The memories of two children murdered in the 1800s are being honoured by an amatuer genealogist after he  found their gravestone in disrepair.

Simon King who works at Find My Family, had been out  carrying out research for a family and while trying to locate a grave at Farnworth Cemetery, he stumbled across the gravestone of the children, complete with an inscription with their names, ages, and date they were murdered.

It was the ages of the children and how they came about their death, that really moved him.

And now he is looking to raise money to repair or install new memorials to the two.

Siblings Phoebe Hardy aged 17, and Peter Bradburn aged just nine, were both murdered by their father William Bradburn, 36, on May 3,1882, on Kay Street in Farnworth.

He said: “I came home and researched it and the newspaper from the time.

“And it is a hugely tragic story.

The Bolton News: This is what the gravestone should look like once complete This is what the gravestone should look like once complete (Image: Newsquest)“It doesn't sit well with me that kids who were given such a bad hand by life are going to be forgotten in death and this stone has to be repaired and I want to make that happen.

“It’s wrong and the stone should be there for all of time.

“It pulls at you differently than if it was the memorial of a 90-year-old who died of natural causes.”

A newspaper clipping from this period revealed that workers at the mill, where Phoebe worked, raised money for the original stone.

Simon from Oldham added: “They were just kids.

The Bolton News: The top part has come off the top baseThe top part has come off the top base (Image: Newsquest)“The people who raised the money for the gravestone would have been working class people who had nothing, and 140 years later it is in the mud.

“People would have gone without to get money for the stone.

“It’s a tragedy on so many levels.

“Since seeing it was working class people who, despite being poor themselves, clubbed together to pay for that stone then that has also contributed to my desire to see it restored.

“To a lesser degree you then also have the mental health aspect of the story in relation to William a father and a grieving widower, and it makes it even sadder.

“All those things combined just make me think it's the right thing to do.”

The Bolton News:

Simon has now created a fundraising page to try and collect any funds for the stone, with any additional money going to a local charity – yet to be chosen.

Simon has contacted a stone mason for a quote which he is waiting for.

If anyone has any more information to share or any modern family links email me at

Click here ( to help Simon raise funds for a new stone.

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