CFHS code : HT30

Parish : Holy Trinity

Inscription : In Ever Loving Memory of BERNARD CHARLES DENSTON d 23 Dec 1952 aged 66 and ELLA DENSTON [wife] 5 Dec 1961 aged 71

Monument : Headstone/Kerb stones

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

The Denston headstone


This headstone, Located in the parish of Holy Trinity stands against the east wall just after south path bends towards the north.


In Ever Loving Memory of

a dear husband and father


Died Dec. 23rd 1952

Aged 66 years

Loved and remembered always

and of a loving mother


Died Dec. 5th 1961

Aged 71 years

Bernard Charles Denston (15 September 1886 – 23 December 1952)

Bernard was the son of Frederick and Amelia and grew up at  Gwydir Street. His father was a carpenter and Bernard worked as a tailor. He married Ella on 17 April 1911 in Cherry Hinton and they had at least eight children: Winnie Amelia (1912-1988), Frederick Arthur (1913-1985), Rita Eileen (1915-), Margaret Ella (1916-2003), Cecil Charles (1919-1953), Charles Bernard (1921-2017), Ada Florence (1924-1925) and Arthur Newman (1926-1999). The family lived at 39 Gwydir Street and  Bernard enlisted in the army in May 1916 serving with the 2nd South Staffordshire Regiment.  From his army records it is known he was 5ft 1.5 inches tall with ‘poor’ physical development.  Records show that the army failed to return his marriage certificate and the birth certificates fo the children and Ella had to write at least twice requesting their return – ‘this is the second time I have written for them as you said you would return them as soon as possible so I am anxious about them [and] fear they should get lost trusting you will forward them as quick as possible’. He was wounded in March 1919 whilst undertaking wire disposal and admitted to hospital in Lichfield.

After the war he continued to work as a tailor and the family lived 39 Gwydir Street (until at least 1937) and then  48 Abbey Road (1939).

Ella Denston (née Chapman/Ellwood) (8 January 1890 – 5 December  1961)

Ella was born in Harlton, a village five miles south-west of Cambridge and was the illegitimate daughter of Ada Florence Chapman (1870-1942). Her mother married Arthur Ellwood (1870-1953) in 1892 and over time she adopted the surname of Ellwood. Arthur was a plate layer on the railway and then worked as a labourer in a cement factory.  Ella grew up in Cherry Hinton with her parents and younger siblings and started school at Cherry Hinton on 7 May 1895. She was working as a domestic servant before her marriage to Bernard Denston when she was 21 years old.

Using information from Parish burial records it is thought that Bernard and Ella’s infant daughter Ada is also buried in the same grave

Ada Florence Denston (c.May 1924 – March 1925)

Ada died at 39 Gwydir Street aged 10 months old and was buried at Mill Road Cemetery on 2 April 1925.



Newspaper archives

Parish burial records transcribed by CFHS

by Claire Martinsen

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Ada Florence Denston; Bernard Charles Denston; Ella Denston