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Fundraising stories 10,620 views Sep 24, 2019
Fixing The Past: Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park Heritage Appeal

The Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park are doing an appeal with a target of £5000 to get the Burdick family monument repaired.

The FoTHCP is the charity looking after the beautiful, atmospheric cemetery park, which opened in 1841 and closed for burials in 1966. It has been a public park ever since, a quiet escape for humans and nature, conservation volunteering, dog walking, and a children's nature club.
In February 2019 a storm blew over one of the first trees planted about 175 years ago, the only silver lime we had.. It hit the Burdick family monument, an Egyptian-style obelisk. The monument broke into seven big, heavy pieces, and it’s going to cost £5,000 to put it together again permanently and safely.
Our biggest challenge is to repair the monument as soon as possible, because if it gets below freezing this winter, frost can break cracks in the stone and make the repair even more expensive.
The monument is the family vault of James & Amy Burdick. They aren't buried here, but two of their sons are. James and Amy had 6 children. James Henry, William, Charles all died before their parents, but Alfred, Lydie and Ethel survived.

The Burdicks were part of the Burdick & Cook merchant shipping company in Poplar. Sadly the company was as lucky with their ships as James and Amy were with their sons. There was a ship with Lydie's name, but it was torpedoed in 1918 by a German submarine. The SS Buresk and SS Burbridge were also sank during WWI.
James Henry drowned aged 21 and was buried in Sebastopol in the Crimean peninsula on the Black Sea, likely on company business. William died when he was 20 years old, and Charles was only 7. We're not sure yet what happened to Alfred and Ethel, but Lydie married a baronet and became Lady Greenaway.
If you'd like to see the Burdick monument for yourself, the cemetery park is open every day.