Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Tom Boswell's Angel

Warrington Cemetery is very large and packed full of history. In the newer section, Tom Boswell's grave is notable because a large marble Angel towers over it. According to a cemetery leaflet, the tomb is lined with white Morecambe brick and the coffins were placed inside the mausoleum. It sounds like a vault . . . I have yet to establish any information on Tom Boswell.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Sheffield Blitz Victims

On the evening of December 12, 1940, German bombers blitzed Sheffield in Yorkshire. No. 74 Nether Edge Road took a direct hit. Susan Bielby (84) and her three daughters, Annie (45), Emily (51) and Millicent (54) were killed. Emily and Millicent were infant school headmistresses, while Annie was a costumier. [Sheffield General Cemetery, Yorkshire] For more on this wonderful cemetery, click HERE.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Lords of the Manor of Great Harwood

Two impressive plots  of distinctive memorials contain most of the family that owned the Allsprings Estate and, at one time, most of Great Harwood in Lancashire. A good account of the family's history and the subsequent sales in 1925 of the family estate that brought an end to the Lords of the Manor of Great Harwood after nearly 900 years can be found HERE. The graves lie in St Michael's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Hurst Green, not far from Stoneyhurst College (A Roman Catholic Public School ) where J R R Tolkien once taught. Tolkien, famously, wrote Lord of the Rings.

This is the early family plot. 
The later members of the Lomax family lie in a separate plot about 100 metres from the other.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Assassinated by Huns - Stark Statement on Southport Gravestone

Howard Walter Tijou drowned when the SS Lusitania was sunk by a U-Boat on May 7, 1915. The unlucky ten-year-old was said to have been playing on deck when the torpedo struck and he and other children were blown overboard and drowned. His body was never recovered. This headstone in Southport's Duke Street Cemetery records the bitterness of his parents - 'Assasssinated by Huns', it reads. Find-A-Grave has some details HERE  and further details are available HERE as Tijou is the second named person detailed in this article.

The sinking of RMS Lusitania, contributed to America's entry to the War. The shocking story of the sinking and huge loss of life is recorded by Wikipedia HERE.

The Imperial War Museum  says one of the most famous commemorative medals in the Art Department's collection is Karl Goetz's 'Lusitania Medallion'. It was privately issued in Germany to mark the circumstances of the sinking of the Cunard liner RSM Lusitania in May 1915. British copies of the piece were subsequently widely distributed as part of a concerted anti-German propaganda campaign. I have a couple of boxed British copies along with the accompanying facsimile newspaper article. A detailed article by the Museum can be found HERE. It makes fascinating reading.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Another Titanic Victim

Southport's Duke Street Cemetery contains a gravestone commemorating the death of a Titanic crewman. James Walpole is well-documented in the Encyclopedia Titanica. He had worked for the White Star Line for thirty years. He had previously served on the Brittanic, Adriatic, Majestic and Celtic and Olympic. On the Titanic's maiden voyage, he was Chief Pantryman. He died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

A Longridge Soldier

A photographic portrait of a First World War soldier has been identified as being of a Longridge casualty. Private James Smith died on 29 April 1918 aged 21. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing in Belgium. In the 1911 Census, his occupation is listed as 'Wheelwright and Joiners assistant'. He lived with his parents, Henry and Mary Smith at No. 5 Isabella Street, Longridge.

No. 5 Isabella Street, Longridge 2014
War Grave Registers were produced by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on a cemetery-by-cemetery or memorial-by-memorial basis, and eventually ran to 1,500 volumes. They contain an entry for each individual, with details of their rank, regiment, unit and date of death. Many of the entries also include additional information such as next of kin details.

Monday, 4 August 2014

One of Thousands who never made it Home

A simple postcard of a wooden First World War grave marker. It marks the grave of Walter Clarke [see name variations, below]. Walter was 42931 Driver W Clarke Royal Field Artillery who died on 17 October 1917 aged 37. He is buried in Bleut Farm Cemetery (Elverdinge), Belgium.

The Nottinghamshire County Council roll of honour provides much detail on this soldier. He was born at Carrington in 1880 and was the son of Walter and Catherine Clark of 19 Morris Street, Daybrook, Nottingham and had three siblings. He was a regular soldier and the step brother of 15723 Pte William Henry Askew, who was also killed in action - Walter's father remarried after the death of his first wife, Catherine. Walter was serving with C Battery, 152nd Brigade. He enlisted in Nottingham but it is not know exactly how he died. During October 1917, the Third Battle of Passchendaele was raging and the British artillery would have been much in demand. On the other hand, states the roll of honour, the Germans would have done everything they could to silence our artillery and it is believed that Walter died as the result of enemy fire directed at his gun battery.

He is remembered on:

Arnold - Arnot Hill Park War Memorial as Clark Walter
Arnold - St Mary's Church War Memorial as Walter Clatk
Daybrook - St Paul's Church War Memorial as W Clark

Welcome to the Graveyard Detective

An illustrated look at the World of Graveyards and Cemeteries. There are many Stories behind the Stones that Stand in them. Who knows what we might find?


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