Friends of Hastings Cemetery

Mary J Bonar, Isobel Chesney, née Bonar “Lady Mary Anne Menzies, née Bonar

OB F3 : Bonar, Mary J / Chesney, Isabel / Menzies, "Lady"Mary Anne née Bonar

This story has some elements that have not yet been sorted.  According to reports, both sisters are called Mary Bonar.  Certainly the original burial in Hastings Cemetery was Mary J Bonar, who lived locally.  But the person who married Thomas Menzies in 1930 was also Mary Bonar. (Mary A M)  It would seem then, that they must be sisters-in-law, rather than sisters.  

The daughter, who married Merrett, is called variously Isobel, Veronica, Vera… Merrett is also spelt Merritt.

Double Murder Victims Buried at Hastings - Hastings and St Leonards Observer, Saturday 06 March 1954,

Ealing murder victims - sister of Lady Menzies reburied with them.

The funeral of the self-styled Lady Menzies, (68) and her daughter, Mrs. Isobel Chesney,(42) victims of the Ealing double murder, took place at Hastings yesterday.  They were buried together in the same grave at Hastings Borough Cemetery yesterday.  A few hours previously it was learned, the body of Mrs. Bonar, sister of Lady Menzies, who died at St. Leonards, where she conducted a nursing home for old folk, had been exhumed from a grave a short distance away and reinterred at the bottom of the new grave, so that the three women could rest together.


Following the hearse carrying the two coffins were three cars containing about a dozen mourners, both men and women, among them Mrs. Chesney's daughter. The last rites, performed by Father Terence Scanlan, the Roman Catholic Church of St, Thomas of Canterbury, St. Leonards, lasted about a quarter of-an-hour. Father Scanlan blessed the grave and, when the coffins had been lowered into it, sprinkled them with holy water. Women mourners dropped bunches of flowers into the grave. There were 11 floral tributes, among them a cross of tulips and daffodils, from Chief Inspector Tom Barratt. Superintendent Wilfred Daws, and Ealing C.I.D. officers.  The funeral had been delayed for some weeks by order of the Ealing Coroner. Mrs. Chesney's husband, John Ronald Chesney (45),  whom the police wished to interview, was found shot dead in some woods near Cologne, Germany, six days alter the double murder.

Mar. 03, 1954 - Inquest on ''Lady'' Menzies and Mrs. Chesney. The Inquest was held today at Ealing Town Hall on ''Lady'' Menzies and her daughter, Mrs. Isobel Chesney, whose bodies were found in their Old People's Home at Ealing.

A marble headstone now marks the place where the three are buried.

(There was originally a marble stone, which may have got mislaid when the second internment occurred, or it may be buried underneath the grass.)