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West Ham Cemetery, Newham

As all 430,000 records for Manor Park Cemetery go online, this week's post looks at other East London burials in the Deceased Online database

In last week's post, I explored the Victorian heritage of the early sections of Manor Park Cemetery and Crematorium. Unlike that privately-owned cemetery, neighbouring West Ham Cemetery is owned and run by the Newham Council. In fact, it is the only cemetery that the Council owns and manages, and it appears on Deceased Online in the name of  'The London Borough of Newham'.

Just a mile west of Manor Park Cemetery, West Ham was founded almost twenty years earlier, in 1857. It was one of the first publicly-owned cemeteries to be created after the Metropolitan Burials Act of 1852.The cemetery's plot covers 20 acres.

All of the cemetery's 180,000 burial records can be found in the database. These include private burials and details of over 200 Commonwealth War Graves. George and Catherine Jane Allen (or Allan), two victims of the Princess Alice disaster in 1878, which was explored in the Woolwich Cemetery post, are also buried here.

One of the worst non-military disasters of the First World War took place near the cemetery in Silvertown. On 19 January 1917 the largest explosion ever to occur in the UK ripped through the former Brunner Mond factory in Silvertown, East London. It had been turned over to munitions production near the beginning of the war, and now manufactured highly unstable TNT. The blast was heard as far away as Southampton and Norwich. A devastating fire storm spread beyond the factory into neighbouring streets, destroying or damaging more than 900 homes.

The human cost was high, with over 70 deaths. 390 people were injured. Several of the 73 victims of the Silvertown disaster, including firemen Sub-Officer Henry Vickers and Frederick Charles Sell, 24 year old Hugh McMarth, David Earl Taylor, Rosa Patrick, Ruby Patrick, and William Patrick, are buried in West Ham. Amongst the victims were children, including 2 year old Roydon Stanley Patrick and Winifred Sell, a 15 year old scholarship pupil at the Central Secondary School. The database reveals that Winifred and her father Frederick Sell are buried in the same grave. 

The community of Silvertown deeply mourned those who were killed. When the firemen were buried, so many mourners gathered into the funeral procession that it grew to a quarter of mile long. In 1920, a memorial was erected in Newham to all 73 victims of the explosion.

The Mausoluem to the Mond family, owners of the factory in Silvertown. The family's burial records can be found in the St Pancras & Islington Cemetery collection on the database.

Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, London Cemeteries (The History Press, 2011) p. 337


  1. Emma, any idea whether Deceased Online is working with either Leytonstone Catholic Cemetery or the City of London Cemetery at Manor Park?

    The reason I ask is that we found the burial in the Manor Park Cemetery records of my great-grandfather from November 1918 in Manor Park but not his wife who died a week later. They lived in Manor Park (he was a railway worker we think working at the local Stratford works, unfortunately we have never been able to find his birth certificate) and both died in the Flu Epidemic, leaving my grandfather as an orphan who lived with his grandparents (until their death) and who was then sent to Muller's Homes in Bristol and Dr Barnados, followed by joining the Army pre-war (for an orphan used to institutions, this was another institution), he was captured at Singapore and then worked on the Burma railway. He never knew where his parents were buried. He wasn't given photographs until the 1970s by an elderly aunt (my great grandmother's family had been in East Ham since the beginning of the Census, originally working as agricultural labours in an area that was originally agricultural), who in the 1940s was still living in the house in Manor Park where his parents had died, we know this from my grandfather's POW record) and so to find his father's burial was very moving.

    My grandfather was Anglican and his parents were married at St Mary's Little Ilford (my grandfather was also baptised there) but his mother was Catholic (this is confirmed by the records from Mullers/Barnardos). This leaves us with the two cemeteries I asked you about plus possibly Woodgrange (some of which has been cleared for housing/new graves) and for which the LDS have apparently taken microfilm copies of their registers up to 1971 (I suppose they can be accessed in the LDS family history London's temporary home in the National Archives). Considering the likely timescale for further digitisation, I am likely to go and see the physical records at the City of London/Leytonstone to look for his mother's burial and if she is not there look at the microfilm for Woodgrange.

    On another series of records on Deceased Online for the West Ham Cemetery we also found a record about a year ago for a baby of a couple with nearly the same name (my great grandfather sometimes reversed his first two names as can be seen from my grandfather's baptismal record) matching birth and death certificates we thought seemed very likely to be those from an unknown child of my great grandparents who was born and died in 1916. The child had a series of names almost identical to my grandfather and if it was their child would have meant that my great grandmother was pregnant by my great grandfather when they married at the end of 1915. The address on the certificate was also for a road in which my great grandmother's sister and her husband were living at the time (virtually next door to the cemetery). The cemetery records unfortunately do not give details beyond the child's name, burial (in a pauper's grave) and date.

    Anyway, just thought I would share how the records from the site have related to a mysterious and saddening part of my family history.

  2. Hi Justin,

    Thanks for sharing this with us.

    As you say, this aspect of your family history is very sad. Your grandfather's life sounds very hard. However, I am pleased that finally you have been able to find your great grandfather's burial record. Your thought of checking Roman Catholic cemeteries for your great grandmother's record seems sensible. Regarding nearby cemeteries, there has been some discussion on the Facebook page about Woodgrange, which you may find relevant to your research.

    The record for the child with the similar name to your great grandfather is certainly intriguing. Did you find his birth certificate (or baptism record)?

    We've had a few queries about the City of London Cemetery as it is often referred to as 'Manor Park' and the two can be confused. City of London is owned by the Corporation of London, but sadly they have not so far given us permission to digitize the records.

    If you could email about Leytonstone, we can look into that further for you.


  3. Hi Emma

    I went to the National Archives yesterday and found my Great Grandmother's burial in the Woodgrange records. Previously I had rung Leytonstone Cemetery who did a check for me and didn't find her. It mentioned 'internee Barking' and reopened on her Woodgrange record. Later down the page on the same record it refers to 'Barking Grant'. I wonder if this is a fund to pay for Parish burials in the area? Your suggestion about a baptism record is one I would like to look into (he may have been baptised at Little Ilford as that is where they were married or otherwise in whatever the Anglican parish church for that part of Forest Gate was), although sadly the child was only alive for a few days so it makes it less likely (the birth and death certificates were issued at the same time, the father (see earlier post about the name) has also exactly the same occupation as my great grandfather, plus the wife has the same name and pre-married name as my great grandmother).

    Their names were respectively Charles William Nash (sometimes William Charles Nash) and Ellen Nash (maiden name Hayes). I have never been able to find a Charles William Nash in the census or with a certificate that fits the supposed 1890 birth date and father's details from the marriage certificate. He is variously listed as a boilermaker and railway labourer, as a boilermaker he worked at the big GER works (I have looked for his name in railway records at Kew and in the staff magazine (available via the LNER society), to no avail, however the Muller and Barnardo's records list him as a LNER labourer (the GER became the LNER)) and later my grandfather was sent to an orphanage via a missionary society connected with the LNER (who also mentions his occupation).

    Thanks for your interest and ideas. As I had previously having two of the major cemeteries records in the area online has been invaluable. The next step will be to visit both Manor Park Cemetery (there is a map showing where my great grandfather was buried on Deceased Online) and Woodgrange. I need to find out whether she was buried on part of the site that was redeveloped for housing - I believe there is now a garden of remembrance.



  4. Hi Justin,

    I'm really pleased that you've been able to make some progress.

    I wish you well for your visits to the cemeteries.

    All the best,


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