Life story retold by Cynthia and Steve Thomas
William Bridger and his family are buried in Division 20, grave number 265 at Reading Old Cemetery. William was buried there on May 4th 1887. Also buried in the grave are his son, John Exall Bridger – buried on Jan 16th 1934 and John’s wife, Mary Ann Allen, buried on 14th January 1932.
When William was buried, it was called a reserved grave and we believe that the first burial in the grave might have been William’s mother, Elizabeth. She was living at the house of George Barrett and his wife in Katesgrove Lane at the time of the 1841 census. She died in Reading on 31st December 1846. Grave 265 is against the Wokingham Road wall of the cemetery and is completely overgrown with holly bushes. We have not been able to find a stone or even to establish the exact position
of the grave.
Sarah Barrett (nee Bridger) was the sister of Richard Bridger, who was the father of William Bridger. Sometime in the early 1830s William came to work at his uncle’s iron works in Reading. William married Louisa Webb on the 13th November 1854 at the Congregational Church which stood, until the 1980’s, on the corner of Sidmouth Street and Queens Road. They moved into a new house, built for William, at no. 49 Queens Road – originally called Milton House.
Buried in Section 20, Grave Number 265