Standing near the entrance to Liverpool Cathedral and St James Cemetery is a Crimea War Memorial, dedicated to seven serviceman who died in hospital there.
At 1230pm on 16th January 1855 the Cunard steamer Cambria arrived at Huskisson Dock carrying 213 wounded soldiers from the battles of Alma and Inkerman. They had endured a three week journey from Constantinople and were due to be taken to the Chatham Naval Hospital in Kent.
Thirty eight of the men were too ill to travel and were instead taken to the workhouse hospital on Brownlow Hill. Three wards were st aside for them and they were well looked after, being visited by the Mayor and receiving donations of port wine, shaving utensils and clothing.
Most of the soldiers made a full recovery but seven of those died of fever and dysentery. They were interred at St James Cemetery with full military honours, with large crowds lining the funeral route to pay their respects. Back at the warehouse, members of the Military were provided with ale, bread and butter in the dining hall. A recruiting sergeant thanked the people of Liverpool for their help, saying that the arrangements for the soldiers comfort could not be surpassed.
In 1856 a memorial was unveiled at the cemetery containing the names of the seven men lost and with the inscription “Erected by public subscription to record the courage and endurance displayed by the privates of the British Army who at the call of duty devoted their lives to maintain the honour of their country and the fidelity of England and her allies”.
It was not such an unusual occurrence for servicemen to die away from combat situations. Of the 20,000 British soldiers who died in the Crimean war, around three quarters of those did so of illness rather than as a result of battle. However it must have been awful for their relatives to realise their loved ones had survived the conditions there and a sea voyage, only to die on English soil.
Over the last few decades there has been an increasing shift towards cremation rather than burials, the figure being around 75%. As such, sections reserved solely for cremation plots are becoming a commons sight in cemeteries.
Unlike with burials, cremation allows families more time to consider what to do with their loved ones remains. Many will prefer to see the ashes scattered in a favourites place, but others may wish for a memorial where they can visit and remember their loved one.
In the longer term, cremation plots can be cheaper than colonnade niches at crematoriums. These niches, where urns can be stored with a memorial plaque, are for a limited number of years and can be more costly than plots once you have renewed two or three times.
Cremation plots allow for a small to medium sized headstone and flower container to be placed there. This also allows you to add a personal touch to your loved one, such as laser etched images and photo plaques. The memorial needn’t be in a traditional upright or ogee style either, with heart and book shapes being possible. Although available, religious symbols are not so commonly see at cremation plots as cremation tends to be favoured by those who are more secular.
In the Liverpool city council area, Allerton, Anfield and Kirkdale cemeteries allow the purchase of cremation plots on a seventy five year lease. A height restriction of three feet six inches is placed on the memorial. In Knowsley, cremation plots are only available for purchase at Whiston Cemetery. It needs to be remembered that they are rarely available in churchyards. Churches tend to have a small memorial garden instead, although there are some in the Merseyside area that allow for them.
Sarsfield Memorials is Liverpool’s oldest family run monumental mason business. We have a wide selection of memorials for cremation plots. Please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your requirements and advise on what is feasible depending on the area you live.