During our Open Day on Sunday 19th May 2019 one of our visitors and a member of the Friends group, brought in documents relating to the burial of family members, the Whiteheads, interred in grave number 3944. It is not often we see original documents with reference to the cemetery and we are very pleased we were able to take photographs of the documents for our archives and to post them on the website.
The documents included an original grave certificate (image right) for grave 3944 issued by Halifax General Cemetery (now known as Lister Lane Cemetery). This gave the grave owner as James Whitehead, of Halifax. The grave was opened for the interment of Harriet Whitehead, on 5th July 1865. Harriet died aged 19 years on 1st July 1865.
Another was a black-edged mourning card (below right) in memory of ten-year-old Ellen, daughter of James and Hannah Whitehead who died 5th November 1891 and was interred at Lister Lane Cemetery on 7th November 1891.
The inscription on the mourning card reads:
I sat beside her bed, and watched her as she slept,
And when with pain I heard her moan, how bitterly I’ve wept,
I’ve pressed her to my bosom, in hopes to lull her pain,
And kissed her little forehead, and wished her well again.
The image to the left is a mourning sash relating to the death of James Whitehead, aged 64 years on 28th June 1907.
The inscription reads:
If He had asked, ah! Well we know
We should have cried “O, spare this blow.”
We with streaming tears would say
“Lord, we love him, let him stay.”
James was interred at Lister Lane Cemetery on 2nd July 1907.
The Halifax General Cemetery burial records indicate there are 6 others in grave 3944:
Sarah Ann Whitehead, aged 8 months, died 24th December 1865
Betty Whitehead, aged 15 years, died 19th April 1866
Sam Whitehead, aged 15 months, died 4th July 1870
Martha A. Whitehead, aged 7 months, died 16th March 1876
Joe Whitehead, aged 1 year and 7 months, died 30th January 1881
Hannah Whitehead, aged 74 years, died 25th February 1914
A monumental inscription survey carried out in the mid-1980s indicated there was no gravestone on 3944. However, we now know a monument was erected. An invoice (left) dated 12th July 1932 from W. Hooson, monumental mason, at Warley Cemetery was raised for payment of £4.1.0 (in old money) for a small headstone with lettering. Amazingly, after a bit of poking around in the vicinity of grave 3944, fragments of the stone (right) were found with the names of James, Hannah and Ellen Whitehead included on the inscription.
The Friends would like to thank Anthony Wise for sharing this information.