Memorial events to mark 150 years since first burials at Jarrow cemetery

Two ceremonies are being organised to mark special dates associated with a South Tyneside cemetery.

Saturday, 23rd February 2019, 8:00 am
The Mayor of South Tyneside Councillor Ken Stephenson (left) with Friends of Jarrow Cemetery members Pat Childs, Stewart Hill, Michael Ryan, Marie Smith Maureen Prudhoe, Jacob Hill, and Tricia Vickers, . Picture by FRANK REID

Next month will mark 150 years since the first burials took place on the site of Jarrow Cemetery - on unconsecrated and consecrated ground respectively.

To mark the occasions, two memorial services will take place organised by the Friends of Jarrow Cemetery.

Friends of Jarrow Cemetery members Michael Ryan and Marie Smith working in the cemetery. Picture by FRANK REID

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The first will be on Thursday March 7, where a wreath will be laid on the grave of Isabella Moore who was buried on unconsecrated ground on the day the cemetery opened.

This will be followed by a further event on Saturday March 9 where a wreath will be laid on the resting place of Margaret Chrisp, who was the first person buried on consecrated ground.

According to an old Shields Gazette cutting - dated June 13, 1881 - there were 7,354 internments from the opening of the cemetery in March 1869 to June 1881.

As part of the 150th anniversary, the group has been researching the history of the some of the people who are buried at the site.

Tricia Vickers, a member of the Friends Group, which was created two years ago, said: “We came together to keep the cemetery tidy and to make it a nicer and more safer place for people to come to pay their respects.

“It was Stuart Hill who realised the cemetery was going to be 150 years old, so as a group we thought it would be good to mark the occasion.

“We would love to see as many relatives as possible of those who are buried here come along to the service.”

As part of the 150 year anniversary, an English Oak tree sap will be planted alongside the unveiling of a plaque on the Saturday.

People are invited to come along to the event which will start at 11am.

Tricia added: “We have received a lot of support from the council and we have a number of the councillors who come down and help us out on a regular basis.

“The group try and keep on top of the maintenance of the cemetery and carrying out general tidy ups.

“We have also put in bird boxes throughout the cemetery.”

The Friends group hold regular clean-ups of the site in Cemetery Road, Jarrow, each week.

For more information on the group visit its social media page on Facebook Friends of Jarrow Cemetery,