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Bandon Hill Cemetery and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Searching for South London Surrey ancestors? Bandon Hill Cemetery, Wallington joins the Sutton and Merton Collections in the Deceased Online database.
Bandon Hill Cemetery, Wallington
Last week Deceased Online supplemented its South London Collection with the full set of burial records for Bandon Hill Cemetery, Wallington, in the London Borough of Sutton. As the cemetery is jointly run by the London Boroughs of Sutton and Croydon, it is worth investigating if any of your relatives died in either of those areas. Bandon Hill is situated in Plough Lane, Wallington SM6 8JQ and is a working cemetery. However, today burial rights are only given for reclaimed graves where burial space remains but has not been used for 75 years.

In 1900, Croydon Rural District Council opened the Cemetery in grounds of approximately 6 1/4 hectares. The records in the Deceased Online database date from 7 March 1900 and go up to 2012. The records cover more than 30,000 burials.
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (circa 1905)
Probably the most celebrated name in the burial registers is that of the composer and musician, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912), who lived in St. Leonard's Road, Croydon. Born on 15 August 1875 at 15 Theobalds Road, Holborn, as Samuel Coleridge Taylor, he was named after the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. His parents were unmarried, and by the time of Samuel's birth, his father, Daniel Hugh(es) Taylor, a surgeon, had returned home to Sierra Leone. Samuel's mother, Alice Martin, went on to marry George Evans, a railway storeman. They raised Samuel, supporting his evident musical talent. In 1890, Coleridge-Taylor was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Music. 

Originally a violinist, Coleridge-Taylor soon became a respected composer, working with Edward Elgar. His most popular work, Hiawatha's Wedding Feast premiered in 1898. Samuel married in 1893 and named his first child "Hiawatha" (1900-1980).

In 1912, Coleridge-Taylor developed pneumonia. In August, he collapsed at West Croydon Railway Station, and died a few days later, on 1 September, aged just 37 years. He was buried at Bandon Hill and mourned widely. In respect of his achievements, King George V granted Samuel's widow, Jessie, an annual pension of £100.
Headstone of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)
A beautifully carved headstone stands over Coleridge-Taylor's grave in Bandon Hill. The inscription contains the following lines written by his faithful friend, the poet, Alfred Noyes (1880-1958):


He lives while music lives
Too young to die -
his great simplicity,
his happy courage 
in an alien world,
his gentleness,
made all that knew him
love him.

At the base of the monument are four bars from Coleridge-Taylor's much-loved work, The Song of Hiawatha.
On the bottom line of the extract above is the burial register entry for Samuel Coleridge-Taylor buried 5 September 1912
Besides Bandon Hill, the South London Collection now includes:
  • Cuddington (Sutton and Cheam) Cemetery
  • Sutton Cemetery
  • Church Road Cemetery (St Peter and St Paul's) Cemetery, Merton
  • Gap Road (Wimbledon) Cemetery, Merton
  • Merton and Sutton Joint Cemetery (Garth Road), Merton
  • London Road Cemetery, Merton

Have you found your South London relatives in Deceased Online's records? Do let us know via the Comments Box below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We love to hear from you!

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