V5.10 – Ingham and Ivy Stansfield, and Sarah and Emily May Cunliffe

This vault space is one that had to be entirely rebuilt – from remortaring the bricks to rearranging the squares and adding gravel. It isn’t perfection, but it’s affection. FOCCers care about the graveyard and the people here, and we do our best. It’s better than what this family have had for a very, very long time.

Sarah Cunliffe was born Sarah Farrar in June 1873. Her father John, a weaver, died when she was young, and in 1881 she and her mother and two siblings were living with her uncle John Fielden, a farmer who lived at Higher Woodfield off Flower Scar Road. Her mother Hannah died in 1885 and Sarah disappears for the 1891 Census – she may have been working as a servant somewhere and we cannot quite identify her. In 1898 she married Harry Cunliffe, a 26 year old widower (not uncommon) who worked as a mechanic and lived at Harley Bank. Their wedding date was February 5th, the same day that Sarah’s sister Emily married her husband William Grindrod…a romantic double wedding!

Sarah and Harry had four children, two of whom survived into adulthood – Florence and Ivy. One of their lost children, their daughter Emily May, is buried here. Emily May was born in 1898 but died aged only 5 years old in 1903. She is the unmarked burial in this grave. Harry was doing very well for himself indeed if he could afford this plot in the sought-after vault area, although there’s a chance that one of Sarah’s well off farmer uncles bought it instead. The Fieldens owned Higher Woodfield – they weren’t mere tenant farmers.

Sarah and Harry’s youngest surviving daughter was Ivy Cunliffe. Of course it’s difficult to track people born later in the early 1900s because of records being redacted or not released, but we know that Ivy married Ingham Stansfield in April 1927 at Christ Church. Ingham was a motor driver who had trained with St. John’s Ambulance prior to serving in WW1 and been discharged after receiving shrapnel wounds to the head – ouch. The couple had one child and in 1939 Ingham was still a motor driver, and Ivy was doing the usual “unpaid domestic duties but is also noted down as a “sick visitor” – giving her spare time to visiting sick or otherwise housebound people.

Sarah died in 1965 at the impressive age of 92 and was laid to rest with one (maybe both?) of her lost children. Ingham died next in 1972 aged 73, and Ivy died in 1977 aged 72. We hope they’re more satisfied with their current grave design than they were before we arrived…

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