Harry Potter's grave draws tourists to Ramle

Hundreds flock to military cemetery to see resting place of British soldier killed in 1939 with same name as everyone's favorite wizard.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 17, 2010 06:16
1 minute read.
A tombstone bearing the name of a British Private.

Harry Potter tombstone 311. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Not the bespectacled teenage wizard created by author J.K. Rowling. This deceased Potter was a British soldier killed in 1939, and his grave is helping draw tourists to the central town of Ramle.

Ramle does not keep numbers on how many tourists flock to the grave in the town's British military cemetery, but tour guides and the municipality say the tombstone has become a popular attraction, largely for domestic travelers.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Fake graves cleared from J'lem cemetery
The lone palm tree

"There is no connection with the Harry Potter we know from literature, but the name sells, the name is marketable," said Ron Peled, a tour guide who said he has brought dozens of groups to the grave.

Pvt. Harry Potter was born near Birmingham, England, and joined the British military in 1938. According to his regiment's website, he arrived to British mandate Palestine later that year, where he was killed in battle with an armed band in 1939. He was 18.

The tombstone says, incorrectly, that he died at 19 — a result of him having lied about his age so he could enlist.

The municipality said people began inquiring about the grave about five years ago, and the city listed it on its tourism website at the start of the year.

On a recent afternoon, a group of Israeli visitors, led by a microphone-wielding tour guide, scoured the manicured cemetery, looking for Potter's tombstone. Once they found it among the 4,500 graves, they huddled behind it and snapped photos.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


"It's a type of pilgrimage for some man whose name stands out. If you didn't say that Harry Potter was buried here, no one would come here," said Josef Peretz, 76, from Tel Aviv.

Thousands of tourists visit Ramle every year in large part because of its many archaeological ruins and convenient location, according to the municipality.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," the second-to-last of the big-screen adventures about the young wizard, opens Friday.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN