Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1890 & 99

William Metcalfe (1849 - 1890)

William Metcalfe was a member of Salford Police Band.


He was born in Caton, near Lancaster in 1849. The 1881 census shows that he was living at 27, Slater Street, Pendleton with his wife Sarah Ann and their children Robert aged 4 and William H. aged 1.


The Salford Reporter of 1st March 1890 records "On Tuesday (25th February), the remains of the late Police Constable William Metcalfe, of the Pendleton Division, who died on Thursday week (20th February) from *influenza, were interred in the Salford cemetery at Weaste. He had been a member of the force for 14 years and was much respected by his fellow officers.


About 150 officers assembled at the Pendleton Town Hall in the afternoon and marched to the cemetery. In addition to the widow and relations of the deceased, the following were present: Mr C.T. Scott (Chief Constable), Mr P. Donohoe (Chief Superintendent) and Councillor Roper, a member of the Watch Committee. Wreaths were contributed by the police of the Pendleton district and the police band, of which Metcalfe was a member. The interment took place (in a common grave) in the Church of England portion of the ground (and the service was conducted by Rev W.J. Whitworth). At the conclusion of the ceremony the police band played the "Dead March".

*Influenza. A pandemic of severe influenza known in western Europe as "Russian Flu" caused extensive illness and death between 1889 and 1894. In the UK, where the main effects was winter 1889/90, sufferers and their doctors were hard put to explain the visitation. It was later thought to have originated in China, spreading rapidly throughout Russia and western Europe, over to the United States and down to Latin America. The symptoms were fever, pneumonia and traditional flu-like symptoms. The world-wide death toll was about 1 million people.