CFHS code : AG219

Parish : St Andrew the Great

Inscription : In Loving Memory of ERNEST JAMES WORMAN d June 8 1909 aged 3[8] CLARA WORMAN d March 31 1931

Monument : Triangular block/Kerb stones

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey


We have not been able to photograph this monument as it lies in dense undergrowth three rows west of the west path, close to the east west path.


In Loving Memory of ERNEST JAMES WORMAN d June 8 1909 aged 38 CLARA WORMAN d March 31 1931

Ernest James Worman (c1871 – 8 June 1909)

Ernest was the son of   James and Harriet Worman. James Worman was a coachman, and Ernest grew up at 41 Norwich Street with his siblings Elizabeth [1849-1926], Henry Powles [1857-1936] and Laura [1859-1941].  His father died when he was 17 years old in 1888, and in 1891 he was living with his mother at 41 Norwich Street, and working as a booksellers assistant. In 1891 he married Clara Smith, when he was 27 years old and she was 45.

He matriculated at Cambridge University in 1896, gaining a BA in 1898 and was awarded an MA in 1902.  He was not affiliated to any college.  He lived with Clara at 5 Montague Road from at least 1901-1904, later they lived at 19 Warkworth Street.  Ernest worked as a university library assistant.

Ernest was a Baptist and was opposed to the 1902 Education Act [otherwise known as the Balfour Act].  In this act funding for schools was moved to a more uniform basis.   Previously some schools were run by local school boards, and some were run by churches [either Church of England or Catholic].  The 1902 act established local eduction authorities [LEA’s] who were in charge of paying school teachers and ensuring they were sufficiently qualified.  They paid the teachers in church schools, with churches providing and maintaining the school buildings and providing religious instruction.  Members of the Baptist and Methodist Churches ran a campaign of passive resistance for many years after the introduction of the Act, whereby they withheld the educational element from their taxes. They objected to their taxes being used to educate children in a religion different to their own, and were also unhappy at loosing previous involvement on the now abolished school boards. Ernest appeared in court in 1904 and again in 1907 for non-payment of  tax.  In 1907 there were 47 people who stood in passive resistance on this matter in Cambridge.

He was Curator in Oriental Literature at Cambridge University Library, 1908-1909, where he catalogued oriental books and fragments from the Cairo Genizah.  He died in June 1909 aged 38 years old, and leaving an estate valued at £473 8d 6d.

The Cambridge Independent Press reported his death in the following way:


By the death of Mr Ernest James Worman, which occurred at his residence 19, Warkworth Street on Tuesday morning, the Baptists in Cambridge and in particular St Andrew’s Street Chapel have lost a valuable helper and friend.  Mr Worman was a deacon at St Andrews Street Chapel for several years and succeeded Mr Mansfield as secretary of the Church.  During his period of office he took a large share in the movement for the erection of the splendid new chapel.  As a Sunday School, Missionary and Brotherhood worker he was invaluable, and his services will be indeed greatly missed.  Mr Worman was an MA of Christ’s College and was a member of the University Library staff.

Clara Worman [nee Smith] (5 May 1853 – 31 March 1931)

Clara was born in Willingham and was the daughter of Josiah and Jane Smith.  Her father was a farmer of 41 acres, and in 1861 was employing 3 men, 2 women and 1 boy.  Her mother died in June 1859 when Clara was 6 years old. By 1881 she had moved to Cambridge and was a housekeeper for her brothers.  She married Ernest Worman in summer 1989 when she was 45 years old. She was widowed less than 10 years later.

In 1911 she was living alone at 19 Warkworth Street.  She died in 1931 in Willingham, aged  77 years old. She left an estate valued at £455, 3s 8d.

British Newspaper archive

by Claire Martinsen

Clara Worman; Ernest James Worman