St John’s Cemetery opened in 1893 with its first burial on the 29 June. It is seven hectares in size and has approximately 9,000 burial plots as well as cremated remains. It occupies a gently sloping site in a square adjacent to the Worcester to Hereford railway line which forms the southern boundary and is bounded by industry and residential properties on the remaining 3 sides.
St John’s Burial Ground was created after locals, who were mostly working-class and poor, complained about the cost of transporting their dead across the River to Astwood Cemetery. Details of a meeting can be found in The Worcester Chronicle (21 June 1890).
Notable burials at St John’s include the Reverend Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy, Known as Woodbine Willie (1883-1929) who was known for comforting soldiers in WW1 through prayer and offering Woodbine cigarettes. He later went onto become an advocate for Christian socialism and pacifism and a published poet. He was also Chair of the Worcester Workers Committee, championing rights for workers. When he died, over 2,000 mourners lined the streets and threw Woodbine cigarettes at the coffin.