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Second World War Graves, Overleigh Cemetery, Chester

I have posted several times previously about Overleigh Cemetery Chester. I photographed several World War 2 graves there.

Warrant Officer K Buckingham, Pilot, RAF, 7/9/1944, aged 23:-

Chester, Overleigh Cemetery, War Grave

Aircraftman 2nd Class W Ledsham, RAF, 23/2/1940:-

Second World War Grave, Overleigh Cemetery, Chester

Corporal A Henshall, Royal Engineers, 5/12/1944, aged 28:-

Second World War Grave, Overleigh Cemetery, Chester,

Leading Seaman J D H Gibson, Royal Navy, 25/5/1945, aged 30:-

World War 2 Grave, Overleign Cemetery, Chester

Guardsman T E Mallard, Grenadier Guards, 9/7/1944:-

Overleigh Cemetery, Chester, Second World War Grave

Aircraftman W J Wilding, RAF, 14/2/1942:-

Second World War Grave, Chester, Overleigh Cemetery

Paired War Graves, Overleigh Cemetery, Chester

For more general views of Overleigh Cemetery, see here.

It’s unusual in the UK for two soldiers to be commemorated on the one headstone. (It is much more common in the battlefield War Cemeteries in Belgium and France.)

There were two such paired burials in Overleigh though.

Gunner W Jones, Royal Garrison Artillery, 5/11/1918, aged 35 and Driver A Wildman, Royal Field Artillery, 6/11/1918:-

War Graves, Overleigh Cemetery, Chester

Private R Jones, Cheshire Regiment, 19/10/1915, aged 21, and Private C H McLaren, Cheshire Regiment, 12/10/1915, aged 43:-

War Graves, Overleigh Cemetery, Chester

Private A Waterfall, West Yorkshire Regiment, 26/7/1916, and Private E T Morris, Cheshire Regiment, 22/5/1916:-

Overleigh Cemetery, Chester, War Graves

Private J Williams, Royal Welch Fusiliers, 15/6/1921, aged 29, and Private F Dale, Manchester Regiment, 16/1/1921.

Chester, Overleigh Cemetery, War Graves

Bombardier C Pearce, Royal Field Artillery, 13/7/1920, aged 32, and, in background, F Williams, The King’s Liverpool Regiment, 2/6/1920, aged 20:-

War Graves, Overleigh Cemetery, Chester

St Barbara’s, a Greek Orthodox Church in Chester

Another striking sight in Overleigh Cemetery, Chester was the presence of a Bulgarian Flag on a church within the grounds.

This turned out to be St Barbara’s, a Greek Orthodox Church, and the building is the former cemetery chapel.

St Barbara's exterior, Chester, orthodox church

St Barbara's exterior

The inside is sumptuous and full of iconography:-

St Barbara interior, Chester

St Barbara interior, Chester, orthodox church

St Barbara interior, Chester, orthodox church

St Barbara interior altar, Chester, orthodox church

The vaulted roof is a bit less ornate though:-

St Barbara's, Greek Orthodox Church, Chester

War Graves, Overleigh Cemetery, Chester

The main (more modern) Overleigh Cemetery in Chester, though its Wiki page says it’s on Grosvenor Road, lies just across Overleigh Road from Overleigh ‘Old’ Cemetery.

Overleigh Cemetery (without the ‘Old’) contains 197 Commonwealth War Graves. The most striking feature (in a War Memorial sense) is the Cross of Sacrifice. It is inscribed, “This Cross Of Sacrifice is one in design and intention with those which have been set up in France and Belgium and other places throughout the world where our dead of the Great War are laid to rest: their name liveth for evermore.”

It is unusual for any municipal cemetery in the United Kingdom to have a Cross of Sacrifice. Most, of course, have fewer than the minimum number of graves (30) to qualify for one. In this regard Overleigh’s 197 must surely be an outlier.

Cross of Sacrifice, Overleigh Cemetery, Chester

There are many indivdual war graves in Overleigh but the photographs below are of clusters or scatterings of graves:-

War Graves, Overleigh Cemetery, Chester

Overleigh Cemetery, Chester, War Graves

Scattered War Graves, Overleigh Cemetery, Chester

Chester, War Graves, Overleigh Cemetery

Chester, Overleigh Cemetery, War Graves

War Graves, Overleigh ‘Old’ Cemetery, Chester

On our way out of Chester back to Gladstone’s Library at Hawarden we passed a cemetery and spotted the Commonwealth War Graves sign. On turning down the street (Overleigh Road) looking for somewhere to park we discovered there are two cemeteries, one either side of the road. Overleigh ‘Old’ Cemetery was the first we entered. I found 11 war graves there. Someone had placed knitted “poppy” wreaths on the graves.

Private J McElmeel, Royal Liverpool Regiment, 24/2/1919, aged 19:-

War Grave, Overleigh 'Old' Cemetery, Chester

Private J Garvey, Cheshire Regiment, 2/7/1917:-

Chester War Grave, Overleigh 'Old' Cemetery

Private J Butler, Labour Corps, 20/3/19??:-

Overleigh 'Old' Cemetery, Chester, War Grave

Private R Lord, Cheshire Regiment, 12/5/1915:-

Overleigh 'Old' Cemetery, Chester, War Grave 4

Private J Kirby, Royal Welch Fusiliers, 26/9/1916, aged 23:-

Chester, War Grave 5, Overleigh 'Old' Cemetery

Lance Corporal J Donnelly, Military Police Corps, 27/3/1917:-

Overleigh 'Old' Cemetery, Chester War Grave 6

Private M Leak, Cheshire Regiment, 4/6/1920, aged 38:-

Chester, Overleigh 'Old' Cemetery, War Grave 7

Private J H Baker, Royal Army Service Corps, 9/9/1915, age 29:-

Chester, War Grave 8, Overleigh 'Old' Cemetery

Private J H Roach, Machine Gun Corps, (Infantry,) 20/1/1919, aged 29:-

Overleigh 'Old' Cemetery, Chester, War Grave 9

Serjeant J Stretch, Machine Gun Corps, (Infantry,) 16/5/1918, aged 38:-

Chester, Overleigh 'Old' Cemetery, War Grave 10

Staff Serjeant Major W Steele, Army Pay Corps, 20/7/1918:-

Overleigh 'Old' Cemetery, Chester, War Grave 11

WW2 Memorials, Chester Cathedral

Cheshire Yeomanry Memorial. “In proud memory of the officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the Cheshire (Earl of Chester’s) Yeomanry who gave their lives for their country in the Great War 1939 – 1945.”:-

Second World War Memorial, Chester Cathedral

Czechoslovak Memorial, “To the memory of Czechoslovak soldiers and airmen who fought with the Allies and sacrificed their lives during the 1939- 1945 war.”:-

Czech Memorial, Chester Cathedral,

Czechoslovak Memorial Information:-

Chester Cathedral, Czech Memorial Information Board

Boer War Memorial, Chester Cathedral

There are several memorials to past conflicts inside Chester Cathedral.

The most ornate is the one for the South African War of 1899-1902, known as the Boer War, though it was the second such.

Boer War Memorial, Chester Cathedral

War Memorial, Chester

The Memorial is in red sandstone to match the Cathedral behind. It has a hexagonal base of four steps supporting a plinth bearing a cross.

It is inscribed, “Erected by a grateful city in honour of her sons who gave their lives for their country in the Great War 1914–1918. Their names are engraved on tablets of bronze in the Town Hall and their imperishable memory in the hearts of their fellow citizens.”

War Memorial, Chester

Inscribed on third tier here, “1939-1945”:-

War Memorial, Chester

Third view:-

War Memorial by Chester Cathedral

Chester Cathedral Exterior

The cathedral is up a side road and fairly hemmed in so not easy to photograph.

Chester Cathedral

Side door, not used as an entrance when we were there:-

Chester Cathedral Door

Detail, side door:-

Detail Chester Cathedral Door

More of Traditional Chester

From where we parked it was a short walk into the city centre over the canal with a Roman wall high above it:-

Roman Wall, Chester

A street in Chester, showing typical timber-framed Tudor style buildings:-

Chester Rows

Another street. Contains a shop called Rigby. Note clock (a Deco touch?):-

Another Chester Street

The impressive Town Hall building dates from 1869:-

Chester Town Hall (maybe)

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