History of the cemetery

“The people that come to stay at Cheriton Road come from far and wide and from all walks of life. But let’s start at the beginning where all the good story’s start. Cheriton Road did not start to come to life until the beginning of 1855, Her Majesty’s Inspector R.D. Grainger Esq. came to Folkestone and suggested that a new cemetery be sited east, north-east or north of the town, and in loose sandy soil.

In December of 1856 the new burial board instructed the churchwardens that no more burials should take place within the respective grounds after the 1st September 1857. Even as the notice to the local churches was being sent out, the new cemetery was performing its first burial. The one thing that may surprise people is that the first person to be buried within the cemetery actually died in Regents Park Collage, London on the 28th November 1856, and was laid to rest on the 5th December 1856 by the Rev. David Jones.

So why was James Paine Clerk, aged 24 years, removed from the parish of Mary-le-Bone (as written in the register), Middlesex, and interred within the new cemetery?

As this cemetery is over 150 years old it has some 43 war graves dated from 1914 to 1921. Not all are servicemen are from England, one being R. Solomon, Company Quartermaster Sergeant, of the Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment) who died on 5th December 1918.

List of the Service Men within the cemetery:

Ames, A.R., Barron, L., Blackford, H., Campbell, J.E, Champion, A., Cocks, T.F., Cullen, J.A., Curtis, A.R., Ellender, R.H., Ellis. A.V., Finn, F.W., Goff, R.W., Grace, W.G., Harris, W.J., Haydon, T., Hayde, G.W.C., Holliday, T., Jordon, R., Kingsbury, J.H., Mant, W.J.J., Marshall, F., Millen, L.F., Milton, H.T., Mochrie, J., Noyes, C.H., COllivant, A.H., Oxford, C.J., Page, W.H., Parks, G.C.C., Paterson, W.E.W., Robus, F.J., Sackree, A., Sackville-West, K.F., Shipp, H., Solomon, R., Standing, G.T., Steels, T.E.J., Taylor, F.J., Tidy, J., Tull, W.S.P., Upton, W.G., Welsh, F.A.M., *Wraight, L.C., (Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission website)* recently added.

1962 the Folkestone Gazette carried an article about the proposal to close the cemetery, and remove all of the kerb-stones from the graves, and to grass the cemetery over, so saving in maintenance cost to the Parks Department. The information that led to this request was that the cemetery had only 331 spaces and that no interments had taken place in 75 percent of the space for 50 years or more. Also that the last grave to be purchased was in April 1933, and that between December 1960 and November 1961 only 35 people were buried within the cemetery. This closure did not happen, so the loss of information from the kerb-stones has not occurred.

The cemetery again appeared in the paper in 1964, with an article about the vandalism and the cost to the council of repairing the graves stones that had been damaged. 70 monuments were pushed over, of which 40 had not been damaged and had been re-erected. Of the remainder, 26 monuments have been broken and could be repaired but at a cost of £75.00 (equivalent to £964.50 at today’s rates, as calculated using the National Archives web site), but this appears a little low.

The last burial within the cemetery was in 1995, although ashes are still being interred in family plots. “This cemetery history is taken from documents produced by the Folkestone & District Family History Society (copyright @2009), with grateful thanks to them for allowing us to reproduce it here. For a copy of the CD which contains full listing of burials in this cemetery please contact F&DFHS directly via their website.