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Showing posts from September, 2012

Plumstead Cemetery in the Royal Borough of Greenwich

We discover more about Plumstead’s connection with the Woolwich Arsenal Armament Factory

Previously on this blog we looked at the life of Bertie Mee, one of the most successful managers of Arsenal Football Club. Although it is a north London side now, Arsenal began life south of the river as a football team for a group of workers from the Woolwich Arsenal Armament Factory. Soon to be known as the Royal Arsenal, the side played its first match on 11th December 1886. The team changed its name to Woolwich Arsenal after becoming professional in 1891 and were known as the Gunners in reference to their association with the factory. The Club joined the football league in 1893 and were still based in Woolwich in 1903[1] when disaster struck, affecting the lives of many in the area.
On Thursday 18 June 1903 at 8.10 in the morning, an explosion ripped through the shell filling rooms in the Lyddite Factory at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. These rooms comprised large corrugated iron huts set on bri…

Charlton Cemetery in the Royal Borough of Greenwich

This week we look at maritime and military memorials in Charlton Cemetery
Established in 1855 as a ‘Gentleman’s Cemetery'. Charlton largely retains its original Victorian layout. For a relatively small cemetery, Charlton has a high number of notable and unique memorials. Amongst those interred is Sir John Maryon-Wilson (1802-1876), who, as Lord of the Manor of Hampstead, helped to preserve Hampstead Heath for future generations. Curiously, the very fine Hampstead Cemetery – the data for which is also in the database – features a wide range of well known politicians and establishment figures, but obviously Maryon-Wilson had moved south of the river.
Perhaps the most striking monument belongs to Jemima Ayley (1825-1860), whose canopied memorial features an effigy lying above a vault which contained a table and chairs for visitors.
The graves of Royal Naval personnel and merchant seamen are unsurprising for a cemetery so near to the maritime hub of Greenwich. There are numerous grav…

Greenwich and Eltham Cemeteries – resting place of one of Britain’s most cherished children’s authors

Continuing our coverage of cemeteries in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, this week we focus on Eltham Cemetery
Eltham Cemetery and Crematorium (or ‘Falconwood’) is relatively modern, with the cemetery section having opened in 1935. Darren Beach’s excellent pocket-sized London Cemeteries book[1] describes it as “one of London’s flattest cemeteries, especially compared with the rolling hills of Greenwich. Given the terrain, it’s not surprisingly based on a grid pattern, with trees only along the paths and edges.” The cemetery features some interesting memorials and Beach highlights a “half-size figure of a man dressed in flying gear commemorating an airman killed in 1938. It’s not easy to miss – his outfit looks more like a post-apocalyptic radioactivity suit than anything else.”
However, probably Eltham's most notable occupant is Richmal Crompton, the creator of the naughty 11 year old schoolboy hero, William Brown. Peek inside the children’s corner of any library or bookshop acr…

This week we reveal details of the latest cemeteries to be added to the Deceased Online database.

Well done to those who recognized Greenwich Cemetery from the teasers on our Twitter and Facebook pages!
Greenwich and Eltham Cemeteries are both managed by the Royal London Borough of Greenwich. The collection includes all data, comprising around 108,000 burials, with scans of burial registers, grave details (i.e. the details of all those buried in each grave), cemetery grave location maps and some memorial and headstone photos to follow shortly.
The Council's cremation records (Eltham Crematorium, 202,000 mostly with register scans) are already on the database. We'll be revealing more about Eltham in next week's blog.
Later this autumn, we will be adding the Council's other three cemeteries: Charlton, Plumstead, and Woolwich. Once all these cemeteries’ data is on the website, the total records covered for Greenwich Council will number nearly more than half a million. Situated by Shooter’s Hill, Greenwich Cemetery is one of the largest in London and has sweeping vi…