My great-great grandfather Alexander Otto Lesthal was buried here in 1921. He was a trained pharmacist who also managed several manor houses in Estonia including Saksi and Ravila. Beside him lies his wife Helene as well as five of his children Emma, Olga, Arved, Anna and Melita. His first wife might also be buried here too but that is yet to be confirmed.
10-15 years ago thieves raided cemeteries in Estonia and stole the copper name plates that were attached to the iron crosses to sell as scrap metal. The appalling and desperate act of desecration has now left thousands of graves across the country nameless.
A former caretaker of this cemetery made matters worse by removing the old iron crosses from the graves and piling them by the side of the church. Thankfully the new management has ruled to preserve the crosses and relatives can return them to their rightful place.
Several times I searched through that pile of crosses to no avail but it was only a few days ago, buried deep under them all, little Melita Lesthal's one was discovered. She died in 1894 at a mere 19 days old and is the youngest member of my family to be buried here. Fortunately her copper plate was intact with an old German hymn "Zeuch hin, mein Kind" (Death of a Child) written on the back. It was a heart warming discovery, I was so happy to find it!
There were two crosses amongst the pile that were of the same design as young Melita's and I have claimed them. It is highly likely they belong to us. One was still attached to its stone so I returned it to the plot, the other needs a bit of work done on it. The next step is to order new plates for the crosses so that everyone buried here is mentioned. Working on this restoration is a very rewarding experience, it makes me feel closer to these relatives and provides a sense of satisfaction, knowing I am correcting a wrong.