Wednesday, September 21, 2016

In loving memory of George Boucher

Our next guided walk at Radnor Street Cemetery takes place on Sunday, October 9 and will be the last of the season. During the 2016 season more than 100 people have joined us on our monthly walks around the cemetery, contributing to our ever increasing knowledge of those buried there. 

We are already planning ahead for the 2017 season with another Swindon Heritage History Day plus burial register look up days and a big Art event as well. Keep in touch by visiting the Radnor Street Cemetery facebook page and the Swindon Heritage website.

The last serious act of vandalism to take place in Radnor Street Cemetery happened across one weekend several years ago.

A break in at the chapel saw windows smashed, including the beautiful rose window above the door. The intruders lit a fire in the sacristy, the small room off the chapel, using a box of documents stored there.

The documents were a 'Form of application for permission to erect or restore a memorial' and included a description with the measurements of that memorial; the inscription; the name and address of the owner of the grave and how much the memorial cost. Invaluable information lost in the fire, but in recent weeks I have glimpsed a rare surviving document.

These are the details of the Boucher family grave. As you can see this document tells us who the stonemason was, the dimensions of the memorial and the inscription.

In loving memory of George Boucher died 8th July 1915 aged 61 years also Mary Boucher died 25th February 1943 aged 88 also Alice and Ethel their beloved daughters.

The owner of the grave was Annie Elizabeth Boucher who lived at 30 Swindon Road. The grave plot is C484 and the memorial cost in total £3 10s.

Alice died in 1897 aged 16. Ethel died in 1956 aged 70.

George and Mary Anne were originally from Herefordshire where they married in 1877.  They both came from farming families and were neighbours living in Cublington.

By 1881 they had moved to Swindon and lived in 19 Thomas Street Rodbourne. George worked as a Machine Man in E & M shop in the works. 

Ten years later and George was now a machine manager in the Iron Works and the couple had 7 children and lived at 54 Linslade Street.

By 1901 the family were living at 111 Linslade Street and the elder children had left home. Emily 22 was working as a parlour maid while Ethel 15 was a machinist in the shirt factory.

At the time of the 1911 census the couple had just two children living at home in Linslade Street. William had followed his father into the works as an engine fitter and Ethel was a machinist at the Cellular Clothing Company.

Henry died on July 8, 1915 and Mary in 1943. Ethel was still living at 111 Linslade Street when she died in 1956, so the family occupied that house for more than 50 years.

A 1917 Trade Directory lists Annie as a shopkeeper at 30 Swindon Road, which was her last home in the 1960s. She died at Cheriton Nursing Home  on 31 December, 1962. She doesn't appear to be buried in Radnor Street Cemetery and she certainly isn't in this grave. She left effects valued at more than £5,000 to be administration of two solicitors. She never married and I'm guessing there were no family members left.

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