Frank Lockyer

We were looking around the old graveyard at Wimborne St Giles in Dorset on a wet Sunday afternoon recently, when we came across this gravestone.  The inscription is:

In remembrance of Frank, dearly loved child of Joseph and Sarah Lockyer, born October 29th 1870.  Died suddenly, the result of an accident, Jan 20th 1883

We found a newspaper article which explained how he died.

 It’s not clear why the newspaper refers to Gussage All Saints. Gussage is the neighbouring parish (the villages are less than 2 miles apart). Wyke Farm is in Wimborne St Giles parish.


Frank was the 2nd of their 10 children and their oldest son.

Joseph and Sarah’s youngest child, Norman, was born in 1886, 3 years after Frank’s death. By 1914 Norman was serving with the Dorset Yeomanry at Blandford in his spare time.  When the First World War broke out the Yeomanry were mobilised. In April 1915 they were sent to Egypt without their horses. In August 1915 they landed at Gallipoli, Turkey. Norman was killed in action, aged 29, on 21st August 1915. He is believed to be buried in Green Hill Cemetery, east of Suvla Bay.

Wimborne St Giles parish was formed from the merger of St Giles and All Hallows parishes in 1733. A new church had been built at St Giles by the Bastard brothers in 1732, on the site of a Tudor chapel.

The ancient, but now disused, All Hallows Church was demolished in 1742, leaving only the lychgate and churchyard. The new church had no graveyard, so All Hallows churchyard continued in use until around 1900, when a new cemetery was opened just across the road.

The old churchyard is now abandoned and often overgrown. These photos show the broken remains of Frank’s gravestone.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *