Margate Cemetery

Est. 1856

The Friends of Margate Cemetery

Maritime Graves 3

Walter Edward Lewis :- Grave number 6072, Section IX.

On the night of Tuesday the 28th March 1916 a terrible storm from the South was blowing, it later veered to the North West and increased to hurricane force 12, with bitter cold winds, and sleet and snow, leaving many vessels anchored in the Margate Roads exposed to a lee shore. One of these was the 226 tons, three masted schooner Faithlie of Whitstable , with a crew of seven. In the early hours of the following morning the Faithlie drove into Palm Bay, the crew took to the rigging, lashing themselves there, Margate Lifeboat Civil Service No1 launched to her assistance, she succeeded in rescuing six of the crew, the seventh, Walter Lewis, had died of exposure, his body was brought ashore. It was Walters first voyage as crew and he was only 15 years old, his home was in Leytonstone. The Faithlie   became a total wreck.                    

Edward Duke Parker :- Grave number 4292, Section VII.

Born 1886, died 15th October 1964, Coxswain of Margate Lifeboat 1930 - 1946, crewmember 1906 - 1930. It was Ted Parker who had command of Margate Lifeboat The Lord Southborough at Dunkirk . The Lord Southborough was credited with having brought off 600 military personnel from the beaches, but the true figure was far greater than this, when asked later how many, he replied no one was counting, the buggers were trying to kill us . It was said of the crew of the Margate Lifeboat of their conduct at Dunkirk , by the Commanding Officer of the destroyer HMS Icarus

The manner in which the Margate Lifeboat Crew brought off load after load of soldiers under continuous shelling, bombing and aerial machine gun fire, will be an inspiration to us all as long as we live . Ted was awarded the DSM for his action at Dunkirk, one of only two Lifeboatmen to be so honoured, the other being Coxswain Howard Primrose Knight of Ramsgate, awarded also for Dunkirk. 

The Dunkirk Graves :- Grave numbers 15888, 15889, 15890, 15891, 15892, 15893, 15894, 15895, 15933, 15934,

Section L.

The present known figure for military personnel landed at Margate , from the evacuation beaches of Dunkirk is 49347*     ( May 2011 ), second only to Dover . Margate is often overlooked for the part that it played back in those dark days of May / June 1940, when Great Britain stood alone. Margate Jetty lent itself perfectly to receiving several large vessels at once, on its hexagonal shaped Jetty Extension, as well as numerous smaller craft. Of those landed at Margate ten never left and we have the privilege of them lying in our cemetery.

* This figure was researched by the late Mick Twyman.

Those in our cemetery are :-

Private Ronald Backhouse, 21 years, of Heston, Middlesex, Royal Fusiliers, 1st June 1940.

Lance Corporal John Leslie Grimley, 21 years, of Nottingham , Royal Army Service Corps, 31st May 1940.

Company Quartermaster Sergeant Alfred William Hayes, 29 years, of Ashford, Middlesex, Gloucestershire Regiment

                                                                                                                                                                    4th June 1940.

Private John McClaren, 20 years, of Crieff, Perthshire, Black Watch, 1st June 1940.

Gunner Jack Smith, 21 years, of Diseworth, Leicestershire, Royal Artillery, 2nd June 1940.      

Private William Wade, 19 years, Durham Light Infantry, 1st June 1940.       

Stoker Walter Bartlett, 21 years, of Grimsby, HM Trawler Calvi, Royal Naval Reserve ( Patrol Service ), 30th May 1940.

Quartermaster Richard Jones, 48 years, of Holyhead, Anglesey, HM Transport Scotia, Merchant Navy, 2nd June 1940.

Able Seaman George William Redhead, 36 years, of Hull, HMS Bideford, Royal Navy, 31st May 1940.

Unknown British soldier, 30th May 1940.   

Ernest Wheartey :- Grave number 19022, Section LV.

On the 2nd December 1939, at 1145 hrs, the Eagle Oil Company tanker San Calisto , of 8010 tons, struck a mine in a position 2 miles East by North from the Tongue Lightship ( approx 8 miles NNE of Margate Harbour ).The San     Calisto was on passage London to Curacao, with a crew of 43, she was empty and was to pick up a cargo there. Six of the crew were lost, with the ships carpenter, Ernest Wheartey, being the only one of the dead found. He was brought ashore by the Margate lifeboat The Lord Southborough , along with 22 of the survivors. Ernest Wheartey had had a premonition, which he confided to his fellow crewmembers, that he would not survive the voyage and that he would know nothing about it, he was right he was killed instantly. 

This was to have been his last voyage as he was to retire on its completion,The remains of the Barque Hero can be seen to this day, at low water, lying in the middle of Minnis Bay , Birchington.

He had the misfortune to have been badly injured in World War One, when his then ship was also mined.  His home was in Hull , but his widow wished for him to be buried in Margate , he was 61 years old.  - Continued - Previous



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