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Sunday 24 March 2024

"No Greater Honour and No More Worthy" - James and Eleanor Burnham

All Saint's Cemetery,
Maidenhead, Berkshire UK


"In Loving Memory of James Burham Died 1914 and of his wife Eleanor Burham Died 1929 and of their grandaughter Veronica Stenberg Born 1929 Died 1993 a dear wife to Rudy Stenberg Born 1930 Died 2018."

James Burnham was born in 1852 in Maidenhead, Berkshire to parents William Burnham, a Printer and Stationer, and Matilda Brown. James was an active member in the Maidenhead community, a keen rower and a member of the Maidenhead Rowing Club, he also served as a volunteer fireman for the Maidenhead Fire Brigade, rising to the rank of Chief Officer before his death.

James first appears on the 1861 Census living in Maidenhead High Street with his parents and his four brothers, William, Joseph, Tom, and Frank. In 1867 their mother Matilda Burnham passed away aged 50. William was remarried in Maidenhead in 1868 to Jane Fenner.

Maidenhead High Street

1871 finds the family still living in Maidenhead High Street.  James's occupation is listed as a General Printer working for his father along with his elder brother Joseph, and younger brother Frank.

The 1881 Census shows James, now a Compositor living at 93 High Street Maidenhead with his father, stepmother and their Domestic Servant Lousia Madewell. Visiting the family is Jane's sister Elizabeth Fenner. 

Eleanor Burham was born Eleanor Eliza Davy in Maidenhead, Berkshire in 1854 to parents Ephraim Davy, a School Master, Town Clerk, and Clerk of the Board of Health for Maidenhead, and Frances Back.

Eleanor can be found on the 1861 Census living with her parents, siblings, and twin brother William Frances in Maidenhead High Street. 1871 finds the family have moved to Market Street in Maidenhead. By 1881 the family had moved to 1 York Villas. James Burnham married Eleanor Eliza Davy at Maidenhead in 1881.

Derelict York Villas since demolished. c2015 

1891 James and Eleanor had moved to 4 Grays Villa, The Crescent, Marlow Road Maidenhead. James is now listed as a Stationer.  Living with the family are their children, William James born in 1884, and Albert Victor born in 1888. Also living with the family are Eleanor's sister Louisa Harriet Davey, and brother Walter Milton Davey.

Marlow Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire.

1911 James and Eleanor have moved to 3 Craufurd Rise, Marlow Road, Maidenhead. Living with then is their son William James, now 27 years old, an assistant in his father's business.

James passed away in 1914 aged 63, Eleanor was to follow him in 1929 aged 76.

James was a well loved and respected member of the Maidenhead Community. The Maidenhead Advertiser reported on his funeral as follows:

"Funeral of Late Mr. James Burnham. Imposing and Impressive scenes.

No greater honour and no more worthy and appropriate tribute of respect for one who during his life had rendered most valuable service for the good of the community among who he lived, could have been accorded by that by the townspeople on Thursday afternoon at the funeral of late Mr. James Burham, who on the 27th July passed away at his residence, Hope Villa, Marlow-road, Maidenhead, after a long illness. Generally, there seemed to be a desire on the part of the inhabitants to publicly express their regret at the loss of a good fellow-citizen, and to pay their last respect to one who had been so highly esteemed, and who won the affection of all with whom he came into contact. Thousands of people of all classes were present in the streets and at the Cemetery, and the funeral was a profoundly impressive spectacle. The members of the Maidenhead Fire Brigade laid their late Chief Officer to rest with all honour due to a fireman, and, moreover the deceased, who had served with distinction in the Maidenhead Company of the Berkshire Volunteers, and who ranked as an hon, lieutenant of the Maidenhead companies of the Berkshire National Reserves, was accorded the privilege of a military burial."


 Further on in the article the Maidenhead Advertiser reported on the military salute at the graveside of Mr. Burnham:

"The ceremony had not yet concluded; the military rites had yet to be observed. The firing party fired three volleys over the grave and then the buglers of the Coldstream Band sounded the 'Last Pos.' And so with the greatest honour that could be accorded to a citizen-soldier, the mortal remains of one of Maidenhead's prominent townsmen was laid to rest."


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