How Queen Victoria is linked with Broadwater and Worthing Cemetery

Friends of Broadwater and Worthing Cemetery's open day to celebrate their tenth anniversary. Picture: Derek Martin DM1880108a
Friends of Broadwater and Worthing Cemetery's open day to celebrate their tenth anniversary. Picture: Derek Martin DM1880108a

Around 100 people joined the Friends of Broadwater and Worthing Cemetery for their tenth anniversary tour.

The Friends, who look after the cemetery in South Farm Road, Worthing, and host regular tours, created a special tour for the occasion, telling the stories of 11 of the many interesting people buried in the 14.5-acre site.

Draped in beautiful carving, the grave of Caroline Heath Barrett, private reader to Queen Victoria

Draped in beautiful carving, the grave of Caroline Heath Barrett, private reader to Queen Victoria

John Vaughan, media officer, said: “All enjoyed a fun-filled and informative couple of hours. Although the weather was fine and sunny, the temperature hit 29C (85F) in the shade but that did not deter the local community.”

The tour on Saturday morning started with Caroline Heath Barrett, who was appointed by Queen Victoria as her private reader.

Caroline was born in London in 1834 and went on to become an actress, well known for her elocution. She married actor Wilson Barrett but about ten years later she became ill and as her health worsened, she came to stay in Worthing, probably for the healthy sea air.

She died on July 27, 1887, and two years later, the beautiful marble cross, with trailing ivy in bold relief, was placed over her grave.

The grave of Frank Foster Talbot Todd features a wheel within a cross, a poignant reminder of his terrible death

The grave of Frank Foster Talbot Todd features a wheel within a cross, a poignant reminder of his terrible death

After she died, Queen Victoria asked her widower for a portrait of Caroline as a souvenir and in return, sent him a full-size portrait of herself.

The grave of Frank Foster Talbot Todd features a wheel within a cross, a poignant reminder of his terrible death.

He moved to Sussex Road, Worthing, in October 1902 with his wife Emily and their two sons. He began working for Worthing Corporation as a steam engine driver and their third son was born in 1907.

Unfortunately, there was a terrible accident on July 7, 1910, and Frank was crushed to death by a wheel, which slipped back of its axle as he and two colleagues were working on a steamroller.

The sundial gravestone for Frederick William Best Parry, who served in the 17th Lancers and died aged 71 from heart failure

The sundial gravestone for Frederick William Best Parry, who served in the 17th Lancers and died aged 71 from heart failure

The tour ended with the sundial gravestone for Frederick William Best Parry, who served in the 17th Lancers and died aged 71 from heart failure.

The Friends group has now been established for ten years and membership has grown to more than 100 fully paid up and supportive members.

The regular tours cover different aspects of the cemetery, including the trees.

Events coming up include a general tour on Sunday, August 19, at 2pm; Life after World War One, a new tour, on Saturday, September 1, at 11am; a tree tour, new for 2018, on Sunday, September 23, at 2pm; and businessmen, another new tour for 2018, on Saturday, October 6, at 11am.

Friends and guests are asked to arrive at the cemetery chapels, in South Farm Road, Worthing, 15 minutes before the start time. The tours are free to all.

Mr Vaughan said: “Everybody is welcome, come rain or shine, and umbrellas that double as parasols will be available. The Friends look forward to greeting you.”

Visit www.fbwc.co.uk for more information.

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