1947 – When It All Began For Sarsfield Memorials

This year Sarsfield Memorials commemorates 75 years of providing memorials to our customers in the Merseyside area. We will be marking this milestone with a number of offers throughout the year and also sponsorship of events.

Black and white photo of a smart man from the 1950's

Offers and events will be announced in the coming weeks and months, but firstly we thought it would be nice to take a look back to how things were in 1947. That was the year James Sarsfield (pictured left) set up in business as a monumental mason.

The Second World War had ended two years earlier and a new global order was being created. The Truman Doctrine signalled the start of the Cold War, as the United States president Harry S. Truman, worried about the influence of the Soviet Union on eastern Europe, set about a policy of containing the further spread of communism. The British Empire was further being broken up, with India and Pakistan both being granted independence that year.

At home, it was the coldest winter on record. Snow lay on the ground for two months and temperatures plunged to -20c in some places. This caused havoc with electricity supplies and with rationing still in place, there were fears of food shortages with vegetables being frozen in the ground.

The big freeze meant the football season had to be extended and First Division fixtures were not completed until the middle of June, when Liverpool were crowned the first post war champions. Later that year there was a royal wedding to celebrate, as King George VI’s eldest daughter Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen Elizabeth II, married Philip Mountbatten, later Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

So there were certainly plenty of goings in the world in 1947 when James set up his business. The youngest of his three sons Terry was fourteen years old and attending St Francis Xavier College which was then based in Salisbury Street, Everton. He would normally have expected to leave school that year, only for the school leaving age to be raised to fifteen. Terry and his two older brothers Bernard and Tony went on to join the business, with Terry travelling to Italy in the 1950s to learn the craft of stonemasonry in Carrara.

Terry, who went on to manage Sarsfield Memorials, is now in his late eighties but is still on hand to offer advice to his daughter Ursula, who has been running the business for the past twenty five years. Ursula is delighted to be at the helm for this milestone year and looks forward to repaying our customers for their loyalty throughout 2022.