From Helen Parkhurst; World Burial Index
Welcome to the Skegness Family History page and our Spotlight on St Clement’s Churchyard Set back from the hustle and bustle of the busy resort area, St Clement’s is situated in a circle of trees in a large well maintained Churchyard
St Clement’s Church Road North PE25 2QH Holy Communion Sunday at 11am and Tuesday at 10.30am At other times the church is locked
A Gravestone may give away many clues to family relationships and occupations and with a little research a historical picture may be built up allowing the beginner or serious researcher to gain valuble information regarding their ancestors. Remember that more often than not several related headstones may be in the churchyard but not always in the same area We took a look at a typical Lincolnshire surname, the grave of Edward Grunnill and pieced together a small but heart-felt part of the Grunnill family history
In loving memory of Edward beloved husband of Eliza Grunnill of Skegness who was drowned by the capsizing of the ‘Shannon’ during a sudden storm July 8th 1893 aged 44 years - During a terrific thunderstorm over Lincolnshire on July 8th 1893 a lamentable boat accident resulted in the loss of 30 lives occured off Skegness. Owing to the beautiful morning weather the resort was packed with pleasure-seekers mainly from the Midlands and North of England A violent storm broke out seemily Skegness being at its heart Among the hundreds who came to Skegness that day were a party of 80 workmen employed on the North London Railway, thirty of which went out for a pleasure trip in the large sailing boat the Shannon When the vessel left with the merrymakers the sea was calm and in the hands of Edward Grunnill (Captain) and his cousin Edwin Grunnill They sailed out for about 2 miles and just when the Shannon was turning to return to shore she was hit by a terrible squall which capsized and all but three of those on board were drowned A fisherman, Jabez Gunnill (another cousin) managed to rescue three men, one of the survivors a Mr Chadman said the boat had capzised in under 15 seconds.
The above Edward and Eliza Grunnill’s son also has a headstone in a different part of the churchyard who also perished at sea it reads; In loving memory of Hira third son of Edward and Eliza Grunnill who lost his life while Mine Sweeping on HMS Carlton Feb 21st 1916 aged 30 years He’s gone: The ransomes soul is fled and numbered with the peaceful dead.
A further headstone in the churchyard simply says Eliza Grunnill died November 27th 1936 aged 85 years Rest after weariness – which we believe may be the unfortunate wife and mother of the above, living through the loss of her husband in 1893 and her son in 1916.
Many holidaymakers in the 1800’s didn’t know how to swim and many deaths of bathers are recorded along this coast Two here in this churchyard read; - Henry W Simmonds drowned while bathing August 11th 1877 aged 17 years; John Wilson son of John and Elizabeth Wilson of Brotherton drowned in November 1858 aged 23 years.
Many churchyards contain important or famous people who were born, worked or just died in an area, some who fade from memory as generations pass, here is the grave of an important man of his time that is quite well documented.
John Naylor Forster was born in Hull c 1849 and lived for many years in Albert Road Skegness marrying Fanny a local girl and having a daughter Maud and a son John Leslie His headstone has been laid flat, forming a part of the pathway around the church and it seems sad to think that in a few years the stone will be totally eroded It reads; In Loving Memory of John Naylor Forster, Manager of the Skegness Gas Works died Aug 29th 1900 aged 52 years He asked life of thee and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.
An ornamental stone with decorative masonry work reads
In affectionate remembrance of our dear brother Richard Lloyd of Lion Hotel Skegness who passed peacefully away Nov 28th 1904 aged 47 years Gone but not forgotten; The Lion Hotel was built in 1881 with Mr Samuel Clarke and his wife Martha and four sons and 2 daughters being the new landlords and builders of the premises At some point ownership changed to the Lloyds The name of the pub is well documented to show it was re-named The Red Lion due to a Lions statue situated on the roof, when in 1904 for safety reasons was brought down to ground level, it intrigues me to think that the Lion may have been brought down not only as a safety precaution but as a token of respect at the death of the above Richard in the same year..what do you think?
We hope you will visit St Clement’s and if you are researching your own family history you never know what you may uncover All the gravestones in St Clement’s Churchyard have been recorded by the World Burial Index.
With thanks to Helen Parkhurst from the World Burial Index for all of the time and effort she has kindly dedicated to this insightful piece.
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