I CAN’T make up my mind whether it’s an enviable claim to fame or not: to be the last person to be buried in a cemetery under an old convention.
This goes back to my recent piece which recalled when, in the second half of the 19th century, the old South Shields Council was being asked by local clergymen to discourage Sunday funerals because local graveyards were getting to be as busy “as the Market” on what was supposed to be a day of rest.
Amazingly, it struck a family chord with reader Laurence Sinclair, who was taken back to a remark made by his late father.
Says Laurence: “He said his uncle, John Sinclair, was the last person to be buried in Jarrow Cemetery on a Sunday.”
John was said to have died or was buried on February 15, 1920 – a leap year, by the way.
“When I checked the burial records he was indeed buried on a Sunday.
“It could have been February 22, and when I checked the following weeks, it would appear he was the last person to buried in Jarrow Cemetery on a Sunday.
“John Sinclair’s death was reported in The Shields Gazette as ‘he had died as a result of an accident at work’.