5.1 – Thomas Sutcliffe (unmarked)

This grave is in our “unmarked” section of the transcript because it lacks “proper” stones of any kind – when we got here it was in quite a bad way. We fixed up the pottery border and put weed barrier and gravel down and went to go find out who Thomas was. His obituary from the Todmorden & District News on August 12th 1932 says it all:

Death of Well-Known Horse Lover.


Todmorden has lost a well-known and much respected figure in the death last Sunday of Mr. Thomas Sutcliffe, of 13, Friths Terrace, Bacup Road. It is as a keen lover of horses that Mr. Sutcliffe will best be remembered, and in this connection he was known over a wide area both as an exhibitor and as a judge. When 17 years of age he became carter for Messrs. Luke Barker and Sons, of Friths Mill, Bacup Road, a position which he held at the time of his death, and the firm thought very highly of his faithful and painstaking services.

Mr. Sutcliffe had an extremely wide knowledge of horses, and his opinions and advice could always be relied upon. As carter for Messrs. Barker he took a pride in keeping his horses in the best of condition, and in preparations from shows he spent hours upon hours in making the animals appear spic and span. The fact that approximately 150 prizes have been awarded to horses which have come under his care is abundant proof of the success of his efforts. Many times at various shows, and outdoor events in Lancashire more particularly, had he acted as judge, a position for which he was well qualified.

Motor cars Mr. Sutcliffe was dead against, and his love for horses was so deep-rooted that he had expressed a wish that motor taxis should not be used at his funeral. This wish was fulfilled yesterday afternoon when the funeral took place at Todmorden Parish Church. In accordance with his desire, the coffin was placed on the works lorry, draped in purple, and the lorry was drawn by one of the horses which he had driven for so many years, while the mourners were conveyed in cabs drawn by horses. At the house Capt. Whitaker, of St. Aidan’s, officiated, while the Vicar of Todmorden, Rev. M. Patterson, M.A., conducted the service in the church and at the graveside.

Mr. Sutcliffe, who is survived by his wife and two daughters and two sons, had enjoyed quite good health up to a week or so before his death, which came as a severe shock to his wide circle of friends. He was 48 years of age. Politically, he was a Conservative, and religiously he was associated with St. Aidan’s Church.

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