Thornton Garden of Rest, situated in Lydiate Lane, is one of four cemeteries managed by Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council.
In 1936 the Crosby, Litherland and Waterloo Joint Burial Board purchased fourteen acres of land from the Earl of Sefton to meet the cemetery needs of those communities. There was opposition however from the West Lancashire Rural District Council and Thornton Parish Council. This led to public enquiries and it was not until October 1938 that the Ministry of Health allowed work to begin.
The opening ceremony took place on 23rd July 1940, with the ground being consecrated by Dr A. A. David, the Bishop of Liverpool. Due to the Second World War, plans for the chapel and cemetery lodge were postponed and it was not until 1963 when one was built, along with a crematorium.
The cemetery contains the remains of forty one servicemen from the Second World War, nearly half of them in Section C which is near the main entrance. One of those buried here is spitfire pilot John Fraser Drummond, who was just 21 years old when two allied aircraft collided over Sussex during the Battle of Britain. Although he managed to bale out his parachute failed to open and he died after impact. He was only the third internment at Thornton Garden of Rest, being buried on 15th October 1940 in Grave 3 of Section A.
During the war three German and three Italian servicemen were buried here, but they have since been reinterred in their respective national cemeteries in other areas of England.
Perhaps the most famous internment at Thornton Garden of Rest is another war veteran who went on to become a distinguished actor. Bill Dean served with the Royal Air Force in North Africa and Italy and enjoyed an acting career spanning thirty five years. He appeared in Z Cars, Juliet Bravo and Z Cars amongst others but is most famously remembered for playing the grumpy pensioner Harry Cross in Brookside. He died at the age of 78 in 2000.
Thornton Garden of Rest remains open for new internments. Grave plots can be purchased which accommodate up to four burials and six cremated remains. It is also possible to buy smaller plots that are exclusively for the burial of cremated remains.
There are restrictions on the size of headstones at Thornton Garden of Rest but unlike many other cemeteries, kerb sets are allowed. If you would like to erect a memorial at Thornton Garden of Rest please contact us. Sarsfield Memorials will be happy to discuss your requirements, provide advice on their regulations and provide a free no obligation quote.