Horsing about in the cemetery

Holbeck Cemetery had a visitor on Wednesday morning ; well that is nothing new as we get a great many visitors trying to locate their ancestor’s plots for their family history. but this visitor was a bit different and very out of the ordinary. For a start he had four legs and wasn’t on a lead having a walk through the grounds with his owner.In fact there was no sight of his owner when David Hebden drove past, he was just there, enjoying the view in the safety of the cemetery.

Horse in Holbeck cemetery
Yes the visitor was a horse as you can see by the photo that David kindly took for evidence !!
Is this a new grass-cutting policy by LCC parks department?
We do know that sheep were often used in cemeteries in Victorian times to keep down the grass and we have documents supporting how the hay from the cemetery was sold to farmers every summer as extra income for the Council.
Are we providing historic pony-trekking tours around the cemetery ? Sadly our tours will still be on foot and wherever this horse came from he has set off back into the sunset to bore his horsey friends with tales of the wonderful history he discovered in Holbeck Cemetery

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Why it is so difficult to locate a particular plot in Holbeck Cemetery?

Family History- searching for a grave-plot. Here at Friends of Holbeck Cemetery we often get asked to locate a family plot. Sometimes people have a plot number but more often they only have a name and/or date of their ancestor’s death,
The Friends do have a small database taken from some old receipt books which were discovered in the 1990s. But this database gives the purchaser of the plot, not the ancestor that people are searching for and some of the names and addresses are not always easy to decipher. These books start in 1857.

We also possess two large ‘maps’ of the Consecrated and the General sections detailing the plots. However these were drawn up before the paths were constructed in the cemetery in 1857.so we have had to plot where we think some of the paths go, but the biggest problem in locating graves on the plans as the sizes- each plot is 1cm and the plans are pretty big as you can see by the photo. Anyone visiting the cemetery will know that the numbering is also a bit odd too. No clear lines like you can get in other cemeteries and we even suspect that some are incorrectly painted un .
So you can imagine how difficult it is to tell anyone where exactly their plot is, especially as we get many requests from people who live many miles from Leeds and in many parts of the world. The Friends will try and search for them but it is very time-consuming and often there is no memorial stone there to help us either.
Leeds Cemetery and Crematoriums do have a complete set of records but it is not always easy to contact them .The Family History section in Leeds Central Library should have the complete file but you do need to have a rough timescale of when you are searching and it does mean coming to Leeds (not possible when you live in the USA or Australia, although some relatives have managed it!!)
Finally let me reassure people that FOHC are always willing to have a look for family connections and working with the family member ,we have discovered a great many fascinating stories . We have connected families in Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Holland and many, many places in England too, we have learned wonderful stories about their ancestors which all add to the rich history that is Holbeck Cemetery.

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Family Research

guinea-grave detail

guinea-grave detail

A few people have been talking about their concerns at not knowing just where they could now find details/records of burials re: Holbeck Cemetery now that the offices at Lawnswood have closed. I am pleased to say that one of our member/ supporters has managed at last to call into the Family Section, Leeds Central Library a week or so ago and after asking at the desk, she was pleased to be told that they now keep records on film for Holbeck up until 1980.

So if you live in the Leeds area and have the details of family/ dates of burials etc. you should be able to pop down with these in the near future.

Also Leeds Indexers have photographs of most of Holbeck Cemetery’s guinea graves which you can scroll through too.

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Remembering 1914- Fish ‘n’chips, beer drinking and football

Remembering 1914:, fish ‘n chips, beer drinking and football clubs
The Friends of Holbeck Cemetery conducted their Annual Remembrance Walk on 9th November, when as well as remembering all those who died in WW1, we thought about the changes that have affected us to this day. Three of these changes that we thought about were:-

Fish ‘n chips-probably the most interesting and patriotic claim is that fish and chips helped win the First World War!! Lloyd George‘s War Cabinet recognised its importance to the Nation’s working classes and ensured supplies were maintained off ration. It helped feed munition workers and kept families of the fighting men and women in good heart. Professor Walton wrote, “Unlike the German regime that failed to keep its people well fed and that was one reason why Germany was defeated. Historians can sometimes be a bit snooty about these things but fish and chips played a big part in bringing contentment and staving off disaffection.”
Interesting to note in WW2 British soldiers identified each other during ‘D Day’ landings by calling out ‘fish’ and the response or password was ’chips’. Any other response and they would have certainly had their chips!!
Beer drinking and changing the drinking habits of England for ever.
At the outbreak of war the suffragettes had called a truce for the duration of the war, but by contrast the Temperance campaigners ‘upped’ their efforts and demanded total prohibition. At the end of August the Government introduced the ‘Intoxicating Liquor (Temporary Restriction) Act which drastically cut drinking hours. Previously it had been fairly easy to pay to have a license to open an Ale-House, and Holbeck had a good spread of these as well as the Public Houses, so people could have a drink from 5 A.M. until midnight without walking far from home. Old films of the time often show an ‘Ale-man’ selling beer at the factory gates as people leave their shifts. Now this Act expected you to open no longer than six hours per day with a compulsory break in the afternoon. By 1915 pubs in some parts of England were shutting at 9pm. (In Australia closing time was brought forward to 6pm) throughout the war, duty on beer and spirits were raised continually but the biggest change was in the strength of the beer. Strong porter and other such had been the choice of most but now the dreaded ‘Government Ale’ was introduced and stronger brews had more tax put on them and were served in shorter measures( Still with us today, where the strongest specially brews are only sold in half pints or ‘thirds’ in England and USA.)
A strike was threatened by members of Nottinghamshire Licensed Victualler’s Association. Local breweries were charging their tenants 90s ( £4:50) for a 36 gallon barrel of ‘government ale’, a price which was impossible for them to make a profit when they were having to sell it for 4d or 5d (£0.2)per pint
So now beer was weaker, more expensive and in short supply , How could things get worse. Well from 25th September 1916 it was against the law to ‘buy a round’, or keep a ‘tab’ and the practice of the ‘long pull’ giving drinking a ‘top up’ was also outlawed. Penalties for disobeying were harsh-£100 fine or up to 6months imprisonment.
Football Clubs –we heard about how whole teams were encouraged to join up , with hundreds of fans joining them at the recruitment office. Often the players were branded ‘cowards’ for continuing to play for their teams .The London Evening Standard News reported, “The young men who play football and those who look on have better work to do. They are summoned to leave their sport and play their part in a greater game, that game is War, for life and death “. Often players were sent white feathers .So football was suspended for a while, then it was realised how football matches had helped keep up the country’s morale and it started up again, but by them most of the best players had left and many had already lost their lives on battlefields. Leeds City FC (as LU was known then) lost 6 fine players in WW1:-John Anderson Harkins, Gerald Kirk, Evelyn Lintott, Thomas Henry Morris, David Bruce Murray and James Hamilton Spears who gained a Military Medal.


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Do you recognise any of these names? Help wanted. Holbeck soldiers


This year we are conducting a Remembrance Service at Holbeck Working Men’s Club on Sunday 2nd November at 10 am.
We will be remembering those men from Holbeck who died in the two World War conflicts.
We have a list of names of men, some who are remembered on memorials in Holbeck Cemetery and others who are named on the Holbeck Club’s memorial
We want to invite anyone who recognises these names as relatives or knows about the family to join us on this occasion
HOLBECK Men who died in WW1 & WW2
BLACKBURN: Sergeant Edward RFA died 27/3/18
BLACKBURN Private William, 1st/5th Northumberland Fusiliers died ?/2/18 – brothers lived at Oak House, Balm Walk, Holbeck
BUNKALL: Gunner R 6362 Royal Garrison Artillery died 9/11/16 aged 33yrs of 10 Runswick Ave
CLARKSON: Private Tom 15th Bn. WY Regt (Prince of Wales Own) died 12/7/16 aged 17yrs, son of William Henry and Agnes of 30 Recreation Crescent
CROWTHER: Private Henry 2nd Bn. W Y Regt. 9 (Prince of Wales Own) died 31/3/18 aged 29yrs son of Mary Ann Crowther & late Thomas Alfred of Holbeck
DOLAN : Private James, East Yorks. Regt. Died 6/9/18 aged 35 yrs. Husband of Ada of 2, Perseverance St. Elland Road, Holbeck
HAINSWORTH: Private John William, 6th Bn. Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry died 15/9/16 aged 24yrs son of Isabella & the late Arthur of 7 St. Barnabas Terrace, Holbeck
HARRISON: Able Seaman John, Royal Naval Voluntary Reserve died 3/1/1920 aged 28yrs. Husband of Elizabeth 3/4th Court, Bridge Road, Holbeck
HUMPREYS: Private Thomas Henry, WY Regt ( Prince of Wales Own) died 11/7/18 aged 21 yrs. Son of Thomas Henry and Mary Rebecca; born Holbeck
JONES: Private S. 18th Bn. WY Regt ( Prince of Wales Own)died 28/10/18 aged 34yrs, son of late John and husband of Maud B Jones 217 Atlantic Avenue , Rochester, New York, USA; Born Holbeck
KEW: Private Lister 11Bn Lancashire Fusiliers died 20/4/18 aged 28yrs. Husband of Lavinia of 30 Ninevah Road, Holbeck
LARKIN-Sapper F, died 18/8/19 Royal Engineers 564335
LAWN :Trooper Maurice Hubert Lawn Royal Armoured Corps died 7/8/1944 aged 20 yrs. Youngest Leeds United player to lose his life ( conflict kept secret at time ) Son Herbert , of Rothsay Terrace, Holbeck. Former pupil of Ingram Road School.
LINLEY: Stoker 1st Class Leonard, ‘HMS Niger’ Royal Navy died 11/11/14 from Holbeck
LITTLEWOOD: Private J W 80th Bn. Training Reserve- Labour Corps died 26/3/18 aged 42yrs, husband of Frances of 4 Rothsay Mount, Elland Road, and Holbeck
LOWE: Private Richard Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regt) died 20/1/18 aged 23yrs husband of Melinda Smithson (formerly Lowe) of 8 Bowness Terrace, Holbeck
MASTERMAN: Private Edward Edgar 1st Bn Green Howards (Yorks) died 4/4/41 son of Ewart and Hannah of Holbeck Leeds (1911 family living 1 Creskell St Holbeck)
MILLER: Seaman John ‘HMS Vernon’ died 1/5/1922 aged 26yrs and his brother NORMAN MILLER died 12/5/17 aged 18yrs, sons of John and Frances of 12 Belle Vue Place, Holbeck
MINSHULL: O Seaman Stanley died 15/3/1941 aged 21yrs. Son of Albert Edward and Nellie (1911 family living at 10 Shafton Place Holbeck)
MORTIMER: Private Fred 1st Bn. WYR (Prince of Wales Own) died 19/9/16 aged 21 yrs. Son of Henry and Mary Hannah of Ninevah Ave, Holbeck
OVERTON: Lance Corp William 1st/8th Bn. WY Regt.( Prince of Wales) died 28/8/14 aged 27yrs, son of Jack & Maisie ; husband of Catherine of 6 Back Leckley Square, David Street, Holbeck
PADDISON: sapper John William , Royal Engineers, Railway Operating Div. died 21/5/18 aged 35yrs. Husband of E Paddison of 20 Willoughby Grove , Domestic St. Holbeck
PALMER : Leading Aircraftsman Dennis RCAF , RAF Volunteer Reserve, died 13/2/1946 aged 21 yrs son of Ernest and Ethel ( 1911family living at 18 Charlotte St Holbeck)
PILKINGTON: Private Thomas, 1st Bn. WY Regt. (Prince of Wales Own) Died of Wounds in Northern General Hospital, Leeds on 3/9/16 aged 31yrs, son of Mr and Mrs John William Pilkington and husband of Mary Jane Eleanor of 16 Cambrian Road, Holbeck his brother
PILKINGTON: Private Arthur WY Regt (Prince of Wales Own) later Royal Engineers, survived the war and was discharged 23/2/1919 married to Mabel lived in Holbeck

RAMSDEN: Private E, 53rd Bn. Durham Light Infantry, died 1/7/18, aged 18yrs, son of David of 16 Pleasant Terrace, Holbeck
RHODES: Sergeant Herbert 1st/8th Bn. WYR (Prince of Wales Own)died 13/9/16 aged 22 years and HARRY same regiment as brother died 9/5/15 aged 19yrs both sons of Albert & Maria of 17 Ashley Place, Holbeck
STEAD: Alfred, 10th Bn. WY (Prince of Wales own) died 4/11/18 aged 37yrs son of Eliza of 3 or 6 Crosby Road, Holbeck
TEALE: Private Joseph, Depot Bn. WY Regt (Prince of Wales Own) died 10/10/14 aged 55yrs, son of Thomas and Mary. (1881 census living at 17 Spa Street, Holbeck)
THOMAS: Private J W, York’s Regt transferred to Labour Corp, died 29/6/18 husband of Alice of 39 Recreation Grove. Holbeck
THRELFALL: Tom, Air Mechanic 2nd Class RAF died 5/11/18 aged 24yrs, son of Thomas and Margaret of 19 Derwent Ave, Holbeck.
TURTON: Private Walter, 25th Tyneside Irish Bn. Northumberland Fusiliers died 13/4/18 aged 24yrs, son of Edwin & Elizabeth of 11 Willoughby Rd, Domestic Street, Holbeck
Men listed as ‘FALLEN’ on Holbeck WM Club Memorial
We have no other information about these except *at this time and are not sure which list corresponds with WW1 or WW2 conflicts. I tend to think that longer list is WW1 as *Stead and *Ramsden feature on this list and we do have information about them
Bowers A, Booth J, Cane W, Friend W, Garnett W, Hayes J E, Hill H, Hodgson W, Hewitt G, Ingham J, Kerbertson J, Larkins F, Mortimer F, Newland F, Parry R, *Ramsden E, Smith W, *Stead A, Wightman A, Wilson E,
Ambler S, Brayshaw A, Egan J,Hartley A, Milner A , Pickersgill D M, Ruston J R , Taylor T, Wise W.

baby oak tree in the mist

baby oak tree in the mist

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100 years on – we will remember them

HK Banks
The Friends of Holbeck Cemetery’s Annual Remembrance Walk will take place on Sunday 9th November 2014 at 2pm
You may have already attended one of Friends of Holbeck Cemetery’s annual Remembrance Walks which commemorate the lives of all those killed as a result of war, but this year we are going to do something a bit different.
Holbeck cemetery has 87 Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorials plus many other private memorials with inscriptions to loved ones lost as a result of hostilities. The CWGC memorials are maintained by them but many of the private graves have suffered neglect and decay over the years.
We want people to learn some of the history of the area and the people who lived here .John Leckenby, of Friends of Holbeck, said,” This historic place offers the opportunity to reflect on issues of life and death. In a time when war and conflict are in the news more than ever we should remember those who have died in such tragic circumstances. Each grave has a story to tell of the lives of ordinary people like you and me. Some of whom lost their lives in wartime conflict”.
We usually focus on about 12 individual plots and talk about them in detail and then finish the walk at The Cross of Sacrifice where we read the names of all those whose lives were lost in various wars. However this year’s walk will follow a different formula from what we have usually done.
As it is the 100th Anniversary of World War 1 we are going to focus on various topics from that time that have influenced how we live today. We will focus on memorials that remind us of these topics and talk about the changes that these have brought about.
Topics will include Public Houses and the Brewery Trade, Football Teams, Fish and Chips, the Post Office and Women’ s place in society .
At the end of the Walk we will scatter petals around the Cross of Sacrifice as we read the names of all those who are remembered in Holbeck Cemetery,
Please come and join us . Everyone is welcome
poppies Holbeck Ccemetery

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Place of intrigue- the power of bloggers

On August 1st the Yorkshire Evening Post published an article by Sam Casey, entitled ‘The secret spots that make a city a place of intrigue’ which named 8 buildings and public spaces in Leeds that had been named on a list of the country’s top 50 hidden city gems. To our great surprise and delight there was Holbeck Cemetery listed first , followed by Holbeck Viaduct and Temple Mills.

It is always good to get recognition and it made the Friends of Holbeck Cemetery very proud as we have always known we are a bit of a gem hidden away in South Leeds even though we are unlike the grander cemeteries of Leeds that seem to get more publicity. (In fact Holbeck itself has a great many secret spots of intrigue as well as the viaduct but that is another story)

But how did we get to be in the top 50 in the country- who had voted for us?

The Yorkshire Evening Post tells us that the survey was carried out by American express in partnership with bloggers in five cities- Glasgow, Manchester , Birmingham and London as well as Leeds. The project is meant to “re-connect people to their home cities and discover new places of inspiration”.

So it clearly shows the power of bloggers in the cities. As a small group of volunteers it has been exciting to connect with people from all over the world with our FREE WordPress blog, which we were taught to use at a free workshop run by professionals as part of their charity commitment . It is easy to use , even for us amateurs, and gets great results. So we want to encourage any other small group to get on the web and let people know what secret places they know about .
The Friends of Holbeck Cemetery would like to say a big THANK YOU to all those bloggers out there who voted for us. For all the people who have helped us become bloggers and all those people we have connected with as a result.
We would also like to thank South Leeds Life who encourage local people in South Leeds to become reporters/ writers by giving people the chance to attend free training courses to help them feel confident enough to submit articles for their publication.it has opened up a new world to what is happening in South Leeds. Also thanks Sam Casey & the YEP for the article

Remember you don’t have to be the biggest or grandest place to be intriguing -so go for it and you could be in ‘the country’s top 50 secret spots of intrigue’ another year.

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