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St Thomas’ has one of the largest Churchyards of any church in the City of Coventry. It contains some 2,400 grave spaces dating from 1847 to the present day. There are graves of the rich and famous like William Hillman the car maker, the Rotherham family (of Rotherham & Sons watch manufacturers and precision engineering), members of the Cash family (of Cash’s silks), as well as the ordinary working folk of Keresley and Coundon. The churchyard contains War graves and memorials going back to the Crimean War, mixed with tall imposing Victorian stone crosses and vaults, and hundreds of low level modern gravestones.
There are two key parts to the churchyard:
► the original 1847 churchyard (known as the old churchyard – OCY),
► the ‘new’ churchyard which was consecrated in 1940 and covers
► the central section (C),
► the north section (N), which came into use around 1970.
► the cremation plots (CC) – part of the central section which came into use in 1973
To search the complete directory all the registers, click here.
There are five registers digitised, and the link on each name will take you to the original image in whichever register the burial is recorded.
If you would rather search by year, then click on the link for the year directory of each register, bearing in mind that from 1940 burials are recorded in different registers depending on the location of the plot.
The digitised registers
OCY1: This is the oldest burial register from St Thomas’ Church, and it records the period from 1847 when the church was opened, to 1901 (nearly 800 register entries). The original is now kept in the County Archive in Warwick. To search this register by year, click here. This register is also available on www.ancestry.co.uk within “Warwickshire, England, Church of England burials 1813-1910” for premium and worldwide membership subscribers.
OCY2: This is the second burial register from St Thomas’ Church Keresley, and it records burials in the Old Church Yard from 1901 to 1949 (over 800 register entries). It runs concurrently with C&N from 1940, but only contains burials for the old churchyard where C&N only contains burials from the new churchyard. To search this register by year, click here.
The original is now kept in the County Archive in Warwick.
OCY3: this is the third old churchyard burial register and covers the period from 1949 to 1993 (around 750 entries). It contains burials exclusively in the old churchyard up until 1988 when it becomes the register for burials (but not of ashes) in the whole churchyard. From 1949 to 1988 it runs concurrently with C&N, and also from 1973 with CC. To search this register by year, click here.
C&N: This is the first central section burial register, begun in 1940 when the new churchyard was consecrated. It records burials exclusively in the central and northern areas of the new churchyard (over 1600 entries). It runs concurrently with OCY2 from 1940 to 1949, but does not contain burials from the old churchyard from that time. It runs to 1988 and is concurrent with OCY3 from 1949 to 1988 and, from 1973, with CC. To search this register by year, click here.
CC: This is the record of cremation plots in the central section but also includes, though not exclusively, cremations in existing plots in the whole churchyard. It runs from 1973 to 1993 (170 entries), concurrently with both OCY3 and C&N. To search this register by year, click here.
The churchyard was declared full and closed (by Order in Council of HM the Queen) in 2004. Although there have been no new plots available since then, there continue to be interments in existing family plots.