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Great Malvern Cemetery
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On Tuesday 26th June 2018 we visited the cemetery to search for the graves of more past residents mentioned in our local history stories. It is amazing how memorials you have glimpsed 'disappear' when you return to take a photo! The weather was very hot, and we were resting in the shade when suddenly the sound of bagpipes playing a Scottish lament came through the trees from the direction of the memorial to Henry Ward VC making our hairs stand on end.
It happened our visit had coincided with the annual tour of the cemetery, by Malvern Civic Society, and Carleton Tarr who led one of the groups, had hired two members of a Cheltenham Pipe Band to play. Another group was led by local historian Brian Iles. The pipers added a lovely atmosphere to the event; we had a chat with them while they had a rest.
Cemetery tour and Cheltenham pipers (click to enlarge)
On Friday 21st September 2018 we returned to the cemetery to photograph the graves of Norman May and the MacKenzie family which had very kindly been found for us by the cemetery manager. It was a grey blustery day and gusts of wind threatened to blow us off our feet. Nearby we came across the memorials of Christopher Dove Barker and Francis Alfred Hooper who are also mentioned in our stories.
Plot numbers mentioned relate to the map at the bottom of the page.
The Great Malvern cemetery information board
Brian Iles with tour group, June 2018
Amy, born in 1863, was the daughter of Rev Henry Nassau Rynd and Elizabeth Kennedy. She met Charles Harry East MD while working as a nurse in London and they married on 1st November 1890. The couple had a son and a daughter and came to live at St Clare in Priory Road Great Malvern (ref 10). Click to read our history of the houses in Priory Road
The memorial to Amy and Charles East
Sadly Amy East died on December 20th 1911, aged only 48 years, and was buried in Great Malvern cemetery, not far from the lodge at the Wilton Road entrance. To find the memorial turn right past the lodge and then left.
The tall memorial cross has toppled and is now lying flat on the grass and some of the lead lettering on the pedestal is missing. The inscription reads:
December 20th 1911
'We will remember thy love'
Charles Harry East MD
December 22nd 1945
General Practitioner Charles Harry East MD was born at Kettering, Northants in 1861. In Great Malvern he was the doctor for Lawnside Girls' school and worked as a surgeon at Malvern hospital.
Lawnside school was then closely associated with the 'arts' and perhaps it was no coincidence that the school doctor, Medical practitioner Charles Harry Hanger East was a nephew of the Victorian landscape painter Sir Alfred East, who became President of the Royal Society of British Artists. Madame Laura Robinet, who was a principal of Lawnside Girls' School in 1911, was the wife of French painter Paul Robinet.
Inscription on pedestal of East memorial
After his first wife Amy died, Charles married second widow Mabel Gray Momber in 1916. Mabel was the daughter of banker Christopher Dove Barker who had lived nearby at Radnor House in College Road.
Charles Harry East died at Bagshot in 1945, and Mabel at Ascot in 1950.
A more detailed account of their lives can be found in an interesting local history book 'Thorpe House to Priory Gardens' (ref 10) which mentions some of the other residents and homes in Priory Road.
Janet Grierson came to our notice as the author of a book about the water cure and temperance Doctor Ralph Barnes Grindrod. She had also written a lovely little book about Dr Wilson and his Malvern Hydro, distributed by Malvern Museum. In later life Janet had lived in a block of apartments known as Park View which was once the Hydro that she wrote so knowledgeably about.
View showing the location of Janet Grierson's memorial
Janet's memorial lies at the SW corner of plot 17 and has been recorded on the Find a Grave website, where details can be found of her Irish parents.
Inscription on memorial to Janet Grierson
In loving memory of
10th April 1913 - 31st July 2011
Praise to the Holiest in the height
Robert Arthur Hollins was a cotton spinner who retired with his wife Edith to a 'fairy tale' mock Gothic house named South Bank in Abbey Road in Great Malvern. You will find his story on our web page A stroll down Abbey Road.
His memorial can be found on the right as you walk from the Wilton Road entrance, just before the cemetery buildings.
View showing location of Hollins memorial
The inscription reads:
Sacred to the beloved memory of
Robert Arthur Hollins
Born November 14th 1837
Died September 18th 1919
Robert's wife Edith was active in town affairs; in 1906 she had arranged a Christmas concert to raise money for Malvern's hospital and during the Great War she took charge of the British Red Cross Depot set up at The Exchange on the corner of Graham Road coordinating the work with a team of volunteers. For her war work she was awarded the OBE.
Inscription on Hollins memorial
And of his wife
Edith Blanche OBE
14th July 1951 aged 95
More information about Edith Blanche Hollins life can be found at Malvern museum; mention research by Cora Weaver.
Emmie Agnes Rudd was the eldest daughter of Frank Rudd the landlord of the Nag's Head. In 1927 at London she had married Joseph Rothwell who we think had divorced his first wife Dorothy Milbourne and was the founder of Rothwell and Milbourne's garage on the Worcester Road.
Tragically Emmie died in 1931, following an operation, and you will find her buried in Great Malvern cemetery with her mother under the shadow of a large tree not far from the Wilton Road entrance.
Her funeral was very well attended and reported in the Malvern Gazette. Emmie had a younger sister, Olive, who married, moving to Argentina, where she died in 1956, survived by a son and daughter.
Distinctive memorial to Emmie Rudd and her mother Agnes
In loving memory of
Agnes Bertha (Addie)
The beloved wife of Frank Rudd
Who entered into rest
July 6th 1916
Aged 42 years
Not gone from memory, not gone from love
But gone to our Father's home above
Also of their elder daughter
The dearly beloved wife of
Died March 2nd 1931
Aged 32 years
A few yards back and to the right of the photo you will see a similar memorial in memory of Emmie's grandfather William Rudd.
Memorial to William Rudd
In Loving memory of
William C (Crand) Rudd
Beloved father of
Who passed away
August 31st 1935
In his 99th year
At rest - In peace
The cemetery office can be glimpsed at the top right hand side of the photo.
We had searched the cemetery, without success, for the grave of photographer Norman May who had founded Norman May's studio in Church Street circa 1879.
Norman John May was born in Cowgate Street, in the St Paul's district of Norwich, Norfolk on 13th October 1851, the son of John May, then a schoolmaster, and Hannah Priscilla Harris.
Norman, who had become a Freemason, was buried on 22nd June 1889 aged only 37 years and his funeral was reported in the Malvern Advertiser.
We found his entry in the burial register transcribed by the Malvern Family History Society and using that information the cemetery manager was able to locate Norman's memorial, which lies SE of the Anglican chapel in the NE corner of plot 4. His memorial is a toppled polished red granite cross, which sadly often lies unseen in the long grass. It looked as though the inscription is on the underside, protected from the weather, but not visible to passers by.
The memorial of photographer Norman John May
This photo was taken from the grass path on the edge of plot 4. Venturing into the long grass is dangerous as you could trip, fracture your skull on the corner of a memorial, and die; so it would be nice if the grass could be cut back now and then to allow the memorials in this section of the cemetery to be recorded and viewed by both descendants and local historians.
Another view of Norman May's memorial
Click here to read the biography of Norman John May. Shortly before he died Norman changed his name to John Norman Lindley Norman with a view to pursuing a new career as a Barrister. We suspect he may have been a victim of tuberculosis.
We have written a biography about James MacKenzie who was born at Stornaway on the Isle of Skye, spent most of his working life in China, and retired to a house of great character named Daresbury in Priory Road, Great Malvern.
Very sadly his youngest daughter Alice Sheena Bethune MacKenzie died at Malvern in 1911 aged 20 years, and it seems James took the opportunity to purchase a premier plot in the cemetery for his family on the approach to the Anglican chapel from the Wilton Road entrance (NW corner of plot 4CP).
View of Mackenzie family plot
In the foreground is a small decorated cross. On the base is the inscription,
In loving memory of
The wording below is now hidden by the turf.
We wondered if Alice's cross once stood on the large plinth behind. The inscription on that seems to be largely hidden by turf, but we were relucant to investigate as there was some sinkage in places.
Memorial to Alice Sheena Bethune MacKenzie
Close up of inscription to Alice
The National Probate Calendar records that Alice's father, James MacKenzie, died at his second home Woodham House, Woking, Surrey on 4th February 1916. His executors were his widow Jane, his elder daughter Annabella and then surviving son Eric, a captain in HM Army.
James MacKenzie's body was returned to Great Malvern to be buried near his youngest daughter Alice in Great Malvern Cemetery on 8th February 1916; the funeral was reported in the Malvern Gazette on 12th February.
Alice's maternal grandmother Annabella Catherine Bethune died at Malvern, aged 90 years, and was buried near her grand-daughter Alice in Great Malvern Cemetery on 10th July 1925.
Alice's mother Jane Bethune MacKenzie (widow), aged 71 years, of Daresbury, was buried in Great Malvern Cemetery on 3rd March 1930 next to her mother, husband and youngest daughter Alice.
We did not see an inscription for James, Jane and Annabella Bethune, but noted there was a stone which seemed to bear an obscured inscription sunken into the turf.
At the back of the plot there is a modern memorial in memory of James MacKenzie's eldest daughter Annabella named after her grandmother.
Inscription on the base of Annabella Paterson's memorial
In loving memory of
Annabella Katharine Bethune
Daughter of James and Jane
of Daresbury, Malvern
and wife of
Canon HD Noel Paterson
Died 15th March 1956
One of the graves in the plot lies empty. Sadly both James MacKenzie's sons Keith and Eric, educated at Malvern College, were killed in the Great War; their names are remembered at Malvern College and on the Priory war memorial.
The large memorial to banker Christopher Dove Barker can't be missed as it stands on the corner of the path from Wilton Road and the tarmac path running at right angles close to the cemetery buildings.
View showing location of memorial
Inscription on memorial
In loving memory of
Christopher Dove Barker
of Radnor House Malvern
Born 27th February 1829
Died 3rd September 1905
Christopher Dove Barker, ship owner and banker, originally of North Shields County Durham, was a magistrate and member of Malvern College Council. He married Alice Gray Elmslie the cousin of architect Edmund Wallace Elmslie. Alice died at St Ronan's in Priory Road in 1918, two years after their daughter Mabel's second marriage to widower Charles Harry East MD.
The Census records that retired schoolmaster Francis Alfred Hooper lived at Chesfield in Abbey Road Great Malvern. His memorial is just behind that of Christopher Dove Barker.
View of Hooper memorial
Inscription on Hooper memorial
In loving memory of
Francis Alfred Hooper MA
Fellow of Trinity College Oxford
Born 4th August 1836
Entered into rest 21st April 1919I am the resurrection and the life ...
The cemetery manager supplied this map showing the numbered sections into which the cemetery is subdivided (click to enlarge).
Map of the sections of Great Malvern municipal cemetery
If you are able to correct or add to the stories on this page please get in touch by contacting the webmaster
Last updated 1st October 2018