Article by: Richard Handscombe - First Published:
The memorial was erected in what is now known as St George's Fields, in 1892
Now a Grade II listed, it stands just inside the gates of the old Leeds General Cemetery*, opened in 1835.
The piece is a square stepped granite plinth topped by an obelisk, with limestone carved reliefs showing a 19th century horse-drawn fire engine and equipment.
The obelisk is topped by a carved fireman's helmet. Those commemorated are: James Potter Schofield, 1892, RW Horney 1896, Joseph Ellis 1897, Herbert Storey 1909, Patrick Dunleavy 1922, Isaac Percival 1924, and Alfred Edward Waterhouse 1930.
*In 1833, the Leeds General Cemetery Company established a private cemetery in St George's Fields, just across Clarendon Road opposite Woodhouse Moor.
The Parish Church cemetery was full and insanitary, and was experiencing the attention of bodysnatchers, so the "Leeds elite" bought £25 shares in the new company to purchase the land and rename it the Leeds General Cemetery, which opened it's "doors" in 1835. After 1970, most of the gravestones were removed for the University of Leeds to create a quiet, green space, where students often relax in the sun, just a couple of feet above more than 93,000 corpses.
Interestingly, one of the existing gravestones is that of Pablo Fanque (1786 -1871), who was immortalized in the song "Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite", from their album "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"
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