West Cemetery Headstone Inscription Records
This material may be used for personal research only and not for commercial purposes.
Since 2002 members of Darlington Historical Society and other volunteers have been recording the inscriptions on the headstone in the West Cemetery.
Another group of volunteers have transferred this information to the web site database.
Up to the end of 2011 we have recorded and entered into the data base information from over 8800 headstones resulting in over 20,000 individual records on the data base. Recording and data entering continues.
Whilst every attempt has been made to ensure that these records are accurate some errors will have occurred during recording and transcribing. If you do find an error please advise the Darlington Historical Society in order that we may correct it.
If you have found this database of use please let us know by posting a comment on this page.
In addition to the inscription on the headstone they have recorded the location, the shape, the condition, and where available the cemetery reference number and the name of the mason who made the stone.
Also available is a drawing of the whole cemetery showing section identification letters and individual drawings are available for each section indicating how rows and headstone numbers are to be found.
Headstones are identified by section letter, row number and headstone number in a row.
Headstones are consecutively numbered as existing at the time of recording, and missing or new headstones are omitted from the sequential numbering. Headstone number one is usually the first existing headstone in a row nearest to the central roadway. There are some exceptions to this but the exceptions are noted on the individual section drawings.
The headstone being identified by the section letter then by the row number and then by the headstone number in that row.
For example, the 5th headstone in row 6 of section B is identified as – B / 6 / 5
The West Cemetery headstone data base can be search by selecting the link which will transfer you to the internet web page.
Using the database
When the database opens select the capital letter of the surname of the person for whom you are searching.
A list will open with the surnames of all persons on the database beginning with that letter.
Each name will have forenames, date of death and where available date of birth.
When you select one of the list, the data sheet for that person will open, giving all available information together with a transcription of the headstone inscription.
This sheet can be printed.
Locating a headstone
If you now wish to locate the actual headstone in the cemetery make a note of the section letter, the row number and headstone number.
From “West Cemetery Plan” below identify the section you wish to find
Using the “section plan” as a guide, locate the headstone you require.
Row numbers start at the end of the section nearest the main gate.
Headstone number one in any row is usually the first headstone in the row nearest the central road way ( From main gate towards the crematorium). There are exceptions to this rule but any exceptions are noted on the individual section plans.
Headstone numbers refer to headstones seen at time of recording and do not refer to plots where there are no headstones .
West Cemetery Plans
The plans will open in a separate window. Please click the images below for a full size plan.
West Cemetery Plan shows the position of the various sections within the cemetery.
Plans of individual sections provide more detailed information for each section.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
If the person you are looking for died on active service you will find their details on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site. Information includes those people laid to rest in Darlington cemeteries.
West Cemetery Enquiries
If you have a specific question regarding a relative whom you think may be buried in West cemetery can you please post a comment on this page. We will try and help in anyway we can.
Council cemetery plot identification system explained
The Darlington Historical Society numbering system refers to existing headstones only.
The Council cemetery numbering system refers to actual grave plots which may or may not have been used and may or may not have a grave stone.
Whilst the two systems have similar features they cannot be related to each other and that is why we have written the following explanation of the council Cemetery plot identification system.
Each cemetery plot has an identification number such as N/5B/110 which means it is in section “N”, Row 5B, Plot number 110.
Sections and associated borders are identified by a letter.
Rows are identified by a Number and Letter.
The rows are identified sequentially by letters of the alphabet. The associated number indicates the number of times the letter has been used.
e.g .In section R the first row nearest the entrance is number 7G. That is the 7th time the letter G has been used to identify a row.
Rows run north to south continuously across all sections, including borders.
In sections A to J the row lettering system runs from west to east (towards the main gate) because they were the original sections when the cemetery was opened in 1856 . The first row, row “A”, is at the west end of sections E, F & J. Which because of alterations, when the east end cemetery wall was removed and the cemetery was extended, is now the fourth row in section K,M & O.
In section “K” onwards the row lettering system runs from east to west (away from the main gate) and starts four rows west of north south path in sections K,M & O.
Plot Numbers with the exception of sections T,U,V & W are all numbered from the central roadway. Looking east towards the main gate the first plot to the left of central roadway (north) is number 99 and then decrease. Looking east towards the main gate the first plot to the right (south) is number 100 and then increase.
In sections T,U,V & W Plot numbers start at 300 and increase towards the south
Number 300 in each row, is three plots in from the east west path to the north of plots T,U,V & W due to there originally being a border and a wall to the south of the east west path north of sections T.U.V & W.
Using the council numbering system to locate a grave plot
If you have the plot number of the grave you wish to find the best procedure is as follows: using N/5B/104 as an example.
a) The grave plot number is normally engraved on the back of a headstone. Unfortunately not all grave plots have a headstone and not all headstones have the plot number engraved on them, which can create problems
b) Using the whole cemetery plan locate the section “N”
c) In section “N” look at a selection of headstone and find one with the grave plot number engraved on the back. Using that row number as a starting point locate the row you require (5B).
d) Walk along row 5B until you find a headstone with plot number 104. You will be very lucky if you do find one with the correct number.
e) What you usually have to do is from adjacent headstones, which have plot numbers close to the number you are looking work out the location of the plot you are looking for – Plot 104 in Row 5B
Best of luck!
11 October 2014