I was ill"

    Spike Milligan

  8. #8

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    Epitaph for a son killed in war (could well relate to Kipling's own son, John)

    A SON
    My son was killed while laughing at some jest. I would I knew
    What it was, and it might serve me in a time when jests are few.

    ...World War I. Kipling also knew personal tragedy at the time as his only son, John Kipling, died in 1915 at the Battle of Loos, after which he wrote "If any question why we died/ Tell them, because our fathers lied" (Kipling's son's death inspired his poem, "My Boy Jack", ... It is speculated that these words may reveal Kipling's feelings of guilt at his role in getting John a commission in the Irish Guards, despite his initially having been rejected by the army because of his poor eyesight, and his having exerted great influence to have his son accepted for officer training at the age of only 17. [36]

    Partly in response to this tragedy, Kipling joined Sir Fabian Ware's Imperial War Graves Commission (now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission), the group responsible for the garden-like British war graves that can be found to this day dotted along the former Western Front and all the other locations around the world where Commonwealth troops lie buried. His most significant contribution to the project was his selection of the biblical phrase "Their Name Liveth For Evermore" found on the Stones of Remembrance in larger war graves and his suggestion of the phrase "Known unto God" for the gravestones of unidentified servicemen.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Famous Last Words and Epitaphs

    "If someone is going to kill me, they will kill me."

    Kennedy, John Fitzgerald (1917-1963)

    Or some may his last words were;

    "I think that guy on the grassy knoll is pointing a gun at me..."

  10. #10
    noirua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Kent, England
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    Default Re: Famous Last Words and Epitaphs

    YOU HAVE ALL BETRAYED ME! - Adolph Hitler

  11. #11

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    Lionel Barrymore, Americal Actor, died 1954 - Invited to contribute his own epitaph to a music magazine ... scratches his head ...
    "Well I've played everything except a harp"

    Friends applaud, the comedy is finished.
    ~~ Ludwig van Beethoven, composer, d. March 26, 1827

    I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis.
    ~~ Humphrey Bogart, actor, d. January 14, 1957

  12. #12

    Default Re: Famous Last Words and Epitaphs

    William Palmer (The Rogeley poisoner") Brtish murderer, hanged 1856. Stepping onto the gallows ....
    "Are you sure it's safe"?

    Wilson Mizner, Hollywood wit, died 1933 - rejecting an attendant priest..
    "Why should I talk to you? I've just been talking to your boss"

    Sir Alfred Macalpine, Irish bulding contractor / tycoon.
    "Keep Paddy behind the big mixer".

  13. #13

    Default Re: Famous Last Words and Epitaphs

    Jeanne-marie Roland de la Platiere, French Jacobin leader, guillotined 1793. To an old man waiting with her on the same scaffold and terrified of his own death...
    "Go first, At least I can spare you the pain of seeing my blood flow.."

    Maximilien de Robespierre, French revoltionary leader and architect of "the Terror" , himself guillotined 1794
    "Thanks you sir"


    Some have argued that in Tale Dickens reflects on his recently begun affair with eighteen-year-old actress Ellen Ternan, which was possibly asexual but certainly romantic. The character of Lucie Manette resembles Ternan physically, and some have seen "a sort of implied emotional incest" in the relationship between Dr. Manette and his daughter.[29] This might help explain the odd sense of guilt surrounding the demolition of Dr. Manette's shoe-making workbench by Miss Pross and Mr. Lorry, which is described as "the burning of the body".

    Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay may also bear importantly on Dickens' personal life. The two look so alike that Carton twice saves Darnay through the inability of others to tell them apart. It is implied that Carton and Darnay not only look alike, but they possess identical "genetic" endowments (to use a term that Dickens would not have known): Carton is Darnay made bad. Carton suggests as much:

    'Do you particularly like the man [Darnay]?' he muttered, at his own image [which he is regarding in a mirror]; 'why should you particularly like a man who resembles you? There is nothing in you to like; you know that. Ah, confound you! What a change you have made in yourself! A good reason for talking to a man, that he shows you what you have fallen away from and what you might have been! Change places with him, and would you have been looked at at by those blue eyes [belonging to Lucie Manette] as he was, and commiserated by that agitated face as he was? Come on, and have it out in plain words! You hate the fellow.'[30]

    Many have felt that Carton and Darnay are doppelgängers, which Eric Rabkin defines as a pair "of characters that together, represent one psychological persona in the narrative."[31] If so, they would prefigure such works as Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Darnay is worthy and respectable but dull (at least to most modern readers), Carton disreputable but magnetic.

    One can only suspect whose psychological persona it is that Carton and Darnay together embody (if they do), but it is often thought to be the psyche of Dickens himself. Dickens was quite aware that between them, Carton and Darnay shared his own initials.[32] Furthermore, in early drafts of the novel, Darnay and Carton each individually had the same initials as Dickens, since in early drafts Carton's forename was Dick rather than Sydney.
    The novel concludes with the guillotining of Sydney Carton. Carton's unspoken last thoughts are "prophetic"[13] (that is, they come to pass): Carton foresees that many of the revolutionaries, including Monsieur Defarge, will be sent to the guillotine themselves, and that Darnay and Lucie will have a son who they will name after Carton, a son who will fulfill all the promise that Carton wasted.[14]
    “ It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known. ”
    —Final sentence of A Tale of Two Cities[15]

  14. #14

    Default Re: Famous Last Words and Epitaphs

    I'm bored with it all.
    Before slipping into a coma. He died 9 days later.
    ~~ Winston Churchill, statesman, d. January 24, 1965

    This time it will be a long one.
    ~~ Georges Clemenceau, French premier, d. 1929

    That was the best ice-cream soda I ever tasted.
    ~~ Lou Costello, comedian, d. March 3, 1959

    That was a great game of golf, fellers.
    ~~ Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby, singer / actor, d. October 14, 1977

    I've never felt better.
    ~~ Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., actor, d. December 12, 1939

    I've had a hell of a lot of fun and I've enjoyed every minute of it.
    ~~ Errol Flynn, actor, d. October 14, 1959

    Come my little one, and give me your hand.
    Spoken to his daughter, Ottilie.
    ~~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, writer, d. March 22, 1832

    Yes, it's tough, but not as tough as doing comedy.
    When asked if he thought dying was tough.
    ~~ Edmund Gwenn, actor, d. September 6, 1959

    All is lost. Monks, monks, monks!
    ~~ Henry VIII, King of England, d. 1547

    All my possessions for a moment of time.
    ~~ Elizabeth I, Queen of England, d. 1603

    Let us cross over the river and sit in the shade of the trees.
    Killed in error by his own troops at the battle of Chancellorsville during the US Civil War.
    ~~ General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, d. 1863

    Why do you weep. Did you think I was immortal?
    ~~ Louis XIV, King of France, d. 1715

    Too late for fruit, too soon for flowers.
    ~~ Walter De La Mare, writer, d. 1956

    Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.
    From Luke 23:46
    ~~ Jesus Christ

  15. #15

    Default Re: Famous Last Words and Epitaphs

    I've had eighteen straight whiskies, I think that's the record . . .
    ~~ Dylan Thomas, poet, d. 1953

    God bless... God damn.
    ~~ James Thurber, humorist, d. 1961

    Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something.
    ~~ Pancho Villa, Mexican revolutionary, d. 1923

  16. #16

    Default Re: Famous Last Words and Epitaphs

    Quote Originally Posted by 2020hindsight View Post
    God bless... God damn.
    ~~ James Thurber, humorist, d. 1961
    lol, sorry , but I just gotta share some more of thurber's quotes - what a classic he is / was

    All men should strive to learn before they die,
    what they are running from, and to, and why.
    A drawing is always dragged down to the level of its caption.

    A word to the wise is not sufficient if it doesn't make sense.

    Boys are beyond the range of anybody's sure understanding, at least when they are between the ages of 18 months and 90 years.

    But what is all this fear of and opposition to Oblivion? What is the matter with the soft Darkness, the Dreamless Sleep?

    Don't get it right, just get it written.

    Early to rise and early to bed makes a male healthy and wealthy and dead.

    He who hesitates is sometimes saved.

    I think that maybe if women and children were in charge we would get somewhere.

    I'm 65 and I guess that puts me in with the geriatrics. But if there were fifteen months in every year, I'd only be 48. That's the trouble with us. We number everything. Take women, for example. I think they deserve to have more than twelve years between the ages of 28 and 40.

    It is better to have loafed and lost, than never to have loafed at all.

    It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.

    It's a naive domestic Burgundy without any breeding, but I think you'll be amused by its presumption.

    Last night I dreamed of a small consolation enjoyed only by the blind: Nobody knows the trouble I've not seen!

    Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.

    Man has gone long enough, or even too long, without being man enough to face the simple truth that the trouble with man is man.

    Man is flying too fast for a world that is round. Soon he will catch up with himself in a great rear end collision.

    My opposition to Interviews lies in the fact that offhand answers have little value or grace of expression, and that such oral give and take helps to perpetuate the decline of the English language.

    The appreciative smile, the chuckle, the soundless mirth, so important to the success of comedy, cannot be understood unless one sits among the audience and feels the warmth created by the quality of laughter that the audience takes home with it.

    The difference between our decadence and the Russians' is that while theirs is brutal, ours is apathetic.

    The past is an old armchair in the attic, the present an ominous ticking sound, and the future is anybody's guess.

    The sanity of the average banquet speaker lasts about two and a half months; at the end of that time he begins to mutter to himself, and calls out in his sleep.

    There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception.

    We all have faults, and mine is being wicked.

    Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?

    Women are wiser than men because they know less and understand more.

    You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.

    You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backward.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Famous Last Words and Epitaphs

    Last words of Jack Hindshaw, the Resident Engineer on the Westgate Bridge , a span of which collapsed Oct 1970, making a phonecall to a colleague from an office under the suspect span - assumed to be inresponse to some movement ... "(oops), I wonder if I should get the bods off the bridge" (The span landed on him)

    Hindshaw (Jack Hindshaw, M.I.C.E, Resident Engineer, Freeman Fox and Partners for the project) discovered that the use of kentledge had caused a buckle to develop. His diary entry for Wednesday 9th September, 1970 includes the observation "Obvious overstress due to concrete kentledge."
    Hindshaw arrived on the West span accompanied by Crossley. Hindshaw rapidly assessed the situation which superficially did not appear to be deteriorating. He was nevertheless gravely concerned with what was clearly a potentially dangerous situation and decided to ask Hardenberg's advice. Hindshaw telephoned Hardenberg (Gerit Hardenberg, M.C.E., Senior Representative of Werkspoor-Utrecht, Wescon and WSC in Melbourne) and gave him a brief sketch of the situation asking him to come over. The last thing Hardenberg heard on the phone was as if Hindshaw was thinking out aloud, "Shall I get the bods off?"

    Almost immediately after that telephone conversation at 11:50 am, span 10-11 collapsed. Among those who died were Hindshaw, Crossley and Tracy (William Tracy, B.C.E, Section Engineer, JHC, West Side)
    Attached Images  

  18. #18

    Default Re: Famous Last Words and Epitaphs

    Harry (Breaker) Morant
    Australian soldier, executed 1900
    "Shoot straight you bastards! Don't make a mess of it!"

    Black Jack Ketchum
    American bankrobber, hanged 1901
    "I'll be in hell before you've finished breakfast, boys.... Let her rip!"

    John Wesley Hardin
    American outlaw, killed whilst gambling with dice in a bar in El Paso
    "Four sixes to beat!"

    William Hotman
    Hero of the Ameican Revolution, killed 1781
    The British were about to blow up a Revolutionary fort and all within it, \ Hotman put out the fuse with his dying wounds..
    " ....We will completely wet the powder with our blood; thus will we, with the life that remains in us, save the fort and the magazine, and perhaps a few of our comrades who are only wounded. "
    Last edited by 2020hindsight; 19th-July-2008 at 07:21 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Famous Last Words and Epitaphs

    Remember friend as you walk by
    As you are now so once was I
    As I am now you will surely be
    Prepare thyself to follow me.
    Battle of Ridgefield Dead
    Ridgefield, Connecticut

    In defense of American Independence
    at the Battle of Ridgefield, April 27, 1777,
    died Eight Patriots who were laid in this ground,
    Companioned by Sixteen British Soldiers,
    Living, their enemies,
    Dying, their guests

  20. #20

    Default Re: Famous Last Words and Epitaphs


    Walter Savage Landor (buried in the "English Cemetery" in Florence

    .... "In 1849 he wrote a well-known epithet for himself on his 74th birthday.

    I strove with none, for none was worth my strife:
    Nature I loved, and next to nature Art:
    I warm'd both hands before the fire of Life
    It sinks; and I am ready to depart. "
    Robert Louis Stevenson (buried above Apia, Samoa) :-

    Under the wide and starry sky,
    Dig the grave and let me lie.
    Glad did I live and gladly die,
    And I laid me down with a will.

    This be the verse you grave for me:
    Here he lies where he longed to be;
    Home is the sailor, home from sea,
    And the hunter home from the hill.


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