Portsmouth Music Scene

The Portsmouth Music Scene

Musical Deaths

There are many Portsmouth musicians buried in cemeteries around the City, and in particular at Highland Road Cemetery. A group of enthusiastic volunteers known as the "Friends of Highland Road Cemetery," have catalogued most of the graves and the history of those buried there long ago, and listed below are some of them. If you have any interest in the history of Portsmouth, then you will find that a visit there will be an incredible eye opener. They have regular guided tours and a web page.

- Friends of Highland Road Cemetery -

Charles James MEW

Born about 1829, died January 1893 age 65. He lived in South Parade, Southsea and was a musician, composer and piano teacher and owned a piano shop in Palmerston Road Southsea. He was organist at St Anne's Church in Portsmouth Dockyard.

William James HANDLEY

A Royal Marine Artillery Bandsman died age 30 and buried in June 1889 with full military honours, but is now in an unmarked grave.


He was a hurdy gurdy man born in Italy in 1854, but died in Portsmouth age 79 in January 1933, and had played his music for Queen Victoria.


Born in 1861 he was the musical director at the Royal Navy School of music and lived in Southsea and died September 1919 age 58.


He was Bandmaster of the 1st Dublin Fusiliers born about 1860 and lived in Portsea. After a dispute and miss-understanding with a fellow soldier committed suicide in January 1900.

Samuel ROUND

He was organist at St Thomas' Church and a teacher of the organ, and died age 32 in September 1898.


Baptised in St Thomas' Church in 1851 and was Bandmaster of the 3rd Battalion Hampshire Regiment. He later became a Portsmouth Music hall musician but died in July 1891 at Haslar Hospital age 39.

Thomas Robert William HUNTER

Born in 1863 in Portsmouth he died in November 1933 age 70 at the Royal Hospital. He was a soloist at All Saints Church, and then organist at St Simons and St Georges. He performed at the Guildhall, South Parade Pier and also the Princes Theatre and Theatre Royal. He taught music and composed operas and had songs published and was able to conduct an orchestra.

Henry Ernest LIDIARD

He first entered the service on 19th April 1877 as a Band Boy saying he was 15 years old but was younger born in 1863 in Devon. He played at the opening ceremony of the first band of the Royal Naval School of Music at Eastney. On 22nd October 1909 he became Chief Bandmaster of the Royal Naval School of Music and later Chief Bandmaster and Warrant officer of the newly formed Royal Marine Band Service at Eastney. In 1917 he was promoted Captain, and Assistant Superintendent of the Royal Naval School of Music. On 17th October 1919 he was promoted Major, on retirement after 42 years continuous service in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, he was known as the “Father of the Band Service”. Major Henry Ernest Lidiard died at Southsea on 3rd November 1951.

Samuel George SMITH

He was a Royal Marines Bandmaster, and at the Royal Naval School of Music. He died in January 1912 at Haslar Hospital.

Charles R J GIBBS

He was born in Portsmouth and died in Southsea in September 1931 age 65. He was an accomplished organist at St Andrews Church Farlington and music teacher and composer and was a Mason.


Polly, whose real name was Mary Ann Hogan, was born in 1842 in New Zealand and toured the world singing. She was married four times. Exactly how she came to be buried in Highland Road Cemetery, Portsmouth in an unmarked grave has always been a mystery.

Lionel Douglas Vernon MOORE

Born at Fareham in July 1880 and became a bugler at Eastney barracks just age 13 and a half. A talented violinist and popular musician who performed at many local halls including Clarence Pier, and when married lived in Adair Road Portsmouth. He died age 28 in 1909.

lionelhantstele4-7-1908 lionel hantst 24-4-1909 rdvmoore1908xx

His graveside after the funeral.

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