History - Hope Street old burial ground (Sheerness)
With kind permission of Marcus Roberts Jtrails.org.uk© Marcus Roberts, www.jtrails.org.uk
The Jewish cemetery - Hope Street, the rear of 61 High Street (Mile Town)
Hope Street runs parallel to Russell Street and comes directly off the High Street. The cemetery is doubtlessly one of Mile Town's best kept secrets, even though it is just yards from the main street of the town. Unless you know about it and where to look you would almost certainly never stumble across it.
To find it, look down Hope Street from its junction with High Street. It is on the left about 30 yards down in the gap between the second and third buildings on the street. It is fronted by a seven foot high, anonymous concrete rendered wall, with a small decrepit wooden door on the left. The ground is 60 x 25 feet.
It appears that the key for the cemetery might not be held locally - it used to be in a nearby shop. I was given a view of the cemetery through the rear window of a shops W.C. which looks onto the ground!
The tombstones, all uprights, rest against the far wall in varying states of decay. When I visited only one tombstone was visible in the sea of brambles. A blocked in window in the south perimeter wall may be evidence for a small former ohel (burial hall) for the cemetery.
Professor De Lange's survey of the cemetery confirms that the earliest burial was that of Hannah Moses in 1804, she died at 15 year old. There are eleven tombstones in the cemetery of modest style inscribed in Hebrew.
The memorials, where surnames are given, are to the Moses, Jacobs, Levy and probably the Abrahams family. Mrs Jacobs was also buried in this cemetery in 1904, even though it had been officially out of use since 1855.