Policemen & Firemen

Sergeant Charles Brett (ca1816-1867)

Probably one of the most well known burials within Manchester General Cemetery is that of Sergeant Charles Brett, the First Manchester Police Officer to be Killed on Duty. A Husband, Son, Father and Brother it was with the Family's consent that the funeral be a Public One. Thousands of spectators lined the streets as the impressive funeral procession passed, it took an hour for the procession to arrive at the Cemetery. The Police Band headed a large body of Police Officers who lined the footpath to the Chapel. The Service was conducted by Rev. S Harris. The cortege then proceeded to the grave and the service concluded Sgt Brett being laid to rest. The Police Band assembled round the grave and played Luther's Hymn.

The inscription on the gravestone reads:-
"In Affectionate Remembrance of Sergeant Charles Brett of the Manchester

Police Force who died in the discharge of his duty at Hyde Road on September 18th 1867

in the 52nd year of his age. 
                                           "Dare not I must do my duty."

Sergeant Charles Brett was shot as supporters of the Fenian movement attempted to rescue their leaders who were imprisoned in a van which Sergeant Brett was escorting.  Three men were tried and publically hanged at New Bailey Prison on 23 November 1867 and the men became known as the Manchester Martyrs.

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©Manchester Libraries

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Sgt Brett's Funeral  at Manchester Gener


Sgt Charles Brett Gravestone


The Funeral of Sgt Charles Brett


Sgt Brett's Memorial

St Anne's Church


(with kind permission of

J. Carmont)


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Detective Sergeant Charles James Bloomfield  (1864-1906)

The inscription on the gravestone reads:-

“In loving memory of Charles James Bloomfield, Detective Sergeant, Manchester Police Force, who died April 29th 1906, aged 42 years”

Detective Sergeant Charles James Bloomfield was a well known officer in the Manchester Police Force.  Initially he joined the Manchester Regiment where he rose to the rank of Colour Sergeant.  Afterwards he joined the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Police and on December 26th 1890 joined the Manchester City Police as a Constable.  He died on April 29th 1906 and was interred at Manchester General Cemetery on May 4th 1906 (Consecrated 368).

On May 24th 1892 PC Bloomfield was involved in the arrest of Tommy Callaghan, a youth known as the “King of the Scuttlers”.  There was fight between two rival scuttling gangs: the Bungall Boys and the Mount Street scuttlers.  When PC Bloomfield approached, the cry was raised, “Let’s dose the copper.”  Undeterred Bloomfield drew his staff and scattered the crowd.  Tommy Callaghan appeared before the magistrates on 23rd Jun 1892 and was fined 40 shillings plus costs (approximately two week’s wages) or a month’s imprisonment in Strangeways in default of payment.

PC Andrew Ferguson (1842-1871)

The inscription on the gravestone reads:-

“.... also Andrew Ferguson, Police Constable, who departed this life Jun 9th 1871, aged 29 years.”

Police Constable Andrew Ferguson was born in Manchester and joined the Police Force on February 4th 1869, at the age of 27.   He was interred at Manchester General Cemetery on June 12th 1871

(Non Conformist 4087)

Sergeant William Gribbin (1848-1891)

The inscription on the gravestone reads:-

“In loving memory of William, the beloved husband of Margaret Gribbin, late Police Sergeant of “E” Division, who died 18th June 1891, aged 43 years.  He is not dead but asleep.”

Sergeant Gribbin was born in Carrickfergus, Antrim, Ireland and joined the Police Force on October 27th 1876.  He was interred at Manchester General Cemetery on 23rd June 1891

(Non Conformist 4648)

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PC William Hunter (1856-1890)

The inscription on the gravestone reads:-

“...... also William Hunter who died February 20th, 1890, aged 34 years.  Eternally in the heavens.”

Born at Larne, Antrim, Ireland, William Hunter had only been in the police force, for three years before he died of consumption, having joined on December 2nd 1886.  He was a Constable in “C” Division

He was buried on February 24th 1890 (Consecrated 704).  His funeral was attended by the Police Band and a large number of his colleagues, by whom, it was reported, he was much respected.

Sub-Inspector John Jennings (ca1802-1848)

Born circa 1802 in Hinckley, Leicestershire, Sub-Inspector John Jennings joined the Grenadier Guards, with whom he served for 24 years, in 1819 as a Private and was promoted to Corporal in 1834.

He joined the Manchester Police Force in 1843 and was attached to “B” Division.  He was described as an old soldier who acted as Drill Instructor to the Division.

He was buried on February 15th 1848 (Unknown 15, a Non Conformist common or public grave) and his funeral procession comprised of 54 constables walking two abreast, followed by the hearse, next came three mourning coaches carrying relatives of the deceased and 16 inspectors and sub-inspectors brought up the rear.

Jabez Sykes (1821-1896)

The inscription on the gravestone reads:-
“Also Jabez Sykes who departed this life Nov 29th 1896, aged 75 years”

Jabez Sykes was born in 1821 in Almondbury, near Huddersfield, Yorkshire.  He was the son of James Sykes, a clothier.  Jabez Sykes was already a widower when he moved to Manchester during the 1840’s and he joined the Manchester Police Force in 1849 at the rank of constable.  He re-married to Sarah Sykes on 27th October 1857 at St John’s Church, Manchester.  Sarah was also widowed and was the daughter of John Nichols, a weaver by trade.  Jabez was buried in grave Consecrated 4869 along with his father who died in 1856 and his wife, Sarah, who died in 1886.

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Detective Sergeant John Torr ( 1828-1882)

The inscription on the gravestone reads:-

“In memory of Detective Sergeant John Torr, who died January 15th 1882, aged 54 years.  Praise on tombs are vainly spent, a man’s good name is his best monument.”

Born in Leek, Staffordshire, Detective Sergeant John Torr, joined the Police Force in 1849.  On the 1881 Census he is recorded as living at 5 Gibson Street, Harpurhey.

DS John Torr retired in April 1881 on a pension but later that year was “attacked by throat disease”.  He died in Manchester Royal Infirmary in January 1882 where he had been admitted for an operation which could not be carried out because he was too weak.   He left a widow, Elizabeth.


Superintendent James Wood (1868-1914)

A well known Manchester Police Officer who died on May 28th 1914, at the age of 46 years, after a long illness.  He had been on sick leave for a number of months prior to his death, the cause of which as aortic aneurysm and heart failure.  He left a widow, Letitia, and a daughter, aged 21 years. 

Superintendent Wood joined Manchester City Police on  October 30th 1890 and his length of service was 23 years and 7 months.  He was a trusted and well respected officer.  After joining the force in 1890 he served in the uniform, clerical and detective branches attaining the rank of Inspector before taking responsibility for “B” Division in 1911.

His funeral, held on the afternoon of June 2nd 1914 at Manchester General Cemetery was well attended.  This was the first instance in the history of the Manchester Police Form that a Superintendent had died on active service.  The procession left his home in Newton heath headed by the Police Band playing the “Dead March” and Chopin’s “Funeral March” accompanied by 50 members of the Force.  A large crowd gathered at the grave side to watch his coffin lowered.

Sergeant Ephraim Brears (1825-1883)

Sergeant Ephraim Brears was a late member of Manchester Police for 34 years and served in A Division. He died 23 April 1883, Aged 54 years.  His funeral and internment was held on Tuesday 1 May 1883 at 4pm at Manchester General Cemetery.

Sub-Inspector Benjamin Pollitt (1798-1864)

Sub-Inspector Benjamin Pollitt was for 20yrs a member of the 1st Dragoon Guards. he served for 20yrs as a Sub-Inspector in the Manchester Police Force. Having been discharged for a few years from the Force with a pension.
He died 17 Apr 1864,  aged 66 yrs his remains were accompanied to the Cemetery and headed by Inspector Nolan of B Division, 100 Inspectors and Officers and the Police Band which played the 'Dead March' to his grave 20th April 1864.



Constable William Fauguel  (1871-1945) 

Constable William Fauguel died 22 January 1945, aged 74 years

 of 8 Towton St, Harpurhey.  Late Constable of the Manchester City                                                                                Police born in London he joined the Police 20th Nov 1897,  husband of                                                                              Constance. The funeral took place at Manchester General Cemetery                                                                                on Thursday 25th January 1945 and was interred in the Family                                                                                        Grave C795.



Edward John Cole (1859-1904)

Edward John Cole, late of Manchester Police force and the City Art Gallery died 10 Jan 1904, aged 45. The Funeral Service was held Wed 13 Jan 1904 at Rusholme Road Congregational Chapel 2pm followed by his internment at Manchester General Cemetery at 3.30pm. 

Sergeant Joseph Heaton (1835-1890)

Sergeant Joseph Heaton, late of Manchester Police Force died 16th February 1890  aged 55 years. Having joined the force aged 18 in 15th May 1854 as a constable he rose to the rank of Sergeant in March 1867.  For the past 25 years he was connected with E division as a court officer. In 1867 he took charge of the prison van between gaol and court, taking the position after the murder of Sgt Brett by the Fenians and continued this up to his last illness. He died at home on Hannah Street, off Rochdale Road.  His internment took place 18th May in the afternoon, his coffin was carried by Sergeants Bedford, Mason, Holland and Thompson. It was preceded by the Police Band and a large contingent of the city Police Force. 

                                                           Inspector Thomas Wilson  (1826-1886)

                                                             Thomas Wilson was born in Buglawton, Cheshire, the illegitimate son of Ann                                                                     Wilson.  He joined Manchester Police Force in 1848 at the age of 22 years as a                                                               police constable.  By 1871 he had attained the rank of Police Inspector. He                                                                       married twice: to Hannah Simpson, the daughter of Moses Simpson, in 1853 at                                                                 Eccles St Mary and then to Eliza Simpson, also the daughter of Moses Simpson,                                                               in 1871 at Manchester Cathedral.  His first wife, Hannah, died in the early                                                                       months of 1871.  So he married his dead wife’s sister which was forbidden                                                                       prior to the Deceased Wife’s Sister’s Marriage Act in 1907.  There was no                                                                       criminal penalty but probably his second marriage was invalid and subsequent                                                                   children would be considered illegitimate. He had one child, a daughter, with his                                                               first wife and three children with his second.  Thomas Wilson died on 22nd                                                                     November 1886, aged 60 years at 4 Nottingham Terrace, Hall Street, Moston                                                                 and was buried in Manchester General Cemetery in grave Consecrated 3507.                                                                   His son, Thomas Wilson (1874-1875) is buried in the same grave as is his                                                                         second wife, Eliza, who died in Bury in 1917.



Constable Edward Kennedy (1847-1891)

Constable Edward Kennedy's funeral took place Saturday 10th January in the afternoon, accompanied by the Police band and a body of Police. He was 44 years old. It was mentioned in the Newspaper that Constable Kennedy's death was another to a long list of deaths among the City's Police Force that had taken place in the last month. It is believed that the severe weather experienced had caused bronchitis and lung diseases that had been the main cause of the heavy mortality rate. 

Constable Charles William Culf (1872-1920)

Constable Charles William Culf died 1st May 1920, aged 48 years,

husband to Mary of 7 Russell Road, Blackley. 

Late Constable with the Manchester City Police, A Division.

The  funeral took place at Manchester General Cemetery on

Wednesday 5th May at 4pm and was interred in the Family Grave.


Constable Thomas Frederick Roberts (1864-1920) 

Constable Thomas Frederick Roberts died 10 May 1920, aged 55 years, of 280 Moston Lane, Moston. Late Constable with the Manchester City Police. The funeral took place at Manchester General Cemetery on Saturday 15th May at 3pm.





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©Manchester Libraries

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Henry Mellor (1836-1877)

Henry Mellor had been a highly respected member of Pollard Street Fire Brigade for eleven years when he died of consumption at the age of 41 years.  His funeral procession to Manchester General Cemetery was led by the City Police Band and his coffin which was transported on an engine was draped with a Union Jack because he had served in the Royal Navy.  Following the coffin were the mourning coaches and finally a parade of police and firemen with a steam fire engine and tender.

John Holmes (1816-1861)

Fireman, John Holmes, died 14th June 1861 whilst on duty in Ancoats.  He was aged 45 years and lived at 19 Back Lloyd Street.  An inquest into his death heard that he was in attendance at a fire at the premises of Mr Hamer, an India rubber manufacturer, on Palmerston Street and whilst he was directing the hose a pile of bricks fell on him, killing him instantly.  The inquest returned a verdict of accidental death.

The funeral procession comprised of members of the Salford, Manchester and Stockport fire brigades.  A service was held the day after the funeral, attended by members of the fire brigade, was held at St Ann’s Church, Manchester officiated by the Reverend J Bardsley

Thomas Humphries (? – 1859)
Fireman Thomas Humphries was interred on Sunday, 27th November 1859.  He died after 25 years service in the Manchester Fire Brigade.  His coffin was transported to Manchester General Cemetery on a fire engine.


Henry Clark (1844-1866)

Fireman Henry Clark, aged 22yrs, died 12th June 1866

after succumbing to fatal injuries sustained from a fire at

the London & North Western Railway Co., goods station

on the 23rd May.  His funeral took place

Friday 15th June 1866. At 1.45pm the procession left

the Central Fire Station at Jackson's Row. The cortege

was lead by a fire engine draped in black, with plumes,

and various accessories, followed by the Brigade,

this was followed by Broughton Volunteer Brigade,

Salford Brigade, Pendleton Brigade, Ashton Brigade

and the Chief Constable of the Borough,

Superintendents Tozer & Gee of the A Division

and friends of the deceased. The cortege arrived at Richardson Street, where the Coffin containing Henry had been at his Friends residence. The coffin was placed on the fire engine with Henry's helmet, hat and coat. The procession proceeded slowly to the Manchester General Cemetery where the service was read by the Chaplain and an impressive discourse delivered to the surrounding firemen.

Henry Clark is buried in a Church Plot, as he died in 1866 he does not appear in the burial registers as there are no surviving registers for Church burials prior to March 1886.