A group shining a light on Rustington’s forgotten graveyard is hoping to reunite people with their long-lost relatives.
Sue Sula formed the Brookside Memorial Garden Community Group to transform the now-derelict graveyard, which can be found between Wolstenbury Road and the Brookside Industrial Estate, into a memorial garden.
The group has encouraged volunteers to come forward to help clear the site – but Sue is now looking to get in touch with the relatives of those who are laid to rest there.
There are believed to be 57 people buried on the site – the names of which are listed above right.
Sue said: “I’m very proud and honoured that I’m involved in this project.
“It is part of the history of Rustington that has been lost, but on a personal level it is the people who are buried there too. We want to make sure they aren’t forgotten.”
Sue has learnt more about four of the people buried on the site through speaking to their relatives – an experience she described as ‘emotional’.
Two such people are Eliza and John Parsons.
John Parsons was buried there after passing away on October 19, 1935 aged 53.
A gardener by trade, he was bedridden for the last five years of his life due to asthma and died from heart failure.
His devoted wife Eliza nursed him until his death, and she was buried next to him three years later in 1938, when she passed away aged 59 following a battle with stomach cancer.
John was 23 when he married Eliza, a shepherd’s daughter and laundry maid, at St Margaret’s Church in Angmering on February 6, 1904 and had two children.
Their grand-daughter Valerie Westbrook was born after they died – but her father Cecil spoke highly of them. She said: “He loved them so much. He could see how hard it was for them to manage and he used to be sad when he talked about his father, because of the fact he was bedridden – to see someone like that is heartbreaking.
“They worked unceasingly for others as well as keeping their heads above water.”
Valerie, who is a committee member in Sue’s group, praised her work: “What she is doing is fantastic. These people lived their lives doing the best they could for their community, and they deserve respect.”
If you are a relative and want to get in touch, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01903 282 377.
List of names:
The following names, provided by Rustington Past and Present, are taken from the parish records of persons who were recorded as having been interred in the Worthing Road burial ground:-
Emma Blunden, 79, buried January 1, 1926; Charles Henry Crockford, 82, buried on February 18, 1926; Jane James, 88, buried on June 28, 1926; Thomas Blunden, 83, buried on August 11, 1926; Ann Mitchell, 81, buried on February 10, 1927; Fred Weller, 69, buried on April 4, 1927; Walter Robinson Hamblen, 69, buried on April 25, 1927; Anne Elizabeth Buddley, 26, buried on December 7, 1927; Bessie Maude Gast, 34, buried on December 15, 1927; Marjorie Larke, 29, buried on December 21, 1927; Elizabeth Burgess, 86, buried on July 5, 1928; Caroline Weller, 71, buried on September 27, 1928; Albert Edmund Lowe, 74, buried on December 15, 1928; George Grainger, 91, buried on April 19, 1929; William Denyer, 65, buried on January 18, 1930; Frederick McBlain, 65, buried on February 20, 1930; Felix Rapley, 77, buried on March 22, 1930; Michael George Ayling, 17 months, buried on June 10, 1930; Arthur Edgar Chesterman, 55, buried on December 10, 1930; Helen Mary Warlow, 69, buried on December 22, 1931; Frederick Finch, 79, buried on May 10, 1932; Betty Marjorie Short, two months, buried on August 2, 1932; Mary Ann Luxford, 72, buried on December 9, 1932; Maud Beatrice James, 54, buried on March 17, 1934; Gwendoline Margaret Lane, two weeks, buried on May 29, 1934; Elizabeth Anna Evans, 68, buried on November 2, 1934; Godfrey George Lane, 11 months, buried on May 4, 1935; Henry William James Brown, 48, buried on September 28, 1935; John Parsons, 53, buried on October 23, 1935; Eva Matilda Harries, 37, buried on December 3, 1935; Victor Stanley Lane, 15 months, buried on February 8, 1937; Elsie Kate Brewer, 48, buried on December 23, 1937; Eliza Ellen Parsons, 59, buried on May 2, 1938; David Robert Tourle, nine years, buried on August 4, 1939;
Ann Mary Williams, 15 hours, buried on November 20, 1939;
Leslie Ernest Clark, 28, due to war operations, killed by a bomb on July 10, 1940, buried by order of the clerk of Worthing Rural District Council on July 13, 1940;
Percy George Luxford, 59, buried on August 30, 1944 and Agnes Beatrice Tigwell, 60, buried on December 7, 1948.