A woman in her 60s and her daughter were targeted whilst laying flowers on the grave of relative at the cemetery on Greenacres Road.
A man armed with a knife approached the family members and made threats on Sunday afternoon.
He demanded the keys to their car and tried to snatch the woman’s handbag before eventually fleeing empty handed after a short struggle.
The offender fled on foot in the direction of Constantine Street.
The two women were left with cuts and bruises and are incredibly shaken by their ordeal.
The offender is described as a white, aged between 18-25 years, of slim build and around 5ft 10ins tall.
He was wearing a grey hooded top with horizontal stripes across the chest.
Detective Sergeant Alex Wilkinson, of GMP’s Oldham district, said: “This was a cowardly attack on two women who were simply visiting the grave of a loved one to pay their respects.
“The incident has left them both very shaken and we’re urging anyone who witnessed this attack or has any information that could assist our enquiries to please get in touch.
“We will have extra police patrols in the area over the coming days so please approach these officers with any concerns or queries and they’ll assist in any way they can.”