Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1930 & 39

Joseph Alonzo (1880 - 1935)

Joseph Alonzo was a Private in Company D of the 5th US Infantry during the Spanish – American War (1898). He came to Salford and became a Dock Labourer for the Manchester Ship Canal Company at Salford Docks.

He was born in 1880 at St. Sophie, Louisiana, USA. The small town (or Settlement as it was referred to in the Lower Coast Gazette of 5th September 1914), was located on the east bank of the Mississippi River, in the delta area about 40 miles south of New Orleans. The town was subjected to flooding, (with several newspaper reports of levee breaches and inundation), and it no longer exists. Another newspaper report of 17th July 1929 refers to the death of a prominent businessman who was born at St Sophie (Pointe a la Hache) in 1864. The latter township is recorded on current maps and is assumed to be the current name for St. Sophie.

The Spanish American War was a conflict between the USA and Spain which took place in Spanish colonies, mainly Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines, which resulted in US acquisition of the Spanish territories in Latin America and the western Pacific. It was triggered by the mysterious sinking of the US Battleship Maine in Havana Harbour on 15th February 1898 and was settled by the Treaty of Paris of 10th December 1898.

Joseph would have been 18-years-old when the Spanish - American War took place in 1898. It's likely that he volunteered and commenced training in New Orleans, (as the 1900 census records Joseph Alonzo, aged 20 at 1st Precinct, New Orleans City, Ward 3), but the war was over before he was fully trained, and Company D did not take part. However, prior to the war, revolutionaries in the Philippines had been fighting for independence from the Spanish. They assisted the US forces during the war, but then found that USA had become their masters. So when the revolutionaries started fighting for their independence against the USA, Company D and other US units were dispatched to the Philippines to counter the rebels. This became known as the Philippine Insurrection, starting on 4th February 1899 and finishing on 4th July 1902.

It is not clear when and why Joseph came to Salford, and the next we see of him was on the 1920 Electoral Register, living at a lodging house, 4 Bloom Street, Salford. The following year, on the 1921 census Joseph's address was Corporation Model Lodging House, Bloom Street Salford. He was aged 41, single, born at St Sophie, Louisiana, USA and an American citizen. His occupation was Dock Labourer, employed by the Manchester Ship Canal Company at Salford Docks.

The Electoral Register of 1931 shows Joseph lived at 2, Comus Street, Salford. Four years later, in February 1935, Joseph Alonzo died at Hope Hospital, Salford, aged 55. He was buried on 23rd February 1935 at Weaste Cemetery, grave N 442 in the Roman Catholic portion. The service was conducted by Fr. L Delaney, Priest of All Souls and St John Vianney RC Church, Weaste.