Father John Warmoll

Father John Warmoll

In 1863, a young virtually penniless newly ordained priest, Father John Warmoll arrived in Bedford. It was Christmas Eve and he was welcomed by the Tandy family. Masses were celebrated in the Tandy family home. This was the first time since the Reformation that Mass had been celebrated in public in Bedford.

We were first asked to find the graves of two ladies from the Tandy family. We found their graves completely overgrown, and these graves were cleared of ivy and other jungle undergrowth by the Friends, and also cleaned by the Roman Catholic community.

Father Warmoll became a Catholic in 1859 and was ordained a priest in 1863. He had perpetual financial problems but eventually enough money was raised to build a church in Midland Road Bedford. Father Warmoll joined many societies in the town, becoming a much respected speaker.

We are told that his funeral in Foster Hill Road Cemetery was attended by 3000 people. All the shops in the town closed for the day and the roads leading from Midland Road to Foster Hill Road Cemetery were lined by people. He died on 14th February 1885. The Friends have been working with our colleagues from the Roman Catholic Church and we have found an additional memorial to add to that of Father John Warmoll. This grave was completely covered with brambles and a blanket of weeds which they removed. This is a memorial to Father Robert Middleton a successor to Father Warmoll. This priest died on 12th October 1906. Father Wormall’s memorial stone has recently been re-consecrated and beautifully cleaned.


Top: The grave of Father John Warmoll.

Middle: The Tandy family graves

Bottom: The grave of Father Robert Middleton..