CFHS code : PL8

Parish : St Paul

Inscription : In Loving Memory of JAMES FURNISS b Feb 21 1853 d April 2 1916 also of HERBERT (BERT) son of the above b April 26 1888 killed in action Sep 7 1918 also of EDWIN son of the above b Aug 23 1879 d Oct 4 1886 also ROSA FANNY beloved wife of the above d Feb 19 1938 aged 85

Monument : Headstone

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

 Lat Lon : 52.201781, 0.13696327 – click here for location

Furniss headstone February 2017


Headstone in Gothic-arch shape, with pillar and capital at each side, in the parish area of St Paul, to the south side of the southern path at the point where it meets the central path. The headstone was made by Ivett & Reed.


‘In loving memory of James Furniss
born Feb 21 1853 died April 2 1916’

‘Also of Herbert (Bert) son of the above
born April 26 1888 killed in action Sept 7 1918’

‘Also of Edwin son of the above
born Aug 23 1879 died Oct 4 1886’
“Thy will be done.”

‘Also Rosa Fanny beloved wife of the above
died Feb 19 1938 aged 85 years.’

“Peace Perfect Peace”

James Furniss (21 February 1853 – 2 April 1916)

James was the son of carpenter/joiner James Furniss and his wife Mary. He was born and raised in Leeds and  was baptised at St. John the Evangelist Church on 23 June 1861 when he was 8 years old.  Aged 18 was working as a warehouseman. James married Rosa Hicks at St. Peter’s Church, Leeds on 16 May 1872  and they had ten children: Lillie (1873-), James (1876-), Edwin (1879-1886), Reginald (1881-), May (1884-1956), Rosa (1886-), Herbert (1888-1918), Arthur (1891-1957), Dorothy (1893-1983) and one more child who died as an infant.  They started married life in Leeds, but had moved to Cambridge by the time daughter May was born in 1884.  James worked as a commercial traveller and they lived at Hope Street, 270 Mill Road (at least 1889-1906) and 30 Rathmore Road (at least 1908 onwards). He died at home aged 63 years old.

Private Herbert (Bert) Furniss (26 April 1888- 7  September 1918)WW1 soldier – see also Life Story page

Bert was born in Cambridge and went to school at the Higher Grade School. He then served an apprenticeship with Messrs. Smart and Son, outfitters who were based at 11 Market Street.  In 1911 he was lodging in Chichester and working as an assitant in a gents outfitters.  He then moved to Leeds to work, where he enlisted in the army shortly after the outbreak of war. He joined the West Yorkshire Regiment as a signaller, and was later transferred to the 2nd Batallion, Lincolnshire Regiment. Bert left for France in March 1917 was employed at the front as a stretcher bearer. He was gassed at the front whilst carrying out his duties and has a Commonwealth War Grave in the Fins New British Cemetery, Sorel-le-Grand, in the Somme, northern France. He is commemorated on the grave monument in Mill Road Cemetery.

Edwin Furniss (27 August 1879 – 4 October 1886)

Edwin was born in Leeds and baptised on 4 February 1880 at St. Mark’s Church, Woodhouse.  He died at Hope Street aged 7 years old and was buried at Mill Road Cemetery on 8 October.

Rosa Fanny Furniss  (née Hicks) (25 May 1852 – 19 February 1938)

Rosa was born in Chapeltown, Leeds and was the daughter of Richard and Anne Hicks. She was baptised at St. Peter’s Church, Leeds on 17 July 1854. Her father was a nurseryman, and she grew up at ‘Tea Gardens’, Roundhay Road,Leeds.

After she was widowed Rosa lived at 24 Orchard Street with her widowed daughter Rosa until at least 1930. Rosa’s husband James Oakley Darlington had died in the war in August 1916. In 1935/36 Rosa  had moved to Newcastle upon Tyne, to live with her youngest daughter Dorothy and son in law Wilfred Croft.  In 1937 she was recorded as living with her widowed daughter May  at 37  Humberstone Road, Cambridge. Rosa died at the Black Horse Hotel, Billingham and her funeral was held in Cambridge on 22 February.

War Grave Photographic Project (which gives 8 Sept 1918 as the death date)


Parish burial records transcribed by CFHS

Newspaper archives transcribed by CFHS

By Ian Bent with further information by Claire Martinsen

Edwin Furniss; Herbert (Bert) Furniss; James Furniss; Rosa Fanny Furniss