Anfield cemetery victims of the blitz 1941

Anfield cemetery victims of the blitz 1941

Liverpool Daily Post

Wednesday May 14th 1941



The unidentified victims of the sustained enemy raids on Liverpool which went on for several nights were buried at Anfield Cemetery yesterday.

The bodies of those Unknown Warriors in the Battle of Britain were interred in separate coffins in a long brick lined vault each coffin being covered with the Union Jack and relatives and friends placed their last offerings of flowers above them, it was a moving scene, but beneath the mourners resignation at the loss of their loved ones there was an obvious air of determination, an air which the Bishop of Liverpool, Dr A. A. DAVID, assessed in the words;-

“ The enemy may break our bodies but they will never break our spirit.”

There were fewer unidentified victims of the bombings than was first expected. The communal tomb, lined with red brick was left open at various points, so that the coffins could be seen and flowers placed upon them. There were many flowers including a great wreath of carnations and Lily of the valley dedicated :- “With deepest sympathy”, in the name of the Lord Mayor and the citizens of Liverpool. Behind it on a platform stood the Lord Mayor, Alderman Sir Sydney JONES, accompanied by representatives of the forces.


The service which was simple in character and brief was conducted from a dais, representatives were present from the Church of England, the Unitarian Church, the Free Churches and the Roman Catholic Church.

The Bishop of Liverpool led accompanied by the Rev Lawrence REDFERN of Ullet Rd, Unitarian Church who red portions of the 103rd psalm :-

“Like as a father pitieth his children so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.”

The Rev G. H. TAYLOR Superintendent of the Methodist Mission led the prayers.

“This piece of Anfield Cemetery will always be held in honour as a specially sacred piece “ said the Bishop in a short address, “ one day no doubt it will be marked by a monument enshrining the memory of the men, women and children of Liverpool who fell in a fight which for them was not a fight, for they sought not to kill but only to endure. The enemy has broken their bodies and may break ours, but they will never break our spirits. I pray Almighty God may allow our friends here even now to know that we who are left will never cease our warfare until the evil power that began these shameful deeds is destroyed forever.”


The Roman Catholic committal followed, by Dr Downey Archbishop of Liverpool, who was attended by Mgr ADAMSON and other Catholic clergy, spoke of the great ordeal through which Liverpool had passed.

“Liverpool”, he said, “ has been tried by fire, and I think I may say we have not been found wanting. It has been a very great trial and affliction, but I would remind you of those words of St Paul, “ If we have been in the likeness of His death, so also shall we be in the likeness of His resurrection”

We owe it to the dead to go on till the final victory was attained, victory of the powers of good over evil. Let us go away looking forward to the resurrection that is to come.” he concluded.

Afterwards the mourners filed past the vault.


Liverpool December 29th 1948

Memorial for air raid victims grave

Of the people who lost their lives during air raid attacks in Liverpool, 559 are buried in a common grave in Anfield cemetery. Today the finance committee of the Corporation approved the final design for a memorial in the cemetery at an estimated cost of £4,400. The grave which is 170ft long and 8ft wide is to be raised a foot above the ground level of the surrounding land. The names of such of the victims as are known will be on a stone kerb surrounding the grave. On the memorial stone will be two low-relief plaques, one depicting the emblem of the city and the other the badge of the air raid precautions service

In 1951, ten years after the May Blitz, the city unveiled a memorial at Anfield Cemetery. It marked the communal grave of 554 victims, 373 were unidentified


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