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[Enlarged plan of NW area: monument numbers in sections B, C, C2, E, F, G, H, I, J and small upper part of section A]

[Enlarged plan of NE area: monument numbers in section K; also top portion of section D]

[Enlarged plan of  SW area: monument numbers in lower parts of sections A]

[Enlarged plan of SE area: monument numbers in the greater part of section D (oldest area)]

[Pie chart: residences] [Pie chart: occupations] [Graveyard curiosities] [Links]

 

Walney Graveyard Curiosities

 

  (Where thumbnail picture is included, click to enlarge)

 

 

THE MEMORIAL BEARING THE EARLIEST DATE ...

Georg(e) Case, 1735

Section D, Memorial No. 0000441

(This predates the earliest known Walney church register, which commences in 1744.  However the

 Dalton-in-Furness registers contain several references to the family of George Case, living at North

 Scale.  A carving of a winged face was sometimes used to represent the soul in flight from the body.)

 

COMMEMORATING A SHIPWRECK ...

and a link to a reported ghost 

John Welsh, master of the brig 'Susan' of Whitehaven, 1825 (other crew members also lost)

Section D, Memorial No. 0000349

(The church registers include several entries for the burial of drowned seamen at different times.  In

 1789 twelve sailors from the crew of the brig 'Druid' of Amlwch, North Wales, were cast up on the

 shore near North End and they were variously interred in the chapelyard, although there appears to

 be no other memorial.)

 

THE MOST ELEGANT MEMORIAL?

Family of John Richardson Cragg, 1854-60

Section D, Memorial No. 0000288

(John Richardson Cragg senior, of Biggar, a native of Kirkby Ireleth, born c1801, variously described

 himself as a 'yeoman', a 'gentleman' and an 'annuitant'.   His son J R Cragg junior was a farmer of

 60 acres.)

 

A MID-19TH CENTURY WALNEY SCHOOLMASTER ...

Cornelius Lewis, 1864

Section D, Memorial No. 0000495

(Lewis was a native of Penny Bridge and was described on the national census as a teacher of English,

 Latin and Mathematics.  Earlier curates such as Samuel Hunter and William Slater are also said to have

 acted as schoolmasters on the island.)

 

... and A LINK TO A FOUNDER OF WALNEY SCHOOL

Thomas Yeates Parker Michaelson, 1855

Section D, Memorial No. 0000501

(The Michaelsons lived in a mansion on Barrow Island [Old Barrow] and were descended from a 17th

 century family from Cartmel.  Jane Michaelson, nee Jane Gibson of Quernmore Park, the widow of

T Y P Michaelson (see biographical note) re-endowed the school building on The Promenade, next to the

churchyard, in his memory.  A  plaque commemorating her benefaction still survives on the wall today.

The building remained a school until c1930.)

 

UNUSUAL OCCUPATIONS

Thomas Strangways [or Thomas Strangeways], riding officer, 1758 (also including his Coat of Arms)

Section D, Memorial No. 0000465

(The duties of the riding officer were to supervise a defined area of coastline and to report to the

 customs officers any cases of smuggled goods.)  [?See also No. 0000438]

A heraldic description of the family coat of arms is given in An Armorial for Westmorland and Lonsdale (by

R S Boumphrey, C Roy Hudleston and J Hughes): "Arms, Two lions passant in pale.  Crest, A lion passant".

The book quotes the details from the Walney memorial but has no other information regarding this family.

 

John Geldart, retired ballast master, 1900

 

OUT OF AREA PLACES

Corna Butcher, Kingston, Jamaica, 1812

Section D, Memorial No. 0000518

 

John Barr, Dumbarton Cemetery, 1920

Section A, Memorial No. 0000437

 

Thomas Darragh, Staten Island, USA, 1925

Section C2, Memorial No. 0000198

 

Harry Richardson Graves, Tehran, Persia, 1960

Section A, Memorial No. 0000066.

 

MORE PICTORIAL CARVINGS ON MEMORIALS

 

Ship design: John Geldart, retired ballast master, 1900

Section D, Memorial No. 0000478

 

 

 

Lighthouse design: Joseph Geldart, 1871

Section D, Memorial No. 0000464

 

 

Angel design: baby Robert Gordon Jackson, 1939

Section D, Memorial No. 0000283A

 

 

Small child design: Peggy Coglan, 1932

Section A, Memorial No. 0000045

 

MARKER STONES: PREVIOUS CHURCH

The present church of St Mary the Virgin, begun in 1903, is at least the third within the present

graveyard. Until it was completed in 1930, the previous church from 1853 was allowed to remain

side-by-side for almost thirty years - effectively two churches within the same churchyard. When

the older church was finally demolished round about 1930 four corner stones were left in the ground

as markers, as had been stipulated in the relevant licence or faculty. Partly depending on seasonal

conditions, at least three of these are generally still visible today.

 

WHAT IS IT?

Is the plain unmarked stone pillar within the oldest section of the churchyard part of another memorial? 

Or is there some other explanation?

 

WALNEY CLERGYMEN:

Rev Samuel Hunter, 1802

Section D, Memorial No. 0000481

Curate of Walney 1741-1802, and hence the longest serving of all the island's clergy. Also acted as schoolmaster.  Received the chapel's first benefaction under the Queen Anne's Bounty scheme for

augmenting the incomes of poor clergymen, 1750.  Latterly he engaged assistant curates, owing to

his advanced age, and he had finally resigned the curacy shortly before his death.

 

Rev John Troughton, 1839

Section D, Memorial No. 0000482

Curate of Walney 1805-1839, residing at North Scale. Had previously temporarily served Samuel Hunter,

his father-in-law, as an assistant curate (1799).   "An ardent sportsman, he always acted as judge and

master of ceremonies at the athletic contests frequently held on the island" (Harper Gaythorpe, local

historian, c1900). In 1817, local diarist William Fisher recorded that "the Revd. John Trowton married

to Betty Layland after being a disconslate awiddower [sic] 15 weeks".
 

Rev John Park, 1875

Section D, Memorial No. 0000487

Perpetual Curate of Walney 1846-1875.  A non-graduate; trained at St Bees Theological College, 1828.

The bishop's act book at Chester states that he was licenced on 8 September 1846 to "the perpetual curacy of Walney, void by the cession of Rev. Thomas Postlethwaite", so the 30 years claimed on the headstone is

slightly over-stated. 
 

Rev John Needham, 1992

Section B, Memorial No. 0000144

Vicar of Walney 1955-1963

 

COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES HEADSTONES

 

CPO Telegraphist R Todd, RN, 1940

Section D, Memorial No. 0000143A

 

Private D Pearson, Border Regiment, 1942

Section C2, Memorial No. 0000182

 

Sergeant S Chadwick RAF, 1943, and his brother Sergeant Observer Thomas Chadwick, RAF, 1943

Section C2, Memorial No. 0000213

 

Ldg. Aircraftman W G Gibson, RAF, 1943
Section  C2, Memorial No. 0000212

 

Ldg. Aircraftman E Smith, RAF, 1943 
Section C2, Memorial No. 0000177

 

Flying Officer R Gray, RAF, 1946

Section B, Memorial No. 0000143

 

also

Sergeant J T Wharton, RAF, 1918

Section D, Memorial No. 0000221

 

Other casualties of war

Sergeant Robert Vaughan, Gallipoli, 1915

Section C2, Memorial No. 0000172

 

Leonard Mason, repatriated prisoner of war, 1944

Section C2, Memorial No. 0000184

 

NO MEMORIAL!

 

Dr William Close, physician, writer, inventor and the author of An Itinerary of Furness, was buried at Walney

in 1813  "under his favourite ash tree ... where he had often played as a boy", but had requested that his grave

should be unmarked.

 

Rev William Slater, curate of Dalton, is said to have officiated on Walney during a clerical vacancy in 1840

"teaching in the school and sleeping in a hammock in the schoolroom".  He also returned to help during a second

vacancy in 1846.  On 5 March 1848, local diarist William Fisher of Barrow recorded that the Revd. William

Slater of Northscale, Isle of Walney, was drowned in comming from the Marriage of T J Woodburn's

Daughter of Bigger he had got out of the rode [i.e. ford] and was mired and could not Extracate

himself [sic]. Slater's burial on 9 March 1848, aged 53, was actually recorded at Dalton.

 

Further comments on the percentage of memorials to actual burials within the churchyard are noted in the

introduction.