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Jewellery Quarter Research Trust
The JQRG provides two free databases
The Memorial Index lists all the surviving memorial as of 2010. There were some that could not be read and others that, because they were buried or inaccessible may not appear on the list.
The Burial Index lists the names of people buried at both cemeteries It was compiled during the recording of the memorials. It includes the majority of burials but not absolutely all of them.
The Jewellery Quarter Research Group, known as the JQRG was founded by Dick Empson and Doug Wilks to make freely available the work Dick had done in recording the surviving memorials at Key Hill and Warstone Lane cemeteries.
It was an immense task that Dick undertook almost single handed which took him some six years. Initially the information was published in hardcopy but it was soon realised that, because of the amount of data this was impractical so it is now available online on the JQRG's website.
Past President of Aston Villa Football Club
James Cooper V.C.
The Son of an
Mitchells and Butler
Thomas Avery J.P.
Best known of course for Avery's scales
Various members of
the Chance Family
Chance Brother Glass
is renowned for its innovation and quality.
Direct Ancester of
Edward Lant Tyndall
Direct Decendant of William Tyndale the martyr and Bible translator
Sir Thomas Martineau, K.T
Recieved Queen Victoria at Aston Hall
The Lost Key Hill
Statue of Liberty
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WWI Memorials at Key Hill and
Warstone Lane Cemeteries
There are many heroes of WWI in Key Hill and Warstone Lane cemeteries and the JQRG joins with Birmingham City Council to pay tribute to them with the new memorials which have been placed in both cemeteries.
There are many stories of bravery, loss and sadness that sits quietly in these cemeteries. Families torn apart by the horrors of war, families who will never know the simple pleasures of family life.
Buried here are men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for what they believed was the war to end all wars. Please take a moment with us to remember those whom we have the privilege of playing a small part in the care of their resting place.
The cemeteries are the last resting place of eight of Birmingham mayors, of alderman, councillors, M.P.s, industrialists, ministers, politicians, a holder of the Victoria Cross and many hero's of war and of reform, a British royal ancestor and the son of an aboriginal king, and of tens of thousands of people who, by their skills and determination helped make Birmingham the great city it is today.
Two cemeteries form an important historical asset of the Jewellery Quarter. Originally co-
Both were established as commercial ventures by cemetery companies seeking to tackle the notorious shortage of burial space faced by the rapidly expanding city. Each holds a range of intriguing catacombs and a wealth of funerary monuments on which are recorded many of Birmingham’s famous and influential business leaders, politicians and clergy.
Here will be found stories as diverse as that of the last Town Crier of Birmingham and the inventor of custard. Both locations are now in the care of Birmingham City Council and whilst closed for the purchase of new graves, provide calm oases within a bustling commercial quarter.
The Birmingham General Cemetery
The Church of England Cemetery
Edward John Eyre was a celebrated explorer, he was considered a Protector of Aborigines working amongst the tribes on the Murray River at Moorundie. In 1844 he returned to England, bringing with him two young Aboriginal youths, to be educated at his own expense.
One of those young men was Warrulan, the son of Tenberry, a tribal Chief (or King) and, on 26th January 1846, Warrulan, was presented by the new Colonial Secretary, William Gladstone, to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe Coburg and Gotha at Buckingham Palace.
This was a remarkable meeting by any account, and was covered by the Illustrated London News: "Her Majesty appeared much pleased with the general appearance and manners of these youthful representatives of her subjects at the antipodes". Warrulan was sent to an agricultural school at Sibford in Oxfordshire. After finishing school, Warrulan, now known as Edward, spent three years as an apprentice at Banbury and subsequently he was employed at J. Middlemore, a leather firm in Birmingham.
On returning from a summer holiday in 1855, Warrulan became ill, and pneumonia followed; he died on October 23rd, 1855, aged about 19 years old. On October 27th, Edward Warrulan, the son of an Aboriginal Tribal Chief was buried in Public Grave number 503, section F at the Church of England Cemetery, Warstone Lane, Birmingham, England.
In affectionate remembrance of
William Edward HIPKINS
born January 1st 1857 lost in the
S. S. TITANIC April 15th 1912.
"The sea shall give up its dead."
William Hipkins was a first class passenger No. 680. He had paid £50 for his ticket joining the ship in Southampton. He had been manager of the Soho Foundry. His body was never recovered
Warstone Lane D : 1001
Statue of Liberty
The Meredith Memorial
Key Hill I : 295
KEY HILL CEMETERY
Birmingham General Cemetery was founded in 1836 by a group of non-
The seven acre site at the then ‘Kaye Hill’ had originally been a market garden and sand quarry operated by the Guardians of the Poor as a means, originally, to provide out-
The new cemetery had a memorial chapel and entrance gates and railings designed by Charles Edge. The original landscaping scheme can still be traced which has led to the cemetery’s Grade II* listing. Sand quarrying continued until 1934.
Key Hill was acquired by Birmingham City Council in 1952 after the collapse of the Cemetery Company and the chapel demolished in 1966.
Many of the memorials have since been removed, laid down or buried, but those that remain provide a fascinating insight into the great and the good of Victorian and Edwardian Birmingham.
WARSTONE LANE CEMETERY
The Church Of England Cemetery in Warstone Lane opened in 1847, it is likely that this development was in part a response to the success of its upstart neighbour about which the established church was less than – well Christian!
Whilst a commercial enterprise the established church played a major role in its operation with the Bishop of Worcester having a say in such matters as stipends.
At the centre of the Cemetery was the burial chapel – St Michaels – which briefly operated as a parish church. This building, which boasted a 116ft spire and a Bramah lift to take coffins down into the catacombs, was demolished in 1954 having been extensively damaged in the blitz.
The Cemetery Company’s offices in Warstone Lane which also formed the main vehicular entrance were sold to a private company so the major remaining feature of the original plan is the catacombs, more imposing than those at Key Hill, which were completed in 1880.
The cemetery, which is Grade II listed, was acquired by Birmingham City Council in 1951.
Now It’s The
Jewellery Quarter Research Trust
On 1st September the Jewellery Quarter Research Group became a Trust. This marks a major step forward in the history of the JQRG and will prepare the way for a number of new projects and initiatives. The web and email address change but both will work.
NEW WAR GRAVE DATABASE
Birmingham CWGC information is now available on the JQRT website.
A Roll of Honour will be available soon.