08 November 2012

Bolton's Tonge Cemetery and the Lion Tamer

In the next few weeks Deceased Online is adding the burial records for the seven cemeteries and a crematorium managed by Bolton Council, Lancashire, to their collection. Available as of noon, November 8, is Tonge Cemetery which was the first municipal cemetery in Bolton when it opened on New Years Eve 1856 and was known simply as Bolton cemetery.

Tonge Cemetery has many impressive old memorials featuring prominent industrialists and other citizens from the area. It is also the last resting place of 94 war casualties in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database.

Deceased Online highlights an unusual and tragic case of Thomas McCarte (aka MacCarte) buried there who died in 1872.  Mr McCarte was a lion tamer with the visiting ‘Manders Menagerie’ and he had already lost an arm working in his chosen profession with Bell and Myers’ Circus at Liverpool.  On January 3rd, 1872, Mr McCarte, billed as ‘Massarti the Lion Tamer’, commenced what was to be his final performance in Bolton. A gruesome newspaper report is at http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F40617FC3C5D1A7493C2AB178AD85F468784F9

A. S. Wright is listed in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database as buried at Tonge cemetery with the additional information he was a serjeant; Service No:45395; Date of Death: 29/04/1919; Regiment/Service:Royal Army Medical Corps; Grave Reference II. PI. CE. 82.
A Deceased Online search allows us to give him a name, Alfred Stanley Wright. The burial was on the 5th of May 1919. That much is free. If you pay to view the burial register it's confirmed that he was a soldier and that he died at the military hospital at Fordsham, his age was 27 years, with the grave reference the same as above. He is found in the 1911 census, age 19, working as a machine maker's clerk, living with his parents John Thomas Wright and Hannah Stanley Wright, and brother John Charles Wright in a four room house at 59 Longworth Street, Tonge, Bolton.

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