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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
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.)
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?
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
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,
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
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
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