Gabrielle Ray

'Gabrielle Ray said, 'I am always dancing; I love it! When I don't dance, I sing. What else is there to do?'

Gabrielle Ray Memorial

In 2011 I visited Miss Ray’s grave in Egham and was disappointed that her grave had been allowed to become “unloved.” After some investigation I learnt from Robert Walters, who not only has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Edwardian theatre but was the driving force behind Spockport honouring Miss Ray with the prestigious Blue Plaque that The Musical Hall Guild now have taken over the legal responsibility for the care of her grave. After contacting the Guild I was advised that the work would be carried out as funds became available. In 2012 I paid another visit, only to be greeted with the same shabby grave. After visiting their site several times it was clear that the Music Hall Guild have been responsible for several magnificent restorations but like all charities confined by the level of donations. I contacted a couple of funeral directors in Egham who kindly sent me the necessary information to enable an offer to fund a new stone myself but as the legal owners their permission would be necessary. When I contacted the Guild with my offer,  I also gave an undertaking that the choice of monument and inscription would be with their agreement. I also contacted Evergreen Memorials as at the time their link was available on the Guild’s site. Unfortunately the reply from Neil Morkunas, Chairman, The Music Hall Guild of Great Britain and America was disappointing, “Whilst we appreciate your concern to want to clean or replace Gabrielle’s memorial, please be assured that we, as the legal owners of the grave, will be undertaking this work ourselves in due course.”

I responded to Mr Morkunas expressing my disappointment that they as a registered charity were in a position to refuse such an offer. I am pleased to say that his reply was warming, “As a registered charity we gratefully appreciate and welcome any donations towards the work that we do.  I note from the email chain below that we did invite you to make a donation to our charity for this cause, when funds were very low, however please note that funds for this project are now in place and we will be proceeding with the work, as I said, in due course, following consultations with Gabrielle’s family.  

I note also that you have contacted me through Evergreen Memorials and this email acknowledges that also.”

 I feel sure that the “The Music Hall Guild of Great Britain and America” will welcome any interest in their progress.




June 23, 2014 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Grave, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments