Father John Warmoll
by Sue Parsons
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.
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.
Father Wormall’s memorial stone has been re-consecrated and beautifully cleaned. Grave Ref:
The graves of the Tandy family were completely overgrown, and were cleared of ivy and other jungle undergrowth by the Friends, and also cleaned by the Roman Catholic community.
The Friends worked with colleagues from the Roman Catholic Church and 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 were removed. This is a memorial to Father Robert Middleton a successor to Father Warmoll. This priest died on 12th October 1906.
May 21, 2021