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Sarah Chapman Grave Petition

Manor Park Cemetery E7 in contains the graves of many revered East Londoners. Sarah Chapman, the former Matchgirls Strike Leader, lies buried there and her grave has recently become the subject of an online petition.
petition has been started online calling for Manor Park Cemetery to, "SAVE SARAH CHAPMAN'S GRAVE FOR POSTERITY".
The petition explains that SARAH Dearman (née CHAPMAN; 31 Oct 1862-27 Nov 1945) was a leading member of the Matchgirls 1888 Strike Committee, Matchmakers' Union, as well as being a TUC Delegate
Although Sarah was one of the first working-class women to represent her Union at the Trades Union Congress and a major contributor to working women's rights, she is buried in a pauper's grave in Manor Park Cemetery in the London borough of Newham. Her great granddaughter found the grave in early 2017, but it currently has no marker or headstone.

The details of Sarah's grave can be found in the Deceased Online database on the bottom entry of this page from the burial register. The entry reveals that Sarah was buried 3 December 1945 in grave reference 147/D/114Five others are recorded in this common grave: Elizabeth Ann Taylor, Maria Burns, Elizabeth Alice Strutt, James Bennett, and John Harvey.
The Cemetery has offered a plaque elsewhere in the cemetery grounds, but Sarah’s family would like a marker at the exact burial place. 
There is a precedent for this kind of late memorial: the poet William Blake's burial spot in Bunhill Fields Cemetery was located recently and, just a few weeks ago, a gravestone unveiled above.

However, Manor Park Cemetery needs to reclaim land for future burials and plans to mound over the area next to Sarah's grave. 
The petition aims to place a permanent memorial to Sarah on the site of her grave. 
One of the (very large) burial registers from 1875-1898
All 430,000 burial and cremation records for Manor Park in East London are now online and available to search on the Deceased Online database. For burials up to 26 February 1996, the details have been scanned from registers, but data from 27 February 1997 has been digitised only as there are no registers. The privately-owned Cemetery can be found not far from the 2012 Olympic Park. Manor Park is situated in the modern London borough of Newham, near Forest Gate, Stratford, Ilford, Barking, Wanstead, and Leytonstone. 

The crematorium is located in the centre of the cemetery grounds and is attached to the chapel, which was rebuilt in 1955 after being destroyed by enemy bombing in the Second World War. Complete with a columbarium and pavilion for lasting memorials, the crematorium has a beautiful woodland glade and remembrance garden. 
Have you found ancestors in a common grave? Did you erect a headstone or monument to mark the burial place? Do let us know your thoughts in the Comments Box below, or via our Facebook and Twitter platforms.


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