Before the cemetery opened, a foundation stone was laid by the Reverend H. Clayforth in 1867. This was a standard ceremony performed when laying a new building or opening new grounds. During the presentation, the Revd was given a silver-plated trowel and mallet which was engraved to him in the laying of the foundation stone for Wombwell Cemetery.

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In 1868 the cemetery opened after a few complications with the chapels, and the grounds were blessed by the same Reverend Clayforth. Those in attendance were the builders, masons, joiners, plumbers, members of the Wombwell Burial Board and the community of Wombwell.

Over time, the cemetery fell into decline. Both chapels became derelict, one losing its roof to a fire and the other abused as a storage. Alcohol and substance misusers and thugs saw the cemetery as the perfect place for deals, vulnerable people, and as a secretive hideout. The community of Wombwell looked upon the cemetery as a morbid and unsafe place to be until late 2002.


The cemetery opened in 1868, so you can probably guess that there is a lot of history behind it. Every person has a story to tell and when that person is interred in Wombwell Cemetery, it becomes our job to tell it and let that story, that person, live on.

This page will touch upon the history behind the cemetery, but not delve too deep as we have guided tours available. These are beautifully delivered by our current Chairman, Karen. If you would like a guided tour, or if you are too far away and would like more information, contact us.

We Will Remember Them

For a list of our soldiers, click here.

We have 31 soldiers buried in Wombwell Cemetery and 96 soldiers buried elsewhere that are remembered on family graves; all of which we remember.

Poppy Image

150th Anniversary

In September 2018, the Friends of Wombwell Cemetery celebrated the cemetery's 150th Anniversary.

The history video that was shown on the day can be found by clicking here!


A brief look at the guided tour

Mark Jones

Mark Jones was one of the eight Manchester United players killed in the Munich Air Disaster in February, 1958. Jones is buried in a family grave that is well kept and decorated with a stone football.

1st Baby Memorial

We have two baby memorials for the 690 unmarked child poverty graves. The first, although it appears bigger, is the smallest of the two.

1st Burial

The very first burial in the cemetery was of a nineteen year old male named Thomas Wadsworth. His grave is located near the Peace Garden, next to the bench outside that faces the Community Hub.

Fallen Angel

This angel comes with a very fascinating story of how she was lost then found, including some very strange coincidences that shed light on the lady in the grave: Annie Wilde.

Killed by Lightning

On a walk through the woods on the way to work, Mr Kaye and a friend were struck by lightning and killed. Find out more on the guided tour.

Frank Collindridge J.P., C.B.E

Frank Collindridge was elected as Member of Parliament for Barnsley in 1938. He represented the constituency up until he passed away aged 60 during the 1951 general election campaign.

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William Gash

Gash was supposed to be involved with the Charge of the Light Brigade but, due to injury, stayed well away...  

2nd Baby Memorial

The second baby memorial is the biggest which was placed with the first to remember the 690 stillborn or young babies in child poverty graves (CPGs).

Alfred Flaxman

Alfred Edward Flaxman was an athlete who competed in the 1908 Summer Olympics, and served as a Second Lieutenant with the South Staffordshire Regiment. He was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in July, 1916.

Find out more:

Stone Violin

The stone violin is always of interest to anybody passing by. It belongs to Willie Johnson, a violinist for a string band that once played across Wombwell and Barnsley.

Roy Kilner

Roy Kilner was an English professional cricketer who played for the Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 1911 and 1927. In 1928 he died from enteric fever. His funeral was attended by over 100,000 people.

Barnsley Pals

Our Barnsley Pals Memorial is inspired by the memorial in France, which is dedicated to those who lost their lives at the start of the Battle of the Somme in July 1916.

The new stone was funded by the Co-Operative and erected in November 2017.

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