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Thread: Mass Grave in Old Swan

  1. #31
    PhilipG
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    Quote:
    "How do you know the coffins were dated? (can you provide a source?)"


    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    First note that the Tom Slemen article posted above is not from today but I believe appeared before the following which appears to put paid to the speculation that the bodies could be executed Irish people.

    'I gave order to burn bodies'

    Mar 2 2006

    Maghull & Aintree Star


    AS WITNESSED by the huge amount of correspondence received at Merseymart & Star , Tom Slemen's article on the Mass Grave discovered in Old Swan in 1973 drew reaction from many readers.

    One letter that took issue with criminologist Keith Andrews's claims of a systematic massacre of Irish immigrants at the site in around 1848 was written by Liverpool's former principal environmental health officer, Ken Williams, who was in charge of the 1973 exhumation.

    Printed here, it relates to this specific event - not the broader issues regarding the military and the treatment of the Irish.

    Speaking to Merseymart & Star , he said: "I held my position from 1949 to 1989 and the first thing to note is that if you wanted to build or extend on sacred ground you had to consult the Home Office, which would in turn speak to the town clerk, who would then instruct me.

    "The reason there were hoardings was that the Home Office's principal instruction is total decorum, and in this case there were houses on Montague Road overlooking the site.

    "One comment was that these people had been shot and the Home Office were covering it up.

    "The order to burn the bodies came from me and me alone - there were so many that after getting permission to put more than one in a single coffin, and re-inter them in Anfield I had to request permission for cremations.

    "There were no bullet holes in the skulls, and there were already gravestones at the site - it was a marked grave..

    "This discovery was simply beyond the boundary of that graveyard, extending much further than was realised - thousands more bodies.

    "Contrary to one comment in the article, there were indeed coffins containing children discovered.

    "There is also the obvious point that if this was the massacre of three-and-a-half-thousand people - why were they all in coffins with plaques and buried in such an ordered fashion?

    "This was not people who had been thrown in a trench.

    "Also, the date quoted for this 'massacre' was 1848, but some of the coffins had plaques with 1859 on them."Key role in the mass exhumation

    I HAVE followed with great interest the recent articles in your paper with regard to the mass grave unearthed in St Oswald Street, Old Swan.

    The principal officer delegated to be in charge of the entire operation was me.

    When the original gravestones had been removed and the bodies re-interred the excavation continued beyond this boundary and it was at this stage other coffins were found. Some plaques on the coffin lids had dates of 1859, however this should not be considered to be a mass grave at any one time.

    I do not recall seeing bullet marks in the skulls and the authorisation to cremate the bodies was implemented by the Home Office as the result of my request - that it should be done in the interest of public health. I know all this to be true - 'cause I was there!

    K. A. WILLIAMS, Gateacre, Liverpool. (Former principal environmental health officer for Liverpool 1949-1989)


    ADVERTISING




    Source

    Surprised anybody missed this.
    It's part of this thread.

    The more relevant question is: "What is Tom Slemen's source?"

    Strange hooded monks?
    Hearts taken from corpses?
    Satanists?

    How can we take him seriously?
    Last edited by PhilipG; 12-13-2006 at 02:45 PM.

  2. #32
    Still alive snappel's Avatar
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    Keith Andrews' story said there were no children there, but there were. Plus if it was a 'cold blooded massacre' they would have just thrown the bodies in a pit or trench and in-filled it They wouldn't have put them into individual coffins that would have cost money and put plaques on them.

    I think the Andrews' guy wants to believe it's something more sinister, and has twisted the facts to suit. I'd rather listen to the guy who was involved in the clean-up, and his facts suggest the people died of disease.

  3. #33
    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    Just shows you never know what is underfoot.
    It's astonishing to think that people in Old Swan were living on top of corpses!!

    Not a nice thought.


    I heard that Anfield cemetery is now full up. Eventually we will run out of space for burials .
    I believe that cremation is better.

    This is a morbid topic isn't it.

  4. #34
    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jona76 View Post
    How do you know the coffins were dated? (can you provide a source?)

    This is what Slemen says:
    Read what the health officer says further down the thread.
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  5. #35
    Gnomie
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindylou View Post
    Just shows you never know what is underfoot.
    It's astonishing to think that people in Old Swan were living on top of corpses!!
    Shurrup Lindy i live there



  6. #36
    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    And hello to you too Tony - yet another blue

  7. #37
    Senior Member marky's Avatar
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    I took this pic of St. Johns' Gardens a few weeks back. This artwork contained 3 cylinders, through which you could view the soil beneath the pathway and look into the 'graves'. I don't know if the positioning of the structure is significant. I vaguely remember some sort of ceremony to the French dead being carried out here...a French official saluting the dead. I always thought the French burials, at least, still remain...I don't know where I heard that though.
    Flickr member TorlPorl has some better pics of the artwork (shows the earth at the bottom of the cylinders):
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/torlpor...7594298952188/
    Here's a link to the artwork which mentions the graveyard:
    http://www.biennial.com/corporate/ar...cle_35_18.html
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	St_Johns_Gardens_Nov_2006.jpg 
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    Last edited by marky; 12-14-2006 at 04:35 AM. Reason: added link

  8. #38
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    I don't know why the exhumation is quoted as happening in 1973.I used to go to Broadgreen school and used to pass this site when it was wasteground and remember playing on there on many occasions.I remember the 20 foot high fences going up and actually remember seeing the workers in white suits and respirators on the site.By the way,I was born in 1973.

  9. #39
    PhilipG
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    Quote Originally Posted by stan View Post
    I don't know why the exhumation is quoted as happening in 1973.I used to go to Broadgreen school and used to pass this site when it was wasteground and remember playing on there on many occasions.I remember the 20 foot high fences going up and actually remember seeing the workers in white suits and respirators on the site.By the way,I was born in 1973.
    The graves were discovered in April 1973.
    Nobody's questioning that.
    Read through this thread.

  10. #40
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    The graves were discovered when they started digging the foundations for the new school on that site.I remember it all vividly.It wasn't 1973.

  11. #41
    PhilipG
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    Quote Originally Posted by stan View Post
    The graves were discovered when they started digging the foundations for the new school on that site.I remember it all vividly.It wasn't 1973.
    3 different sources say it was 1973.
    See posts 7, 9 & 13 in this thread.
    If the school is still standing, they should know when it was built.

    But that isn't really the point behind this thread.
    The mystery is where did all the graves/corpses come from?
    Personally, I thnk they were victims of some sort of plague.

  12. #42
    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Hi Philip and Stan

    Ken Williams, the retired principal environmental health office who was in charge of disposing of the bodies, states that it was 1973 that the remains were first discovered, so there is no doubt about the year. See

    http://www.yoliverpool.com/forum/sho...5&postcount=15

    Chris
    Christopher T. George
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  13. #43
    Gnomie
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    I doubt we will ever know.

    It could be Plague victims

    Or Irish holocaust victims

    maybe the french prisoners bodies where cleared from st johns

    whatever the answer they acted suspicious when they dug them all up.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnomie View Post
    I doubt we will ever know.

    It could be Plague victims

    Or Irish holocaust victims

    maybe the french prisoners bodies where cleared from st johns

    whatever the answer they acted suspicious when they dug them all up.
    Hi Gnomie

    A mystery certainly. But a lot less suspicious if you check what Mr Ken Williams the former environmental health office had to say -- see link I just posted above.

    Chris
    Christopher T. George
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    An enjoyable read this thread.
    Gididi Gididi Goo.

  16. #46
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    Down Lockerby Rd. off Kenny, there used to be a monastery and a Nunnery (?) on opposite sides of the road that ran along the bottom. Sometime pre war a tunnel was found connecting the two and a great many babies bodies were discovered. I don't think that a there was a great commotion made of this at the time.

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbymac View Post
    Down Lockerby Rd. off Kenny, there used to be a monastery and a Nunnery (?) on opposite sides of the road that ran along the bottom. Sometime pre war a tunnel was found connecting the two and a great many babies bodies were discovered. I don't think that a there was a great commotion made of this at the time.
    Hmmmm. I don't know but could that be similar to the scandal that surfaced in the Republic of Ireland about the unwed mothers sent to convent laundries that was portrayed in the movie Magdalen Sisters? With Liverpool's large Catholic population possibly something secretive was done about babies born to unmarried girls, to dispose of their bodies? Interesting.

    Chris
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  18. #48
    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbymac View Post
    Down Lockerby Rd. off Kenny, there used to be a monastery and a Nunnery (?) on opposite sides of the road that ran along the bottom. Sometime pre war a tunnel was found connecting the two and a great many babies bodies were discovered. I don't think that a there was a great commotion made of this at the time.
    my grandmother told me that exact story

    There must have been some truth in it then ???


    .. and she told me something similar about the Notre Dame - and 'goings on !!'


  19. #49
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    All of these urban "myths" are exactly that, MYTHS and were based on Liverpool's past, very sectarian, culture. I have heard the same story about the convent that once stood on Copperas Hill and St. Nick's also Notre Dame convent on Mount Pleasant. The latest one I heard about was in the early sixties when the sisters of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary occupied St. Augustine's at the corner of Great Howard Street and Chisinale Street. Rumour had it that it was an abortion facility for rich Irish and English catholic girls, and nuns who had been impregnated by priests. And there was me thinking that priest only liked little boys!

    I think these tales fit neatly into the category of the Mariah Monk type sectarian slander. You know, just like the WMD that Blair was fond on quoting.

  20. #50
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    There certainly was a case of a nun made pregnant by a priest that I heard of. Under questioning by the mother superior of how it happened, the nun replied 'Benedictus'

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    'Benedictus'
    Groannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    There certainly was a case of a nun made pregnant by a priest that I heard of. Under questioning by the mother superior of how it happened, the nun replied 'Benedictus'

    Aye and then there's the girl who confessed to the priest that she'd had sex with St. Michael because his name was on the label in his underpants.

    Chris
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  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sloyne View Post
    All of these urban "myths" are exactly that, MYTHS and were based on Liverpool's past, very sectarian, culture. I have heard the same story about the convent that once stood on Copperas Hill and St. Nick's also Notre Dame convent on Mount Pleasant. The latest one I heard about was in the early sixties when the sisters of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary occupied St. Augustine's at the corner of Great Howard Street and Chisinale Street. Rumour had it that it was an abortion facility for rich Irish and English catholic girls, and nuns who had been impregnated by priests. And there was me thinking that priest only liked little boys!

    I think these tales fit neatly into the category of the Mariah Monk type sectarian slander. You know, just like the WMD that Blair was fond on quoting.

    I've heard some mention in the mists of time about Mariah Monk. Can you remind me ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by lindylou View Post
    I've heard some mention in the mists of time about Mariah Monk. Can you remind me ??
    'The Awful Disclosures of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery of Montreal' or most commonly known as 'Maria Monk' was the figment of a very vicious anti catholic imagination. It was first published in 1836 in the United States of America with the above title, later edited as 'The Awful Disclosures of Mariah Monk'. Maria Monk was a famous American imposter who made a lot of money out of religious bigotry. She claimed to be a nun in a Montreal convent where she allegedly suffered torture, sexual degradation and exploitation at the hands of degenerate priests and nuns.

    Incredibly, this book is still available and can be purchased from certain right wing American evangelical, so called, Christian groups.

  25. #55
    PhilipG
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sloyne View Post
    'The Awful Disclosures of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery of Montreal' or most commonly known as 'Maria Monk' was the figment of a very vicious anti catholic imagination. It was first published in 1836 in the United States of America with the above title, later edited as 'The Awful Disclosures of Mariah Monk'. Maria Monk was a famous American imposter who made a lot of money out of religious bigotry. She claimed to be a nun in a Montreal convent where she allegedly suffered torture, sexual degradation and exploitation at the hands of degenerate priests and nuns.

    Incredibly, this book is still available and can be purchased from certain right wing American evangelical, so called, Christian groups.
    Sounds an interesting book.
    I'd buy it!

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilipG View Post
    3 different sources say it was 1973.
    See posts 7, 9 & 13 in this thread.
    If the school is still standing, they should know when it was built.
    I must be 5 years older than what I thought I was eh?

  27. #57
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    The nuns were asked why they travelled to the convent on their bikes down the old cobbled lane. 'we always come this way' they said.

  28. #58
    PhilipG
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    Quote Originally Posted by stan View Post
    I must be 5 years older than what I thought I was eh?
    I didn't mean anything personal, Stan.
    1973 was when the foundations were dug.
    For all I know, the school was built 5 years later, or you might be remembering something else.
    My memory is awful, so when I'm writing about history, I always check my facts.

  29. #59
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    Nah,it's just me being sarky.It's just weird being told it was '73.I used to play on that site where the bodies were and I remember when the high fences got put up.They must have discovered the bodies earlier and moved them when the site was cleared.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilipG View Post
    Sounds an interesting book.
    I'd buy it!
    I understand Enid Blyton wrote good childrens fiction too. Do you think women are better at this sort of fiction?

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