Cilla Black’s Grave

Posted: August 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

Following the burial of Cilla Black at Allerton Cemetery in Liverpool, there has been a steady stream of visitors to the grave. People have come in their hundreds to view the flowers on the grave. Flowers have been laid on Cilla’s parents grave which is the next door but one plot in the Roman Catholic section of the cemetery:Version 2 IMG_6315 Version 2

Patricia’s Angel

Posted: July 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

This angel stands above the grave of Patricia Gregson who died on April 18, 1932 aged four-and-a-half months. She is buried in Marton Cemetery, Blackpool, Lancashire.L1030230

Lost at Sea

Posted: June 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

George Lindley was lost at sea from the Full Rigger, Royal Albert which sank off Trevose Head, Cornwall on January 16, 1866. It was carrying tea, cloth, castor oil, shellac, rubber and firearms. Bound for Liverpool from Calcutta, her loss was one of several from overloading that led to the introduction of the ‘Plimsoll Line’. All 34 crew were lost. [Wakefield Cemetery, West Yorkshire]


Stockport Monument

Posted: February 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

This monument stands on the grave of Jennie Smith in Stockport Cemetery. The wife of Harry Smith, she died in August 1926.


A Druid’s Grave

Posted: January 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

Robert Lever Bailey was Secretary of the Bolton District branch of the Order of Druids. He died in 1865 aged 48 years. Bailey is buried in Bolton (Tonge) Cemetery.


Died of Wounds

Posted: October 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

Of all the gravestones in Sheffield (Norton) Cemetery, the example marking the grave of Private Arthur Hebblethwaite is probably the most impressive. The son of John and Lucy Hebblethwaite, he was married to Ada Beatrice Hebblethwaite of 2 Moor View, View Road, Heeley, Sheffield.

Arthur was serving with the York and Lancaster Regiment at the Battle of the Aisne in September 1914. He was badly wounded on 21 September and evacuated to England. He died of his wounds at Netley Military Hospital, Southampton on 29 October 1914 aged 30 years.


Coxswain William Johnson looks out to sea atop the memorial to the 1886 St Annes lifeboat disaster which stands on the seafront at St Annes in Lancashire. When the Hamburg-registered barque, Mexico went aground in a gale near Southport in Lancashire on December 9, 1886, two lifeboats were lost while making rescue attempts. The Eliza Fernley from Southport capsized with the loss of 13 of her sixteen crew, while the St Annes lifeboat, Laura Janet was launched to assist. At some point, this craft was overturned by waves and all fourteen crew members drowned. It was the largest loss ever incurred by the Royal National Lifeboat Institute. All the crew of the Mexico were later saved by a third lifeboat.


A Lawyer’s Grave

Posted: August 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

I can remember being at Primary School and being taught to write with a dip pen. The nib would be dipped into the inkwell and then moved across the paper. Scritch, scratch it went. Oh, those were the days, weren’t they.

You can imagine my pleasure when I noticed a hand with a pen on the front of a gravestone recently. A writer’s grave, I thought, but I was wrong. It marked the grave of a lawyer. It was still a very fine example of graveyard symbolism. Alfrey Percy Ames was his name – born 1872 and died 1953.


Twenty years ago, I happened across a military cemetery in Aldershot – a town then known as the home of the British Army. It was full of fascinating characters whose remains were buried there. Opening another dusty box today, I found this photograph that I had taken of the grave of a military balloonatic [I tend to describe early balloonists thus as they must have been mad to take such flights!]

The sword draped cross marks the grave of Lt Caulfield of the Royal Engineers who lost his life while on duty in the Military Balloon ‘Thrasher’. A guide to the cemetery notes:

Lieutenant William Caulfield, Royal Engineers. Killed along with fellow Officer, Lt Martin-Leake RAMC, whilst demonstrating to King Edward VII and Prince Fushimi of Japan, military balloon ‘Thrasher’, on 25 May 1907 at Aldershot. The balloon headed SW and was last seen close to Abbotsbury, Nr Weymouth only 40 feet from the ground. One of the balloonists shouted to a nearby farmer to catch the trail rope, unfortunately he failed to do so and the two men were never seen again. The next day the trawler ‘Skylark’ picked up a tangled mess of cordage and fabric – all that remained of the ‘Thrasher’.

If they were never seen again, why the grave? Perhaps someone out there knows the reason? It would be nice to hear why.


This headstone in Fleetwood Cemetery marks the passing of a Salvation Army musician – Frederick William Atkinson – who died on April 23, 1919 aged 20 years. Under the Sally Anne badge, the mason has chisled out a cornet to mark the departed’s musicianship.

His headstone is inscribed with the following charming words:

“We cannot say and will not say.
That he is dead. He is just away.
With a cheery smile and a wave of the hand
He has wandered into an unknown land.”