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Reverend Caesar Caine

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St Leonard's, Cleator
St Leonard's, Cleator
The Reverend Caesar Caine, Church of England Vicar at St Leonard's Church, Cleator (1910 - 1922) was the author of the definitive history of Cleator & Cleator Moor.

On St Bega's Chapel and the Catholic School, first built in 1853:
The Reverend Gregory Holden, O.S.B., founded the Roman Catholic Mission at the foot of of Todholes in 1853, building a small Church with School in the rear. When the present handsome Church was erected in 1872, the original Mission Church was utilised as  the main Schooloom.
On the Council School built in 1910:
The latest development in connection with Cleator Schools is the erection of the Council School, which replaced the School at the Mill in 1910. The School is a handsome structure standing on a site of 2 1/2 acres on the main road near The Flosh. The site is well situated opposite Dent, and is divided from the high road by a plantation.
Reverend Caesar Caine
Rev Caesar Caine
Reverend Caine was described as a big man physically and mentally, a fearless preacher, and well known throughout Cumberland as a lecturer. He died in 1922 from pneumonia in the presence of his wife, daughter and sister. He was aged 66 years.

He was formerly in the Wesleyan ministry, and did not join the Church of England  until 1899. His first appointment being as deacon in the Newcastle Diocese. In 1900 he occupied the curacy in charge of Garrigill, Dalston. He was then offered the living of All Saints, Ipswich, at which parish he remained until 1910.

The hard and strenuous life in the town not being conducive to his health, he exchanged livings with the then vicar of St. Leonard's ( The Rev S. Key).

For upwards of twelve years Mr Caine carried out the duties in the St Leonard's parish in Cleator in a most conscientious, courteous, and able manner, and the large congregations which usually assembled in the church was no doubt ample recompense for the ministering and carrying out of God's word.

He was a man who loved his church and his congregation, and his many inspiring words of comfort and acts of kindness in the parish will live in memory.

An honourable link that will always live in the hearts of his parishioners was the fact that although bordering on 60 years of age he volunteered in Easter of 1917 to serve in his Majesty's forces during the war. He was granted the  chaplain rank of Captain, and became engaged at the Netley Hospital, where he eventually took full control of the Red Cross department. This position he occupied until his demobilisation in August, 1919.

During the war, the Reverend Caine sent a letter home, describing the barbaric treatment of Prisoners of War by their German captors:
I don't know whether I am allowed to tell you this. If not, it will be struck out. In a recent fight the Germans took prisoners, some of whom were wounded. The sequel is almost too horrible to repeat. The prisoners were led together, and then pelted and pounded with hand bombs or grenades till they were blown to pieces. The wounded were then placed together and treated exactly in the same way. 
This intelligence was brought into the line by one of the prisoners who feigned death, and managed to crawl away when the enemy was no longer observing. Before reaching his comrades, he lay and crawled in the open for 35 hours. At the end of the massacre he was kicked by a German to see if he were alive, but fortunately for him he was able to keep up the deception, and thus his escape.
Reverend Caine was a keen observer, and wielding a ready pen, he had the happy knack of imparting his knowledge to others. He was one of the founders of the Ehenside Nature Club, and for many years acted as president. He rendered valuable services to the club by his contributions on local and other matters of interest.

As a lecturer he was in great demand, his excellent style of delivery and intimate knowledge of the subjects he dealt with always gaining the highest appreciation of his audiences. Whilst at Netley, Mr Caine acted as editor of the "Red Cross Magazine," with great success, and whilst in that neighbourhood he gave several lectures and accomplished some very used research work of geological importance. In addition to being president of the Ehenside Nature Club, he was along with the hon. secretary (Mr J. Sewell) a member of the British Empire Naturalist Association, and also a member of the Cumberland and Westmorland Archaeological and Antiquarian Society.

He was also clever carver of wood and painter. Mr Caine was an ardent Freemason, being a member of Stirling Lodge No. 1989, Cleator Moor. He held the provincial honour of PP Grand Chaplain for Cumberland and Westmorland.

Mr Caine's book 'Cleator Past and Present' published in 1916, is a valuable work of reference.
  • The Reverend Caine was laid to rest in the graveyard of St Leonard's Church at Cleator. His grave is located on the way to the new churchyard, on the right before the opening, and set three back.  The grave is marked with a tall headstone, topped with a celtic style cross.
The grave of Reverend Caesar Caine, Cleator
The resting place of Reverend Caesar Caine

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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland: Reverend Caesar Caine
Reverend Caesar Caine
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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland
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