St John’s Church, Carrington, Nottingham

I visited St. John’s Church in Carrington back when we had some snow in March. The doors were locked so I couldn’t go inside but the graveyard proved to be quite interesting on its own. Building of the church began in 1841 thanks to an endowment from Ichabod Wright, a local banker who lived in Mapperley Hall not far from the church and which has since been turned into flats.

What struck me about the graveyard was what seemed like an unusually high number of war graves for such a small space, even more so as I began to research and discovered that quite a few of them not only had no connection to the church, but no connection to Nottingham either. Those with a connection included William Fisher who was captured and repatriated to die in a local military hospital in 1919 aged 36 – his brother also died in the war and is buried in Ypres. And there is Joseph Whelband who interestingly died of natural causes at the age of 60 in 1915 – he’d been working as a military recruiter.

Another of the graves that caught my eye was this one belonging to Samuel Gent who was 19 when he accidentally drowned at the Public Baths, Sneinton on July 22nd 1877. I actually tracked down the newspaper reports of the time. According to testimony at the inquest, including by his father Isaac, Samuel was a stonemason who was subject to fits (presumably epilepsy) and could fall unconscious for up to five minutes. On the day of the accident there were only four other people in the threepenny bath section. The others were getting dressed ready to leave when they heard a splash. Assuming Samuel was just swimming they didn’t realise anything was wrong until they went back to the pool and saw Samuel lying still at the bottom. The manager of the baths dived in to try and help but it was too late and the jury concluded cause of death was accidental drowning. It was the first accident, and certainly first fatality, to happen at the baths in the 9 years since it opened.

Charles Bennett was sent to work at Mapperley brickyard when he was only 9 years old but eventually worked his way up to become manager of the brick works and a town councillor, alderman and magistrate. He also had a road and a street named after him.

And then there is Richard Rome Bealey whose books of poetry you can still buy today should you wish to do so. Born in Rochdale in 1828 he worked as some sort of travelling salesman and joined the Freemasons in 1860 though he apparently couldn’t afford to regularly attend meetings. He published his first poem around 1863. By the time he and his family – wife and 6 children – moved to Nottingham in 1878 money was tight and though he continued to publish poems this doesn’t seem to have brought in a lot of money. On his death in 1887 his family were practically destitute and since his membership to the Freemasons had lapsed his family weren’t eligible for help. His burial site was actually unknown for a long time until it was discovered again in 1944 when the Freemasons arranged for this gravestone to be erected.

A small place with an interesting and varied history you can find more photos here.

Categories: England, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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