Headstone Refurbishment

At Sarsfield Memorials headstone refurbishment – bringing worn memorials back to how they looked originally – is just as rewarding for us and our customers as providing new ones.

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Headstones are made from resilient durable materials. When they look like they could do with some tender loving care, more often than not the foundation and material is sound enough, meaning all that is needed is a good clean by jetwashing then applying chemicals. With some materials, this will involve removing a very thin layer of the headstone to make it as good as new again.

Pictured on the left is a headstone that was underneath trees that has been restored to as good as new. This work has been done on behalf of a local convent.

Depending on the location of the memorial in relation to others nearby, we may be able to do the cleaning at the cemetery but otherwise it is done back at the workshop. There are also occasions where some more re-anchoring may be required to meet modern specifications.

In addition to the cleaning, which is done with great care to avoid any lasting damage to the material, we can also restore your headstone by cutting the lettering deeper or adding new ones if they were originally done that way. An example when this is needed is with a material that has needed sanding, meaning the lead letters may have loosened.

As part of the headstone refurbishment, we can also tidy up the area around any kerbsets or edging stones if needed. This may involve adding a concrete base, which is standard with new installations nowadays, so that the kerbset can not sink. Alternatively, if it is a grave that is not tended to as frequently as when first installed, then it may be more feasible to remove any sunken sets or stones altogether, tidy up the weeds and plant grass seeds.

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An example of removing stones is shown here too on the right.In this case the family live abroad and only visit every couple of years. By removing the stones, the local authority now have responsibility for the area in front of the memorial and there is no risk of it becoming overrun with weeds.

A good addition to a refurbished memorial is an artificial flower arrangement. We currently supply these at a cost of £8 each to any customer who has work on a grave done with us.

If you are interested in headstone refurbishment, please contact us to discuss your requirements. We will be happy to visit the grave and carry out a full assessment and advise of the options and provide you with a free no obligation quote.


Kirkdale Cemetery War Graves

There are Commonwealth War Graves Commission graves from the First World War located in all six of Liverpool’s local authority cemeteries. However due to its proximity hospitals and the fact that Liverpool was a major port for the embarkation of troops during the First World War, Kirkdale Cemetery war graves are far more varied when it comes to nationality than others in the city.

Kirkdale Cemetery War Graves

Of the 397 burials from the First World War in Kirkdale Cemetery, over a quarter are Canadian servicemen. This is due to a Canadian hospital opening in Westminster Road in 1917, for the treatment of sick/injured servicemen returning from Salonika in Greece.

A large number of the the Candian servicemen died in 1919, many from the Spanish Flu epidemic. Due to the sheer number of troops in Europe that had been brought over a four year period, when the war ended there were literally not enough vessels to take them home, so many were staying awaiting transfer back and got sick. Some of the servicemen were from the Canadian Pacific Railway and their main role was railway maintenance. Amongst other regiments/battalions were Pioneers, who were repairing infrastructure/equipment, and and Infantry.

There are six New Zealand servicemen buried at Kirkdale Cemetery. One of these is Joseph Simotich. who was raised in Liverpool but emigrated in 1913 to live with an aunt and work on a farm in Rotorua. In 1917 he enlisted with the Otago Regiment of  the New ZealKirkdale Cemetery War Gravesand Reinforcements and sailed for Liverpool on board the Maunganiu, arriving on 17th January 1918. Sadly he had caught disease on the ship and died in the Northern Hospital just three days after arrival.

Just a couple of plots from Simotich is the grave of an indigenous Maori serviceman, Rangitauwira Wiremu, a married farmer. He was in the Maori Pioneer Battalion, whose main role was intended to be  construction and engineering tasks, but changed to providing reinforcements for killed and injured troops. Wiremu enlisted in February 1918, sailing on the Ulimaora but getting sick on the voyage. The vessel arrived in Liverpool on 29th March but he died just two days later.  

Five Australian servicemen are buried at Kirkdale, two each from the Infantry and Engineers, and one munitions worker. There are also two members of the Belgian army who died from wounds in November 1914, having been transferred to Liverpool for treatment. Their burials were attended by the Belgian consul and their coffins were draped in their country’s flag and had their helmets placed on them.

The non British burials from the First World War at Kirkdale Cemetery are completed by the graves of Indian and Russian soldiers. John Brewer of the Indian Army Reserve of officers died in November 1918 and Russian naval seaman Morosoff died in May 1917 while his vessel the Varyag was being overhauled at Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead.