Newton Cemetery was founded in 1885 after a portion of Newton Hall Farm (approximately 8 acres) was identified as a site for the cemetery. Land was then purchased to make a short road from Park Road to the cemetery grounds. This is the access road which is used today to gain entrance to the cemetery. The ground was fenced in, a chapel was built and the grounds laid out.
Until the mid 20th century burial areas were decided depending on the religion of the person being buried. The burial sections at Newton Cemetery were divided into Church of England, Roman Catholic and Dissenters (Non Conformist)
2 acres, 8 roods and 11 perches were consecrated by The Lord Bishop of Liverpool on the 14th October 1885. A further area of 3,880 square yards were consecrated on 17th August 1900. This was the area for the Church of England burials.
A plan for a mortuary in the Town Hall yard was approved in March 1898 but on the 18th July 1898 it was decided to provide a slab in the back portion of the mortuary chapel at the cemetery. The mortuary chapel can be used for funeral services and is a Book of Remembrance room which is open to the public seven days a week.
The present cemetery was improved in 1905 and the gates were erected.
The first burial was on 19th November 1885 Sarah Dickman, housekeeper to Charles B F Borron who was buried in a freehold grave on consecrated ground. The grave, number 478, was purchased by Charles Borron for the sum of £1.10.0d.
The 2nd burial in contrast was for 6 week old Frank Howe in a common grave on consecrated ground in Section 16. The grave was purchased by Newton Commissioners for £1.10.0d and during the course of the following year six more unrelated people were buried in this grave.
The records show that the 3rd burial was also purchased by Newton Commissioners for £1.10.0d, a common grave in the Dissenters section.
The register of burials shows that on the first page of 20 burials from November 1885 10 burials were in common graves. Common graves do not have a headstone or markers, they are usually identified as the grassed areas in the cemetery. Some common graves have more than 40 people buried in them. All common graves are recorded and their location can be identified.
There are 23 Commonwealth War Graves in the cemetery from WW1 a further 23 from WW2, 1 Italian servicemen and 1 from Non World War. There are many more dedications to military personnel on family headstones.
The Imperial War Graves Commission (now Commonwealth War Graves Commission) purchased grave sites in the cemetery during WW2. In 1966 they surrendered their interest in the graves. The burials of German and Italian war dead buried in the graves were exhumed and the graves released for further burials.
There are many impressive 19th and early 20th century monuments and memorials in the cemetery. They tell the history of the area, the industries and the people who lived there.
Since opening in 1885 the cemetery has been extended, a memorial garden for cremated ashes and a garden of remembrance has been added.
The Friends of St.Helens Cemetery have complied a list of all headstone dedications and location of Commonwealth War Graves in the cemetery, this is available to any one who requests a copy.
To access the burial and cremation records of Newton cemetery: