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Swinton Unitarian Church Yard, Swinton Manchester

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Lizzie Report 10 Mar 2012 01:11

Asda have put forward plans to build a new store in Swinton, Manchester. The plans include removing 313 people who are laid to rest in Swinton Unitarian Church Yard. The last burial was November 1962 just under 50 years ago! Here is a list of surnames of the people buried in the church yard. We are looking for relatives of people buried there. We are opposed to the plan to remove the Swinton people from their final resting place. This includes a WW1 soldier Wilbraham Blears who was buried there will full milatary honours along with 3 men who were killed in the Clifton Pit Disaster of 1885. I have a full list of names, so if you think any of your ancestors are buried there please contact me. Many of these people were local bussiness people who had shops in Swinton for many years.

Surnames of people and how many laid to rest in Swinton Unitarian Church Yard.

Royle x 27
Longworth x 24
Pearson x 12
Pollitt x 12
Smith x 12
Sharples x 12
Worthington x 11
Collier x 9
Bradburn x 8
Crooke x 7
Ormrod x 7
Wolstenholme x 7
Johnson x 6
Musker x 6
Barlow x 5
Gee x 5
Gregory x 5
Evans x 5
Blears x 7
Lee x 4
Higginson x 4
Gregory x 4
Greenhalgh x 4
Davis x4
Lee x 4
Hobson x 4
Holland x 4
Burrows x 4
Cadman x 4
Milne x 3
Lea x 3
Cheetham x 3
Cordwell x 3
Burton x 3
Henshaw x 3
Brookes x 3
Owen x 3
Snape x 3
Thorley x 3
Whitehead x 3
Broadbent x 3
Driver x 2
Henshaw x 2
Lingard x 2
Jones x 2
Johnson x 2
Waring x 2
Pike x 2
Booth x 2
Basson x 2
Llyod x 2
Jones x 1
Lamb x 1
Grundy x 1
Barrett x 1
Royds x 1
Harding x 1
Manion x 1
Lansdale x 1
Humphries x 1
Neild x 1
Bradburn x 1
Higginson x 1
Clarke x 1
Boardman x 1
Walker x 1
Worrall x 1
Redford x 1
Batley x 1
Bate x 1
Cron x 1
Hirst x 1
Price x 1
Higson x 1
Cooke x 1


Lizzie Report 10 Mar 2012 01:12

Please take time to read through this, as it lists many of the families closely connected to the Church and School, some of whom are buried in the Swinton Unitarian Church yard. posted by Lizzie Leek


PRESIDENTS 1820-1921

Henry E. Ermen

George H. Leigh

B.G. Ermen – Vice-President


Henry E. Ermen

Reuben Pollitt

Colin Johnson

Robert Royle

Walter Johnson

Walter Stott

James Cadman

Lee Jones

Arthur Evans


Peter Holland

James H. Jackson

Henry E. Ermen

James E. Musker

Walter Johnson

Walter Stott


George Dawson

Walter Johnson

Henry Johnson

James Cadman

James Wroe

Ambrose Brookes

James Longworth

Thomas Royle

Horace Lansdale

Fred Jones

Colin Johnson

Thomas Royle


George Dawson

Thomas Royle

James Pollitt

James Sharples

John Royle, Senr.

Hy. Longworth

Herbert Clayton


James Boardman

John Sharples

George Lea

L.G. H. Crook

James Rowe

John Sharples

James Sharples.


Lee Worthington

James Rothewell

William Collier

William Barlow

Henry Longworth

Mrs. Henry Longworth, Senr.

Joseph Schofield



William Collier

Lee Jones

Henry Pearson

Reuben Pollitt

Walter Johnson

Arthur Evans

Luke Smith

Walter Phillips

Charles Pollitt

James H. Gee


Henry Longworth, Senr.

James H. Jackson

Colin Johnson

Harry pollitt

Walter Johnson

Samuel Royle

Charles Pollitt

Robert Pennington

Wilfred Charlton

Thomas Cadman

Robert Pennington


James H. Jackson

John Collier

Thomas Royle

Robert Pennington

Harry Pollitt

Alice Royles

Ernest Maddock

J.H. Johnson

Ella Brookes


Peter Holland

Herbert Johnson

William Royle

John Charlton

Walter Johnson

Ambrose Brookes

James Cadman

John Royle, Junr.

Henry Worthington

Thomas Cadman


Edward Knight

Frank Collier

James H. Jackson

Leonard Johnson

Thomas Royle

Lee Longworth

Ambrose Brookes

Elizabeth Lee

Henry Longworth

Thomas Cadman

John Royle, Junr.

Rowland V Sharples


Lee Jones

Miss S.A. Pollitt

Herbert Johnson

William Jackson

Charles Pollitt

Robert Pennington

Frank Charlton

Miss Mary Collier

Reuben Pollitt

Miss J. Collier

James Smith

Miss N. Pollitt

Frank Pollitt

Miss Alice Royles

Ernest Smith

Miss Elizabeth Lee

George Pollitt

Miss Annie Longworth

Henry Longworth

Miss Annie Pollitt


John Worthington

James Sharples

Mrs. Frank Pollitt

Alice Sharples

H. V. Sharples


Miss Eva Thorley


Miss Mary Longworth



1920 L. Jones

1921 A. Evans

1922-23 W. Phillips

1924 W. Brookes

1925 F. Pollitt

1926 A. Wallwork

1927 T. Royle

1928 F. Pollitt

1929 T. Howard

1930 A. Wallwork

1931 L. Johnson

1932 F. Smedley

1933-34 J. Holker

1935 E. pollitt

1936 F. Platt

1937 W. H. Cadman

1938-40 A. Hughes

1941 F. Platt

1942-43 F. Jones

1944 W. H. Cadman

1945-46 F. Platt

1947-53 R. Royle

1954-55 J. Evans

1956-58 T. Howard


1920 F. Jones

1921-26 T. Royle

1927-30 J. Holker

1931-33 S. Cron

1934 L. Johnson

1935-37 A. Aspa

1938-44 L. Lee

1945-48 F.B Harris

1949-58 F. Johnson


1920 J. E. Musker

1921-30 W. Stott

1931-48 A. Wallwork

1949-58 E. Brookes


1920 H. Longworth

1921-51 H Clayton

1952-56 Mrs S. Cron

1957-58 L. Johnson


1917-51 J. Sharples

1951-52 P. S. Rogerson

1953-58 Mrs L. Brown


Lizzie Report 10 Mar 2012 01:13

The second son of Edward Blears and Elizabeth Lomax Wilbraham was born in 1895 at the family home on Chorley Road opposite the old Swinton market place. Employed by the Eccles Co-Operative Society he worked in the grocery section of the Swinton branch located on Worsley Road.

94397 Pte. Blears enlisted in the Manchester Regiment February 1916. Once basic training was completed he left for Egypt in the November of that year. After a comparatively short time he was dispatched to France and transferred to The King’s Liverpool Regiment. Early 1917 he was struck down by the debilitating disease Trench Fever and spent a period of rehabilitation in hospital firstly in Dundee and later Blackpool. Blears’ elder brother James Edward of the 19 th Lancashire Fusiliers too endured a bout of the disease; he survived the war and returned home to Swinton.

Once recuperated Wilbraham rejoined his battalion fighting on the front line in France for a further six months before being invalided back home towards the end of 1917 suffering from gas poisoning.

Wilbraham Lomax Blears succumbed to the effects of Gas Shell poisoning and Broncho Pneumonia passing away on Monday 13 th May 1918 at Royd Hall Military Hospital, Lindley, a suburb of Huddersfield in Yorkshire. The funeral with full military honours took place a few days later, his body interred in Swinton Unitarian Church Chapel Yard, Swinton Hall Road, Swinton. A Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone commemorated Wilbraham’s grave. The church was demolished in 1985 his name was subsequently added on a memorial screen wall dedicated to military casualties of WWI in Southern Cemetery, Manchester.

Pte. Blears’ body along with six members of his immediate family and 306 other internments of Swinton people in the Unitarian Chapel Yard are under threat of removal, the bodies to be relocated elsewhere. The grounds of the church and attached burial site lie on land currently being pursued by ASDA - Walmart as part of their proposal to build a superstore in Swinton.

I have formed the "Friends of Swinton Unitarian Burial Ground group" and along with relatives of those buried at the site, local historians and people from the community we are hoping that Asda will amend their current plans. The proposed store is not a problem, but they want the burial ground to be used as an HGV service/turning area so it is possible for Asda to have a new store and preserve the burial ground but the current plans would need amending and re-submitting.

We have spent time in talks with Asda property managers and I am campaigning as hard as possible because I don't believe that a man who paid the ultimate sacrifice for us and who was buried will full military honours should be removed from his final resting place in his family plot.
By Emma Harrison SWARM (Salford War Memorial Society)


Lizzie Report 10 Mar 2012 01:13

Also buried at Swinton Unitarian are three brave men who lost their lives in the Clifton Pit Explosion of 1885 which killed 178 men and boys, these men being:-

Joseph Pearson plot no 37 aged 49 of 13 Park St, Swinton was brought out of the pit alive but died a few days later from injuries, he was a day wageman who left behind his wife Sarah Ann and 5 children.

John Collier plot no 38 aged 35 of 5 Folly Lane, bricklayer killed in the pit 18th June 1885 left behind a wife Alice.

John Mannion plot no 16 aged 25 of Holland Street, Swinton coal miner killed in the pit 18th June 1885 left behind 4 children.
Lizzie Leek


Reggie Report 10 Mar 2012 09:32

It may be that any GR member who is connected doesn't use the message boards - it may be worth your while to try the 'search trees' option on dark green above the board


Patricia Report 11 Mar 2012 03:09


If the miltary grave is looked after by the CWGC then contact them about this.
We have a CWG in our local grave yard and because of a building scheme this airman was to be moved, I believe they have to give permission to move him, his family was also traced and contacted

He was to be moved to our church instead, but as it turned out he's still in the yard as the building has yet to begin


Legionar Report 4 Apr 2012 19:51

Hello Just read your post i have relatives still living in swinton and some of the name on the list are as follows I have a aunty called booth parents where called wolstenholme and sharples are relative in my tree.
hope this helps


Lizzie Report 23 Apr 2012 23:43

There will be a meeting held at The Red Lion known locally as The Cat, Moorside Road, Swinton on Tuesday 24th April at 7pm for anyone who is oppossed to the removal of the 313 people buried at Swinton Unitarian Burial ground.

Please sign this online petition if you have not already done so... Many thanks to everyone for showing your support!

Legionar, I have sent you a private message :)

Thanks for that Reggie, we have been searching trees on here, along with ancestry and rootschat. Thanks to posting on these sites and through facebook groups we have found a few living relatives of the people buried in the church yard, but the search continues.....

If anyone else wants to help with the search - that would be great!

Patrica we have been down the route of the CWCG but given that Pte. W. Blears has been remembered on a memorial at Southern Cemetry, unfortunately, there is nothing they can do to help stop his body from being removed from Swinton church yard.

Thanks so much for the help everyone !!! :-)


Lizzie Report 30 May 2012 16:35

Saturday 2nd June 2012 a march round the outside of Swinton precinct and the a circle of remebrance on the burial ground on Swinton Hall Road.......All Welcome...


Sharon Report 27 Jun 2012 00:01

Hello Lizzie

How can and why would a Spermarket want to build on a Graveyard? Is nowhere out of bounds for them! I don't think i have relatives that way, as all mine as far as i know are from Shropshire, but i,m still doing my tree, so who knows theres always a possibility!

Sharon Bennett nee BRADBURN


Lynn Report 27 Jun 2012 09:17

Hello Lizzie,
Just to say I so hope you manage to stop Asda building on this graveyard, what a terrible thing to happen. I hope your hard work will be rewarded.



Chel27 Report 5 Aug 2012 18:03

Hello Lizzie,

Not sure if the Grundy buried in the graveyard is a relative of mine or not, but I sincerely hope you will your battle.



Dame*Shelly*("\(*o*)/") Report 6 Aug 2012 02:48

why do you need to make a donation for the online petition


Lizzie Report 19 Aug 2012 18:26

You don't have to make a donation. ???

Asda won and the 313 bodies will be reinterred in Swinton Cemetery.
Thank you to everyone who supported this cause.


Tina Report 25 Sep 2012 13:13

Hi Lizzie,
Apologies but I haven't been on this site for a few years, I have read this thread today, I am both amazed that Asda have been allowed to do this and disappointed that the buried & their surviving relatives have little rights to have prevented this.
My grandfather lived in Manchester from 1911 for 30 years working as an attendant at Prestwich Asylum. His name was Robert Royles, which is a name that appears on your list, minus the (s) along with Thomas his brother and his sister Alice.
Let's hope all concerned are left to rest in peace once in Swinton Cemetery.