The History Books

The two books, ‘The Lye & Wollescote Cemetery and Chapels’(published in 2010) and ‘The Lost Twenty Nine’(published in 2014), make fascinating reading. Please help the work of the Trust by encouraging family and friends to purchase these books. Sale proceeds are used to support the Trust's project to establish a secure future for the Lye and Wollescote Cemetery Chapels building.

The Lye & Wollescote Cemetery and Chapels: A Victorian Cemetery and its Notable Burial

Picture of the Front Cover

"The Lye & Wollescote Cemetery and Chapels: A Victorian Cemetery and its Notable Burials" has been 20 years in the making, through two generations of researchers and published now by the West Midlands Historic Buildings Trust with financial assistance from the Awards for All scheme of the National Lottery; West Midlands Historic Buildings Trust members Jean Weston and Marlene Price are the authors.

The book covers the historical development of the Victorian cemetery and architectural significance of the chapels building at Lye and Wollescote Cemetery, historical events associated with the Lye and Wollescote Cemetery and Chapels, then features the social history behind some of the headstone inscriptions found in the cemetery.

The Lost Twenty Nine, Soldiers of the Great War

Picture of the Front Cover of the Lost Twenty Nine

The Lost Twenty Nine by Jean Weston and Marlene Price remembers the soldiers of the Great Ware buried and commemorated in the Lye and Wollescote Cemetery.

The book tells the moving stories of twenty nine men who lost their lives in the great war including:

  • a family's search for a lieutenant missing on the Somme,
  • a Shropshire Grenadier Guardsman commemorated in the Cemetery,
  • the hero Private who volunteered when ammunition was low - and
  • the tragic death of a young VAD nurse caring for the wounded in a local military hospital.

With detailed research and evocative imagery the book recounts vividly the impact of a devastating war which began a century ago and is remembered poignantly today.

Authors of the Lost Twenty Nine Jean Weston and Marlene Price with Architect Adrian Matthias

Official Launch

The book was launched at Christ Church, Lye on 20th September. This special event was opened by the Chairman of WMHBT, Mr Robert Tolley Dipl Arch RIBA AABC, who welcomed guest speakers Lieutenant Colonel Keith Jeavons and David Owen OBE and the book's authors Jean Weston and Marlene Price (shown in the photo with Architect Adrian Matthias.)

Read the full press release...

The books are part of the package of activities associated with conserving the Chapels.

Jean and Marlene continue to work tirelessly to promote the book including:

  • They met a photographer from the Stourbridge News on 10th October at the cemetery. See the article.
  • Following an article in the Uttoxeter Advertiser of the 17th October 2014, referring to the VAD Nurse from the town who died at Stourbridge Military Hospital who is featured in the WW1 Centenary book, Marlene and Jean visited W.H. Smith at Uttoxeter on the 23rd to deliver a supply of books. They were featured in the Advertiser's supplement Post and Times, which appeared on Friday 26th October.
  • They were invited to attend the Dudley Council for Voluntary Service Awards Event on 16th October when their work was mentioned. They were able to take a display and distribute fliers about the book.
  • They been invited to an Open Night on 30th October at Barnett Hill Nurseries to display and sell the books.
  • They will be exhibiting and selling books at the Dudley Archives & Local History Service on 8th November.
  • They will be displaying and selling books at WW1 Event at BMSGH Stourbridge on 18th November.

Enquire about purchasing the books by email

See list of book stockists

History in the Headstones

Occasional guided tours are organised by the Friends of Lye & Wollescote Cemetery.

As well as featuring some old favourites such as the Hardwicke family memorial, the unusual gravestone of Mercy Taylor and the Haywood family’s ‘Titanic’ connection, the route of the walking tour places some of the people buried in the cemetery alongside historical events.

Learn why the advent of the motor car is linked with a Lye doctor, and did the Suffragette movement start in Lye? There are also interesting local connections with the First and Second World Wars and the extraordinary life of a centenarian which covered most of the 19th century including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – Queen Victoria that is!

For details of forthcoming guided tours and other events visit our Get Involved page.

More Stories from the Cemetery

Since the publication of these books and, as a result of ongoing research by authors and local historians, Jean Weston and Marlene Price, other stories with a connection to the cemetery have emerged. Read these stories by selecting the 'Download' links below:

Guardsman William Peate
An extended version of the story of Guardsman William Peate (included in ‘The Lost Twenty Nine’ ) who was killed on the Somme in 1916, and now tells of the subsequent discovery and identification of his body. Download

Privates Frank Bristow and Samuel Wassell
An account of Two Lye lads who were both killed in the last year of the conflict. Unfortunately they were omitted from the WW1 commemoration book. Download

Flying Officer Stringer
This tells of the discovery of a hidden headstone in the cemetery bearing the name of Flying Officer Stringer, and the dramatic events that led to his death in WW2. Download

Frank Haywood
This story concerns the tragic death of 16-year old Frank Haywood and reveals an intriguing link to the ‘Titanic’ disaster. Download

Mary Herrin
Mary Herrin, who died in 1917 at the age of 100, lived through a century of evolution, invention and progress. Her obituary stated, ‘she had retained her vigour and mental faculties to an extraordinary degree’. Download

The Hardwicke Family
The Hardwicke's origins and family history were described in the first book. Subsequently, after meeting Sir Cedric Hardwicke’s son, the authors uncovered this intriguing story which includes how the Hardwicke name came to be changed on more than one occasion. Download

Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund

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