Funeral Director Robert Holland says…
Grantham Crematorium & Cemetery is a place that many of us have to visit during the sad times of our lives.
However, not many people realise how much history there is within the grounds and how many stories that the headstones for the people who have been laid to rest could tell us.
We thought that you may find this post interesting as we give you a tour and a little bit of the history of the Cemetery.
The Cemetery originally open in 1857 after the Old Burial Ground on Manthorpe Road closed due to lack of space.
Currently there have been about 45,000 interments in the grounds just off Harrowby Road.
Out of these graves there are 114 Commonwealth War Graves (CWG). During the First World War there were machine gun camps and depots at Belton Park, on the Lincoln Road, and at Grantham a 620 bed military hospital. Most of the First World War burials are scattered throughout the cemetery but a number of Australian and New Zealand machine gunners are buried together in Section 15.
During the Second World War there was a Royal Air Force station at Grantham and there is a small group of RAF graves is Section 17. Other Second World War graves are in a small war graves plot in Section 19, opposite the town’s memorial to the civilian war dead, and the remainder are in various other parts of the cemetery.
The Cross of Sacrifice is near the eastern side of the cemetery, between sections 2 and 3 and serves as a central memorial to the service men of both wars buried here. Grantham Cemetery contains 55 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and 58 from the Second. There is also one Dutch war grave.
In addition to the CWG there is the towns memorials for both the first World War and Second World War. A number of local citizens were killed by bombing attacks during the 2nd World War and they are commemorated on the monument halfway up the cemetery drive way.
There are also a number of other graves that are of interesting, including the Hornsby Family graves (From Ruston & Hornsby factory fame), the grave of one of the ladies who was killed in the 1906 Grantham Rail disaster and also the grave of a renowned local R/C Bishop. Sometimes, especially at the bottom part of the cemetery it is easy to think that there are plenty of spaces left.
Unfortunately this isn’t the case as the cemetery also includes a number of paupers graves where more than one unrelated person would be buried in due to lack of money or family.
All of these graves remain unmarked.
If you are looking for somewhere a little different to visit, why not have a walk around the cemetery, you will be surprised at how peaceful, large and also intriguing it is.
Especially some of the inscriptions that are on the stones! There is also a lot of different animals and birds that live within the trees and grassy areas.
This is a link to a map of the old part of the cemetery: