SMIG

Presentation of Inscriptions

Sources

 
Visitors seeking complete records of Seaford burials at St Leonard's or St Peter's churchyards here will be disappointed. Parish Records remain the best sources of information, and are usually to be found with individual Parish Offices and/or the East Sussex Records Office. They were, however, only as accurate as the person who wrote them, while stonemasons were equally only as accurate as the relative who commissioned their inscriptions.

Regarding interments in Seaford Cemetery, Lewes District Council's records (the greater part inherited from Seaford Urban District Council) are incomplete and lack accuracy in respect of older burials in Sections A to G (the Main Area, dating from 1898 to around 1974). We have in those records the names of many whose memorial inscriptions are not included here. This is due to the absence of gravestones or other markers - amounting to over 60% in some Blocks - or to changes made by relatives on the occasion of subsequent burials in the same plots. Although we have used the SUDC/LDC records and plot maps as guides, we have only recorded here what could be seen at the time, adding footnotes where appropriate.

Sources, Footnotes and Previous Monumental Inscription Recordings
HS: Henry Simmons. The memorials at St Leonard's were first recorded by noted Seaford resident Henry Simmons. They were published by the Sussex Archeological Society in Vol XII of "Sussex Archeological Collections" (1860). At that time there were many fewer stone headstones and tombs in the churchyard, but they were legible, and Simmons' work helped greatly where inscriptions have since weathered to near-illegibility.

PR: Parish Records. In the cases of St Leonard's and St Peter's we have attempted to compare and reconcile our findings on the ground with what appears in their Parish Registers. The footnotes indicate where we have found additional details which may be helpful, occasional conflicts, and sometimes clues to explain unclear memorials.

OS: Other Source. Either a source specified in a note or a comment intended to clarify.

Press: Occasional supplementary notes from press reports in Seaford Museum.
WL: Wood/Landrock. The St Leonard's monuments were not recorded again for well over a century, during which time many suffered at the hands of time and the local climate. Patricia & Michael Wood and Betty & Cyril Landrock next undertook the task, and their 1999 collection of inscriptions and notes also proved helpful in checking that we were on the right track.

SUDC: Seaford Urban District Council. SUDC managed the Cemetery until it was scrapped and its responsibilities taken over by Lewes District Council in 1974 (see below).

LDC: Lewes District Council. The current authority managing the Cemetery, who inherited the SUDC records and kindly made them available to SeaMIG.

CWGC: Commonwealth War Graves Commission. (See note on its role). The Commission website has also furnished details not listed on town war memorials.

Additional Information
Suggested sources for more on the history and administration of memorials and sites
Seaford History & ArchivesSeaford Museum & Heritage Society at the Martello Tower
Seaford CemeteryLewes District Council - Parks & Cemeteries Department (see below).
Seaford Town CouncilSeaford Town Council manages Memorial Benches, except in the Cemetery.
Commonwealth War GravesThe Commonwealth War Graves Commission or its Seaford page.
Registration of Births, Deaths & MarriagesLewes Registry Office (East Sussex County Council)
East Sussex RecordsThe Keep (East Sussex Records Office)
St Leonard's ChurchSt Leonard's & St Luke's Parish.
St Peter's ChurchSt Peter's & St Andrew's Parish
St Thomas More RC ChurchSt Thomas More Roman Catholic Church
Seaford Women's InstituteSeaford WI.
The Ancient Order of ForestersNow the Foresters Friendly Society
King's Mead SchoolKing's Mead School.
St Peter's SchoolSt Peter's Old Boys Association.
Bowden House SchoolBowden House School.
Seaford Roll of HonourSeaford Roll of Honour, a site listing those who died in the wars and providing information about them.
Seaford TimesSeaford Times, a site with information about former Seafordians.

Lewes District Council
LDC's Parks and Cemeteries Department runs Seaford Cemetery. All questions regarding new interments, including ashes and ashes scattering, memorial trees and benches, use of the Chapel and the maintenance of the cemetery should be directed to them. So should queries about having older gravestones replaced, and pre-purchasing or reserving a plot. Responsibility for maintaining individual plots and memorials (including their stability and safety) is however that of the grave owner.
The Council has records of both who paid for a burial and who purchased a grave – usually, but not necessarily, a family member. If LDC need to make repairs to a grave or a memorial is in need of attention (usually on health and safety grounds), then they will endeavour to contact the registered grave owner. Regardless of any relationship with the deceased, the grave owner is responsible for the grave. The Council cannot disclose information about these people to a third party. In exceptional cases they can make contact with a grave owner on an enquirer's behalf, but any extensive "searches" would incur a charge. Where the original grave owner cannot be contacted (because he or she has changed address or is perhaps deceased), then a family member should contact LDC directly - evidence of relationship would be required to comply with privacy legislation.
SeaMIG does not hold any details of grave owners or of who paid for any burial. We are unable to make enquiries with the Council or any known relatives of a deceased person on someone else's behalf.

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