The final resting place of Will Onda

Rain family gravestone in Preston cemetery

Gravestone of Margaret and Hugh Rain, including memorial to their son Hugh Carnegie

After the great success of the Industrial Revolutionaries cemetery tour on Wednesday we are planning a new tour for March next year. We are hoping to include people reflected in the Harris Museum’s collections or who have made their mark on Preston’s history. I am keen to see Will Onda included in the tour.

I knew that Onda was buried in Preston cemetery but had not seen the grave myself. This photograph was sent through to us today. The gravestone marks the final resting place of Margaret Rain and her husband Hugh Rain (Will Onda). It is lovely to see WILL ONDA carved on the stone. I found the phrase ‘fell asleep’ and the vase dedicated to ‘My sweetheart’ particularly touching. Margaret Billington and Hugh Rain were both born in Preston, they married in 1890 and had 5 children. Between 1894 and 1907 they spent many months apart while Onda was on tour. They then spent the next 21 years together in Preston until Margaret died in 1938.

Thank you to Preston Cemetery for this photograph and permission to publish it on my blog. I will be writing about Hugh Carnegie Rain in a future post and will post more about the cemetery tour as it develops.

About Emma Heslewood

I am a historian and museum curator with broad interests including early topical films, social and industrial history, numismatics, archaeology and WW1. I am an expert on the life and work of the Victorian acrobat and topical film maker - Will Onda.
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