Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1940 & 49

Joseph Lemmon (1872 - 1949)

Joseph Lemmon was believed to be the first Roman Catholic to become Mayor of Salford in 1945-46. He was a Railway Inspector, prominent Trade Unionist and one of the founders of Salford Labour Party.

He was born on 11th December 1872 in Salford, the son of Joseph Lemmon snr (born 1845 in Salford) who was a Velvet Finisher and Elizabeth Lemmon (born 1846 in Manchester). In 1891, 18-year-old Joseph (Engine Shunter) lived with his family at Gledhill Street, Salford with siblings Samuel (born 1869 in Salford) Labourer, Elizabeth (born 1876 in Salford) Cotton Weaver, Mary (born 1878 in Salford), Henry (born 1881 in Salford), and Frederick (born 1884 in Salford).

In 1898 Joseph married Winifred Donoghue (born 15th May 1872 in Manchester) in Salford by Registrar. The 1901 census shows that Joseph and Winifred lived at 27 Oxford Street, Salford. Also in the house were Emma Maher (born 1889 in Manchester) cousin, and Florence G Bell (born 1884 in Salford) niece. In 1911 at 87 Oxford Street, Salford, Joseph was a Railway Carter aged 36, Winifred was aged 37 and their children were John William (born 1902 in Salford), Frederick (born 1904 in Salford, but sadly died in 1914 aged 10) and young Winifred (born 1907 in Salford). Also in the house was Joseph's mother-in-law Mary Ann Donoghue (born 1837 in Dublin). Another daughter Mary E was born in 1912. In 1939 at 23 Emerson Street, Joseph was a Retired Railway Inspector and Winifred was Unpaid Domestic Duties.

Joseph joined the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company straight from school and later transferred to the Great Western Railway Company. He became Supervisor in charge of the GWR's traffic at Salford Docks and Trafford Park area. He had a long record of Trade Union activity including as president of the Manchester No.14 branch of the National Union of Railwaymen – the first formed locally for Supervisors.

Joseph was first elected to Council in 1925, appointed an Alderman in 1935 and appointed Mayor of Salford in 1945. One of his early duties as Mayor was to lay a wreath on the communal grave at Agecroft Cemetery, where nearly a hundred victims of the air raids of December 1940 were buried. Perhaps Joseph's most notable activity during his term of office was as Chairman of Salford's Flood Relief Fund. Joseph appealed to town councils near and far with great success. A report in The Guardian of 7th October 1946 mentions a donation from the Mayor of Dover, who remarked on the "generous assistance so kindly extended by the citizens of Salford in Dover's time of need." On 15th October 1946, Joseph Lemmon was part of a delegation to London to ask the Minister of Health, Mr Bevan for assistance. Four thousand families needed financial assistance and by the time Joseph retired as Mayor the fund stood at £40,000.

Joseph Lemmon died on 26th January 1949, aged 76. He was buried in the family grave K/RC/753 at Weaste Cemetery with his son Frederick and two grandchildren. Joseph's wife Winifred died in October 1950 aged 78 and was re-united with Joseph on 31st October 1950 at Weaste Cemetery.