Page 20 - Jigsaw October 2020
P. 20

                                Glance at the past.............................................................................
Oundle Road Cemetery – Eric Franklin delves into its history...
  Thrapston Cemetery, shown above in
circa 1930, was purchased by Thrapston Parish Council and opened in 1895 on 4.3 acres of land on what was then Titchmarsh Lane, now Oundle Road. Previously burials were either in St James’ churchyard or the non-conformist churchyard at the Baptist Church. The earliest burial I have found in Oundle Road was on 4th December 1895 when Tryphena Chapman was interred in plot 37.
During the Victorian and Edwardian eras especially, mourning cards were produced for funerals, one of which is shown for William Lord, a local saddler and harness maker who was buried on 6th December 1907 in plot 230. The memorial has now been laid flat as it was unstable when vertical. It reads “In loving
memory of William Lord, died Dec
3 1907 aged 52. Also Minnie Jane wife of the above died July 31 1909 aged 39”. When he made a new harness,
he added
his makers badge, shown right, one of which was found in local fields by
Nigel Howe and kindly donated. Whilst researching my book on the
Thrapston World War casualties I discovered that eight men were either buried or named on memorials in the Cemetery. There
were a further two graves for World War 2 casualties. Between June and September 2013, I decided to make a survey of Oundle Road cemetery and try to document all
the memorials I could find, spending half
a day photographing and taking notes
and the rest of the week writing them up. I photographed every memorial I could find, intact or otherwise, transcribed the words I could read and made a guess at parts that were missing. As at 30th September 2013, there were 686 memorials or part memorials plus one commemorative name plaque on the boards under the arch. The picture of the cemetery below was taken in 2013 by which time the main path had been renewed (EDF). About ten years ago the Town Council had yew hedging planted along the boundary with Hillcrest Close, which at the time was just a mixture of garage backs and bits
of fence. The hedge has now grown well and is very much in-keeping with a country graveyard.
I have not been back since 2013 to look for newer memorials and name plaques, this being on my “to do” list. However, I have a comprehensive database of the memorials as at the end of 2013 and am happy to provide details of individual plots if wanted.

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