Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1920 & 29

Anne Katharine Birley (1845 - 1923)

Anne Katharine Birley was a well known figure in Weaste and a Trustee of the living of the church of St. Luke, Weaste.


She was born on 17th August 1845 at Hart Hill (a large house, purchased by the Council in 1925, which was demolished in 1929, the grounds of which became part of Buile Hill Park). She was the daughter of Thomas Hornby Birley JP (formerly of Didsbury) and Anne (nee Leatham) Birley. She was Christened at Manchester Cathedral on 27th September 1845. Anne was the eldest of 5 children. Her siblings were James Leatham (born 22 Dec 1847 at Pendleton, died 20 Feb 1866 at Pendleton, but buried in Didsbury), Francis Hornby, (born 14 Mar 1850 at Pendleton, died 1 Aug 1910 in Surrey), Caroline, (born 16 Nov 1851 at Pendleton, died 15 Feb 1907 at Pendleton), and Walter (born and died in 1852 at Pendleton).


Anne had been connected with St. Luke's Church, Weaste since it was opened in 1865. (The church was designed by the famous Victorian Architect George Gilbert Scott and in 1878, a chapel was added to the memory of Edward Tootal, of cotton fame, and an early benefactor). She became one of the trustees of the church and until her health gave way, she was a very active worker in everything connected to the church. Anne lived at South Bank, Eccles Old Road. She never married and she died on Friday 11th May 1923.


The funeral took place on Monday 14th May. The first portion of the service was held at St. Luke's Church. The officiating clergy were the Rev. Selwyn Bean (Vicar), Rev J.P.W. Green (a former Vicar), Rev J. Hands and Rev J.A. Simcock (Asst. Clergyman at St. Luke's). The service was fully choral. The choir sang "Blessed are the Departed" and the hymns were "Now the Labourer's Task is O'er" and "Lead Kindly Light". At the conclusion of the service, the organist Mr H Branham played Chopin's Funeral March. There was a large congregation and many beautiful flowers were sent including a wreath from the parishioners of St. Luke's and a cross from the members of St. Luke's needlework guild. At Weaste Cemetery, Anne was interred in the family grave in plot A4 of the Church of England portion.