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Showing posts from October, 2012

Woolwich Cemetery in the Royal Borough of Greenwich

SS Princess Alice: London’s worst peacetime disaster

Now that all 485, 000 cemetery records from the Royal Borough of Greenwich are available on the database, this week’s post examines the history behind the Princess Alice Memorial in Woolwich Cemetery. This towering cross was built in memory of those who lost their lives in the sinking of the saloon steamer, the Princess Alice, which took place on the River Thames on Tuesday 3 September 1878, just south of North Woolwich. 120 of the alleged 640 victims are buried in rows behind the cross.
Today, few have heard of the Princess Alice disaster, but throughout September 1878, details of the tragedy and its aftermath dominated newspaper coverage across the UK.
The Princess Alice was one of the largest saloon steamers of the London Steam Packet Company, and could carry up to 700 passengers. Tuesday 3 September was a fine day, and the sunshine tempted many from across London to spend the day enjoying the weather in Kent. The steamer set off…

This week we celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Sir Reginald Fleming Johnston: scholar, writer, traveller and teacher

Tutor to China's Last Emperor

Sir Reginald Fleming Johnston KCMG, CBE (13 Oct 1874- 6 March 1938) was born in Edinburgh exactly one hundred and thirty-eight years ago this week.
Johnston spent much of his life away from Scotland, after entering the colonial service in 1898 and being sent initially to Hong Kong.
In 1919, he was appointed tutor to China’s non-sovereign Manchu emperor, Pu Yi, who was then 13 years old. Pu Yi had abdicated in 1912, becoming 'The Last Emperor'. At the time, Johnston and his colleague, Isabel Ingram, were the only foreigners in history to be allowed inside the inner court of Qing Dynasty. Johnston loved China and continued to serve there as a diplomat after Pu Yi was expelled from the Forbidden City in 1924.
On his return to Britain, Johnston was appointed Professor of Chinese at the School of Oriental Studies in London. He wrote Twilight in the Forbidden City (1934), an account of his time in China and of his relationship with his young charge. I…

How To Find Your Ancestors in the Deceased Online Database

Inspired by user feedback, this week’s post looks at the best ways to use the database
Thank you very much to all those who have emailed, tweeted and written on our Facebook page. We really appreciate your comments and would like to respond with some useful tips on getting the best from the Deceased Online website.
Burial records provide an essential resource for family historians. Unfortunately, even when you have details of an ancestor’s death from a death certificate or obituary, finding where he or she is buried can prove difficult. Sometimes, when your ancestor has a common name, the burial record can provide the details you need to identify him or her in the General Register Office index or in the ScotlandsPeople records.
The Deceased Online database holds a variety of burial and cremation records, including images of registers, maps of cemeteries with grave locations and some photographs of memorials and headstones. The records also enable you to discover who shares your ancest…