Peterhead granite obelisk, dated 1869.
Reason for Listing
The monument to George Kmety is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: commemorates a celebrated Hungarian patriot and military leader, later a general in the Ottoman army;
* Group value: with other listed monuments within the Grade I registered Kensal Green Cemetery.
George [György] Kmety, aka Ishmail Pasha (1813-1869), was a Hungarian army commander who played an important role in the war of independence that followed Hungary's revolt against Austrian rule in 1848. After the defeat of the revolution Kmety fled to Turkey where, under the name of Ishmail Pasha, he became a lieutenant-general in the Ottoman Army. He fought on the Ottoman side in the Crimea, defeating the Russian army at Kars in 1855, an episode later described in his Narrative of the Defence of Kars (1856). He later settled in London, where he died in 1869. He is believed to be the most senior Hungarian military figure to be buried outside his native country.
The Cemetery of All Souls at Kensal Green was the earliest of the large privately-run cemeteries established on the fringes of London to relieve pressure on overcrowded urban churchyards. Its founder George Frederick Carden intended it as an English counterpart to the great Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, which he had visited in 1821. In 1830, with the financial backing of the banker Sir John Dean Paul, Carden established the General Cemetery Company, and two years later an Act of Parliament was obtained to develop a 55-acre site at Kensal Green, then among open fields to the west of the metropolis. An architectural competition was held, but the winning entry – a Gothic scheme by HE Kendall – fell foul of Sir John's classicising tastes, and the surveyor John Griffith of Finsbury was eventually employed both to lay out the grounds and to design the Greek Revival chapels, entrance arch and catacombs, which were built between 1834 and 1837. A sequence of royal burials, beginning in 1843 with that of Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, ensured the cemetery’s popularity. It is still administered by the General Cemetery Company, assisted since 1989 by the Friends of Kensal Green.
A plain obelisk of Peterhead marble, set atop a battered pedestal, which rests in turn upon a plinth. It is signed 'A MacDonald Aberdeen'. The inscription is the same on all three sides, in English, Latin and Turkish, and reads: Lieutenant General in the Armies of the Emperor of the Ottomans. Defender of Kars, Chief of the Forces in Syria. In whom Hungary mourns a brave commander in her National War of 1848-1849' and concludes with the inscription to the effect that the monument covering his mortal remains was 'erected by command of THE SULTAN'.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.