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Warstone Lane Cemetery

Key Hill Brian

Proud Brummie
A look at the catacombs at Warstone Lane Cemetery.









I see in the 2nd pic that the Ivy has almost regrown again hiding the 'lost' catacomb door that Leslam & I discovered some years ago - must try and get down with secateurs again - and give it another 'short back & sides'.....
 

rosie

brummie
I had a quick look at Warstone today, couldn't stay long but did manage to see the restoration of "Harry Gem".
There are daffodils out but all the little bulbs (muscari?) we planted a few years ago have all gone. I must admit to glaring at a few visitors with dogs who let them roam all over the graves urinating etc.
I read some time ago that there was going to be some work done where the Chapel used to be. There is a WW1 memorial but only one bench instead of several on the diagram I saw.
I must go back and do some weeding!! It's difficult when you can't move so easily these days.
rosie.
 

richardrcj1981

New Member
Hi Everyone
I have just joined today because I have a family grave in Warstone Lane cemetery, and I have been trying to found out more information on the grave because the gravestone is no longer there.
I just thought I would let you all know that when
a lot of gravestones were removed
in the 1950's Birmingham council took down inscriptions first, and the inscriptions are available on

Richard

:)
 

Key Hill Brian

Proud Brummie
Hi Everyone
I have just joined today because I have a family grave in Warstone Lane cemetery, and I have been trying to found out more information on the grave because the gravestone is no longer there.
I just thought I would let you all know that when
a lot of gravestones were removed
in the 1950's Birmingham council took down inscriptions first, and the inscriptions are available on

Richard

:)
If you are a member of Midland Ancestors, formerly Birmingham Society for Genealogy & Heraldry - you can view these for free in their room in the Birmingham & Midland Institute.
 

rosie

brummie
Hi Brian, do you remember I had the Hilliar gravestone in Warstone mended and re-erected? I can't find the inscription on the index for the database on their website. The other Hilliar one is listed and is still in place not removed so I don't know which ones are included. I am a member but can't visit at present so I will send for the CD for other names. I'm curious as to how comprehensive the coverage is. I have heard of "Pikes Lists" not sure what they were!
rosie.
 

Key Hill Brian

Proud Brummie
Pike was the last Bereavement Services chap responsible for Key Hill & Warstone Lane in the late 1950's and early 1960's who was tasked with job of easing mtce by 'laying flat / burying' as many headstones and kerb stones as was possible so mowers could be used on what was planned to be just grass areas.
He had to check that graves had not been used for 100 years, so went through the Burial Registers to confirm this, rather than just knock em all down.
He made short notes on the headstones - names & dates mostly - not much in the way of poems or or similar on them. These still exist in his handwriting. They were also typed up and bound in a folder - commonly known as 'Pike's Papers - they were in the storeroom at Handsworth Cemetery along with all the other original records.
Sadly some unscrupulous people allowed to look at the, just stole odd pages...thus only very few trusted people were than allowed access.
When the BMSGH obtained permission to copy the Burial Registers - they did the Pikes Papers as well, although once the Council realised there was a market for this info - they set up their own database and sell the info themselves - certainly from the burial registers, unsure about Pikes papers.
a years subs to Midland Ancestors (rebranded BMSGH) and a train ticket to Brum on a weekday between 10-15 gives unlimited access, and printing is a modest charge for paper/ink - if you want many, this is the option - for odd ones, online ordering is obviously the answer.

I am uncertain if any further memorials have ever been repaired in the last 5 years - all gone quiet on such activities.
 

rosie

brummie
Thank you for explaining Brian, I wish they had made more notes!
I used to love going round cemeteries looking at gravestones, yes I know people find that strange!! I'm not so sure-footed these days and my husband has ill health so a CD would be a good substitute.
rosie.
 

rosie

brummie
I have received a newsletter from the Jewellery Quarter research group. Apparently there is remedial work being carried out at Warstone Lane Cemetery. There is a photo of the Catacomb walls, there used to be lots of ivy and that must have caused the damage which is being repaired.
rosie.

I tried to post a link but my PC won't let me!
 

mbenne

master brummie
The Friends of Key Hill & Warstone Lane Cemetery shows the entry below. This is my GF's step brother and I wondered where the information for the entry was obtained as my GGM was also known as Annie Bennett. In 1901, at the time my GGF (also John Bennett) died , the family were living in Clissold street. The occupants were listed as Annie Bennett, widow, Frederick Usher, librarian plus my GF, John and his other siblings, from a previous marriage, who are shown as Rosa and Norman S (indicating Smith). Is there any way the website entry can be amended to include my GGMs missing former name? My GGM seems to have had traumatic life, outliving 4 husbands, all of whom, including herself, were laid to rest in Warstone Cemetery. At the time of Frederick's death she was living in Boulton Road Handsworth.

Remembering Gunner Frederick USHER 31713 Royal Field Artillery died 10 June 1920 in Aston, Birmingham. Buried in Warstone Lane Cemetery.
Frederick birth is indexed in the March Quarter 1885 Birmingham. His parents were Alfred James USHER and Annie USHER nee THOMAS, formerly known as Annie SMITH and later known as Annie JARMAN.
1578640533293.png
 
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Key Hill Brian

Proud Brummie
The Friends of Key Hill & Warstone Lane Cemetery shows the entry below. This is my GF's step brother and I wondered where the information for the entry was obtained as my GGM was also known as Annie Bennett. In 1901, at the time my GGF (also John Bennett) died , the family were living in Clissold street. The occupants were listed as Annie Bennett, widow, Frederick Usher, librarian plus my GF, John and his other siblings, from a previous marriage, who are shown as Rosa and Norman S (indicating Smith). Is there any way the website entry can be amended to include my GGMs missing former name? My GGM seems to have had traumatic life, outliving 4 husbands, all of whom, including herself, were laid to rest in Warstone Cemetery. At the time of Frederick's death she was living in Boulton Road Handsworth.
Ps this prompted a recollection from my Dad who, along with my GF helped clear out the house in Boulton Road after Annie died in 1941. She had collection of newspapers, laid neatly in several chests, covering the whole of the WW1 period. My GGF kindly donated many them to a local chip shop and burned the rest in the back garden along with other stuff. At some point My GF asked my Dad if he had emptied any contents from a vase. My Dad said that he had thrown everything on the fire. My GF went quite pale and he made everyone take cover - it appears the vase contained a clip of WW1 rifle ammunition - which duly went off in the back garden! Not sure who it belonged to as I don't think Frederick saw active service, so it could have been my GF or his Brother Norman?

Remembering Gunner Frederick USHER 31713 Royal Field Artillery died 10 June 1920 in Aston, Birmingham. Buried in Warstone Lane Cemetery.
Frederick birth is indexed in the March Quarter 1885 Birmingham. His parents were Alfred James USHER and Annie USHER nee THOMAS, formerly known as Annie SMITH and later known as Annie JARMAN.
View attachment 140552
That is a Commonwealth War Grave Headstone - it only commemorates War Dead - put there by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, who check annually that it is still ion good repair. It is sited within the grave that the family have purchased and any inscriptions on the side rails will be what they have asked and paid the masons for. The Burial Registers are held at Handsworth Cemetery. These cannot be amended - They are Historical Documents. If the wording on the kerbs require amending - you need to speak to Handsworth Cemetery, prove grave ownership, fill out forms , pay a fee, and get a stonemason to recarve. The Burial Register can be viewed and copies obtained from Midland Ancestors - formerly Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy - they have a a manned room in the Midland Institute 10-15 Mon-Fri, in Margaret St and are very helpful and accessible
 

Key Hill Brian

Proud Brummie
I have received a newsletter from the Jewellery Quarter research group. Apparently there is remedial work being carried out at Warstone Lane Cemetery. There is a photo of the Catacomb walls, there used to be lots of ivy and that must have caused the damage which is being repaired.
rosie.

I tried to post a link but my PC won't let me!
Went past WL sunday - very early 0730. New railings on Icknield St & Pitsford St look good - Hope they have those Ivy roots out of the catacomb wall - have cut it back so many times just to see it regrow almost as quick! Must try and stop and look once it's all done.
 

Kat7272

master brummie
I'm going to get signed up for the newsletter, I would be interested to see what is going on at WL. I was there at Christmas to look at the Banksy artwork, unfortunately the Perspex had been spray painted.
 

richardrcj1981

New Member
Hi Key Hill Brian,

In reply to your post from 21st May 2019.

I have looked at a copy of the inscriptions from the graves that were buried or removed in the 1950's, and I found out that one of my family's grave was one of them affected. Grave D1194 in Warstone Lane.

I did hear that only the graves with the last interments over 100 years ago were removed/buried over, but the last interment in my family's grave was 1908 so I wander why it was removed because it was a flat stone.

regards

Richard
 

Key Hill Brian

Proud Brummie
Richard, In general the 100 years after use rules was the benchmark, but the council wanted to cut mtce costs as the Cemetery was bringing in almost no revenue, so almost anything and everything was 'game'
It was a practise Church Graveyards did on an almost annual basis in order to reuse the plots.
 
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