Also known as: Halfway Cemetery, Sheerness, Sheerness Cemetery
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Sheppey Cemetery was originally established by the Sheppey General Cemetery Company Limited in 1857. The company was comprised of seven local gentlemen, all residents of Sheerness, who subscribed to an equal share in the company whose registered address was 9 Hope Street, Sheerness.
The land for the cemetery was purchased by the company from Edward Henry Banks of Sheppey Court Estate (who not surprisingly has a massive family tomb there). The land was locally called Four Acres although it was actually estimated for sale at three acres and cost four hundred and fifty pounds.
Acquired from the Cemetery Company by Sheerness Urban District Council in 1944, it has subsequently been passed, as a result of local government reorganization, to Queenborough in Sheppey Borough Council and Swale Borough Council.
As usage of the cemetery has progressed, a number of land purchases have been completed to extend the cemetery.
During the First World War the Central Air Office RNAS and HMS 'Hermes' (HQ Naval Wing) were at Sheerness. The Second World War saw Sheerness one of the ports controlling the initial despatch of volunteer vessels to Dunkirk for the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force in 1940. After Dunkirk, when invasion seemed imminent, the port was one of four bases at which were stationed a striking force to deal with an approaching enemy fleet. There was also a Royal Air Force station at Sheerness. Sheerness (Isle of Sheppey) Cemetery contains 128 scattered First World War graves. Of the 38 Second World War burials, 18, all of them Merchant Seamen, are unidentified.
A Cross of Sacrifice was erected at the centre of the cemetery and this is identical to those seen in British War Cemeteries around the world.
Burials of note include Uwe Johnson, the German writer who lived in Sheerness, Frederick T. Pullen who was arguably the first member of a ground crew to be killed in the history of aviation (1912), and Sergeant Frederick Peake who died, aged 77 in 1906 having survived the Charge of the Light Brigade on 25th October 1854 at the Battle of Balaclava.(text by Geoffrey Gillon)
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