Muslim graves in Burngreave Cemetery

Story: Ian Clifford

We may think that multicultural Burngreave is a fairly recent thing, but a collection of graves of Muslim people in Burngreave cemetery dating from 70 to 80 years ago shows how long Burngreave has been a mixed community.

Death certificates for these people, obtained by the Messenger, shows people working in the steel industry and living in very harsh conditions indeed. The four graves are in the circle near the Scott Road entrance of the cemetery.

Sultan Mohomed

Sultan Mohomed, died 16th July 1923, is described on his grave as an “Indian Mohammedan” where it also states “killed at work at Beighton Colliery”. The death certificate gives the place of death as the Royal Infirmary and describes the cause of death as follows:

Sultan Mohomed's Grave
Sultan Mohomed's Grave

“Fracture of the skull accidentally sustained on the same date at Beighton Colliery in the township of Aston through falling from a traction rope of an aerial tramway as he was moving along such rope by his hands for the purpose of releasing a car.”

Souriya Khan

Perhaps saddest of all is the grave of Souriya Khan, who died 30th July 1929, aged 9 months, described as “beloved daughter of Ayaht and Hilda Khan”. The death certificate describes the cause of death as convulsions and tuberculosis meningitis, a serious infection of the brain caused by TB which was much more common at that time. A marriage certificate obtained by a member of the chapel group showed the mother’s maiden name as Hilda Davies, indicating an early mixed marriage. Souriya’s death certificate describes her father, here spelt, Ayaght, as a steelworks labourer and states sadly: “H M Khan Mother Present at the death 98 Darnall Road, Sheffield”.

Ali Amidullah's Grave
Ali Amidullah's Grave

Ali Amidulla

The grave of Ali Amidulla states that he ‘died suddenly’ at the age of 37 on 12th March 1931. The death certificate obtained by the Messenger states the full name as Gasalic Amidulla of 7 Ravencarr Road, Manor with the occupation of Steel Works Boiler Fireman. The place of death is described as Brown Bayleys Steel Works.

The cause of death is described as “Natural causes” related to atheroma, or swelling, of the artery walls. You wonder if some industrial chemical or fumes or just the strain of working physically very hard in extreme heat contributed to his collapse and death.

View the original death certificates

The death certificates of the time can be seen below. Click on each image to view a larger version:

Death Certificate of Sultan Mohomed
Death Certificate of Sultan Mohomed
Death Certificate of Souriya Khan
Death Certificate of Souriya Khan
Death Certificate of Ali Amidulla
Death Certificate of Ali Amidulla

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The content on this page was added to the website by Kate Atkinson on 2008-11-29 21:15:54.
The content of the page was last modified by Douglas Johnson on 2008-12-01 17:03:44.

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