Sunday 20 April 2014

War Memorial Gravestones in Monk Bretton Cemetery

During both the First and Second World Wars re-repatriation of the bodies of fallen servicemen and women was not usual.  The Unknown Soldier, entombed in Westminster Abbey represents those buried and commemorated overseas who could not come home.  For many families, deprived of a graveside at which to mourn, one solution was to add the name of their lost son (or daughter) to the family gravestone in their local churchyard.  

The Imperial War Museum's War Memorials' Archive defines a War Memorial as "any tangible object which has been erected or dedicated to commemorate those killed as a result of war, conflict or peacekeeping; who served in war or conflict; or who died whilst engaged in military service."  This includes gravestones which commemorate a casualty buried elsewhere.  There must be a clear statement on the memorial (or in a printed document such as a newspaper report from the time) that defines the commemorative purpose of the feature and reports its erection. The full wording of their definition can be found here.

Thus gravestones which include wording such as: died of wounds received in action, killed in action, fell in France, died on active service, reported missing in action, or even killed accidentally while on active service all count as War Memorials.  The wording is a "clear statement" that the purpose of recording that person's name on the gravestone is as a memorial.

Graves which are situated on the site of the burial of a casualty, such as Commonwealth War Graves, are not War Memorials, however the Barnsley War Memorials Project is also collecting their details for inclusion in the Barnsley Roll of Honour.

There are 21 CWGC graves in Monk Bretton Cemetery.  We are currently preparing a page with photos and links for these burials.

Barnsley Family History Society started transcribing the memorial inscriptions in Monk Bretton cemetery a few years ago however they have not published them all yet.  A computer disk of inscriptions and memorials in the churchyard and church is available to buy. They should be able to provide information on the memorials in the cemetery by request to their Searches Officer.  We are grateful to the Barnsley Family History Society for providing a list of the memorial gravestones and their inscriptions for this cemetery.

In the list below, where the name is blue click to follow the link to a page with a larger photograph and more information.

 Gravestone Location
Section Row No.
Soldier's Name & Regiment
Date of Death
H 98
John Thomas Johnson


6 June 1917
A 222
Alice Hilda Lancaster


3 June 1918
John W Heath


8 January 1916
Joseph Carr

King's Own Yorkshire LI

16 September 1916
Bernard White

West Yorkshire Regiment

21 November 1917
Samuel Gammons

8th East Yorkshire Regt

10 December 1916
Charles Pickles

Royal Field Artillery

14 March 1917
Rowland Jones

West Riding Regt

14 October 1918
Thomas William Victory

York & Lancaster Regt

1 July 1916
Herbert Musgreave
Liverpool Regt  
28 October 1916

Thomas Musgreave
Canadian Expeditionary Force
12 April 1917
Robert Craven

Royal Garrison Artillery

22 January 1917
Thomas Hilton Horbury

Royal Garrison Artillery

12 May 1917
Henry Silcox (or Silcock)

Kings Own Yorkshire LI

11 October 1916
Albert McGowan
 Royal Navy H.M.S. Cossack

23 October 1941
Thomas Myers

14 June 1942
Fred Trimby
 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

6/7 September 1943
Alfred Goodman
 Royal Scots Fusiliers

12 September 1944
Amos Howe
  51 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

1 March 1943
Edward Bessant
 West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own)
10 June 1942
John Harrison
6th HAA Royal Artillery

11 May 1945
Harry Williamson
1st Irish Guards

30 January 1944


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