The main Aim for this project is to simply catalogue, research, locate and ‘look after’ the resting places of our former players here at the Wigan Rugby League Club. Many of us have lost loved ones and have may regularly visit a local cemetery to remember those we have lost. The WRHS think that it is important to enhance the recognition of the men and women who have had a part to play with the club since our formation.
By finding out where past players, and other interested parties are buried, we can do what we can to remember them and look after their place of rest in a time when many of these graves are long forgot by families and the public. How many times have people walked their dogs in Lancaster Cemetery and walked past James Leytham? Who has ever noticed the inscription at Lower Ince Cemetery (Wigan) highlighting a beloved former President of the Wigan Club? Who has ever spotted Dick Ramsdale’s inscription of “England Rugby Forward”? Would it not entice you on the off chance to think what Richard Ramsdale has done? He played in the famous Rorke’s Drift Test Match of 1914 and alongside players such as Lance Todd, James Leytham and Nat Silcock.
We are in need of people who have an interest and a bit of spare time to help me with this. No experience necessary! What we aim to do is have a list of all past players who are no longer with us and map their locations in whichever cemetery they happen to be in. There are plenty of resources out there to help, especially from the tools over at Wigan World and their Cemetery Index pages. You would have open access to a simple spreadsheet where you can input the relevant data too. The more the merrier. For a bit more of an advanced pace, we will be using Genealogy websites such as FindAGrave or Ancestry.co.uk which of course means having an online access login etc (which we aim to sort out at no cost to helpers).
Information that would be needed:
▪ Cemetery (which one)
▪ Name/ Surname
▪ Plot/ Location if known
▪ Rating (how well is it kept?)
To get involved in this project, simply send an email with your thoughts and opinions to info@WiganRugbyHeritageSociety.co.uk and use the title ‘Grave Project’ and I’ll get back to you.