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A guided tour of Lawnswood Cemetery

September 13th, 2011 · No Comments · Community News

Last week we wrote about the Heritage Open Day at Lawnswood Cemetery  one of our readers was in attendance on this day and submitted the following pictures and article:

We started the tour in the Book Room which was opened in 1939.  It is a hall of remembrance where memorial books are kept.  The public pay their respects with floral tributes.

Lawnswood Cemetery Book Room
As there were ongoing services we were unable to enter the chapels.  Originally the burial chapel was the Church of England chapel and the crematorium chapel the Non-Conformist chapel.  Both Chapels, the Crematory and the main gates are all Grade 2 Listed.

Columbarium was opened in 1933 and provided over 2,000 opened and closed niches.  Inside their is the Hopton Wood Stone monument which was erected in 1955 by the Imperial War Graves Commission which commemorates the 91 service dead which were cremated at Lawnswood during WW2.

We then went on to visit some notable graves:

  • Henry Sharp – 1st internment are the cemetery was opened in 1875.
  • Max Louis Rossvally – Surgeon for the Grand Army of the Republic.  He was a war veteran of the Confederate War 1861-1865 and was present at the Battle of Gettysburg.
  • Ethel Preston – Life size statue made out of Italian mable and erected in 1911.  The porch that she is stood in is an exact replica of the entrance of The Grange in Beeston where she lived.
  • Curry-Briggs – The family made their money out of coal.  Donald Henry Curry-Briggs was the Lord Mayor of Leeds and the memorial was erected in 1908.
  • Faith, Hope and Charity – As it is locally known.  It is the family grave of the Wilson family.  Samuel Wilson of Rutland Lodge, Potternewton was Chairman of Joshua Wilson & Sons who were worsted coating manufacturers of Bean Ings Mills, Wellington Street.  His principal public works were connected with Leeds Arts Gallery, and he left his collection of paintings, porcelain, bronzes and furniture to the city on the death of his wife.
  • Cenotaph and Surrounding Gardens is maintained by the Commonwealth War Grave Commission who also gave assistance to the burial board in commissioning it and it is dedicated to those that lost there lives in both world wars who were the burial boards parishioners.

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A big thanks has to go to Andy who is the Memorial Officer for Bereavement Services at Leeds City Council.

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