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New tour to highlight the heroes and heroines buried in this Wirral cemetery 

2 months ago

New tour to highlight the heroes and heroines buried in this Wirral cemetery 
Rake Lane Cemetery

But Rake Lane Cemetery is also the final resting place of those whose incredible efforts were based on land, soldiers who fought in the World Wars, the Crimean and Boer Wars, and more.

The Wallasey Cemetery – along with Flaybrick Hill and Toxteth Cemeteries – is one of the fascinating places which former Liverpool park ranger Richie Baker will be visiting during his March walks to ‘discover the amazing tales of bravery and fortitude’ of some of its famous interns.

Richie said:

“There is a certain something about cemeteries; they can be calming, soothing and contemplative. 

“Looking at some of the resting places and pausing for a moment can help us realise just how brave people can and have been. And the adversity that some of these people have gone through can help us realise just how lucky we are in our lives.”

Ray Holmes
Ray Holmes

Rake Lane Cemetery was officially opened in 1883 and is a beautiful Victorian cemetery with interesting and ornate graves, adds Richie, which show the wealth of the area during that period. 

And he adds: “The cemetery is really popular as it has such history, but also because of its beauty and architecture.  And many of the graves are resting places for our local heroes and heroines, each with a fascinating tale to tell.”

Among those buried at Rake Lane Cemetery whose stories Richie will tell are:

William Glover Robertson

William Glover Robertson
William Glover Robertson

“William was born in Liverpool but, as a teenager, moved to Australia with his family,” explains Richie. “Even though he lived in Australia he always considered himself English and was intensely proud of his Liverpool roots and, at the age of 23 he enlisted in the Australian Infantry in order to fight for his home country.

“But he arrived at the trenches at Flers in France on November 5, 1916, and sadly also lost his life on that same day.”

Richie Baker
Richie Baker

Battle of Britain hero Ray Holmes

“Another great hero is the daring pilot who saved Buckingham Palace!” says Richie. “The brave Ray Holmes was born in Liverpool in 1914, and worked as a journalist before joining the RAF and becoming a pilot.

“In September 1940, (then flt sgt) he was flying a Hawker Hurricane fighter as London was being bombed when he spotted a German bomber heading towards Buckingham Palace to destroy our great monument. Ray realised that if successful it would be a great boost for Germany – but it would destroy British morale.

“Knowing he had to stop the Dornier bomber, he flew head on toward it and pressed the trigger on his plane’s machine guns … but he was out of ammunition. So he quickly climbed above the German plane and dived downwards, hitting the German plane which crashed to the ground and Buckingham Palace was saved.

“Ray’s plane was badly damaged but he managed to release his cockpit and parachute to safety.”

Ray didn’t receive a medal for his great deed ‘but he was a humble man who never considered himself a hero, he always said he was simply doing his duty’.

Besides such heroes there are also personalities of the past like Henry Haigh and his wife Elizabeth Haigh Dyer. 

Henry Haigh
Henry Haigh

“Henry was born in 1830 and became one of the most popular operatic performers of his day,” says Richie. “He’d perform to packed audiences and eventually became the lead singer for La Scala in Milan. His wife was also a renowned singer and they formed the Haigh Dyer company and toured America with great success, before returning to become lead performers at London’s Covent Garden.”

Such was their popularity it was said they should be regarded as ‘the greatest performers of the day’ because it was they who brought opera to the masses.

“Visiting cemeteries is not morose in any way,” says Richie, “in fact, just the opposite. It’s an uplifting and inspiring way to discover our bygone greats.”

You can find out more about these and other heroes and heroines, and other March Walks by Richie, by emailing him on or calling 07850 239411.  All walks need to be booked and cost £2.50 per person.

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