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Lewisham Collection: Grove Park Cemetery

Coming soon to Deceased Online are the burial and cremation records of the London Borough of Lewisham in South East London. As a taster of some of the fascinating people to be found in the collection, this week I look at the short life of circus horse trainer, Helmuth Barth.
Lewisham lies to the south of central London landmarks like Canary Wharf
Everyone at Deceased Online is very excited about the forthcoming release of records for the inner London Borough of Lewisham. Burial and cremation records will be added to the database throughout September and October this year. They include full digital scans of original burial and cremation registers (computerised records from the late 1990s), grave details including all those buried in each grave, and maps indicating the sections for each grave. The Lewisham Collection includes records from:
  • Brockley Cemetery (records from 1858 - 1999)
  • Ladywell Cemetery (which adjoins Brockley, records from 1858 - 1999)
  • Grove Park Cemetery (records from 1935 - 1999)
  • Hither Green Cemetery (records from 1873 - 1999)
  • Hither Green aka Lewisham Crematorium (records from 1956 - 1995)
Neighbouring Southwark to the west, Greenwich to the east and Bromley to the south, Lewisham is a vibrant part of the capital and has a rich history. If your ancestors lived in Deptford, Blackheath, Brockley, Catford, Forest Hill, Ladywell, New Cross, Sydenham or central Lewisham, you may find their burial or cremation records in the new collection. 
Lewisham Crematorium records can be searched at Deceased Online
 The first set of records to come online are from the Lewisham (Hither Green) Crematorium and Grove Park Cemetery. The latter was founded in 1935 as Deptford New Cemetery and is situated in Marvels Lane, Lee SE12 9PU. Designed by H. Morley Lawson, an engineer with the Metropolitan Borough of Deptford, the cemetery was opened in June 1935 on a hillside location.
"Sanger's amphitheatre - Evanion collection (1886)

Only 11 years after the cemetery had opened, Helmuth Barth was laid to rest there in a private grave. Helmuth, whose full name was Ludvig Arthur Detley Helmuth Barth had been born circa 1906 and travelled to England to work for the Great Carmo Circus with his stepfather, the celebrated Austrian horse trainer, Captain Emmerich Ankner. Although Ankner is believed to have left England in the late 1930s to work for Circus Busch in Germany, Helmuth remained here. He married Phyllis M. Agley in Middlesbrough in 1935 and took a position as a horse trainer with the renowned Sanger's Circus

From contemporary playbills, it appears that Helmuth was known professionally as Charles Barth. In 1946, Sanger's Circus was enjoying a successful run of shows across the South East of England, with Barth managing the performing "Liberty Horses". The troupe travelled to Essex in late September, during a period of heavy gales. Helmuth Barth died at Romford in September 1946 and was buried not far from his Brockley home of Drakefell Road on the 21st.
Close-up of the burial entry of Ludvig Arthur Detley Helmuth Barth
The full burial entry for Helmuth Barth, as it appears in the register

The release of the Lewisham Collection is a notable addition to Deceased Online's growing number of South London records. With scans from Southwark, Greenwich, Sutton and Merton already in the database, anyone with ancestors from this region should bookmark this resource. Lewisham is now the 14th London council to upload its data to the website. To find out more about Deceased Online's London coverage, read my recent blogpost, which provides a complete overview.

Are you, like us, excited about the new Lewisham Collection? Is your family from South London? Do let us know about your Lewisham ancestors and which records you are looking forward to exploring in the Comments Box below, and through our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter!


  1. I'm really happy to see the South London cemeteries in this collection come online as Kent Online Parish Clerks prepares to publish the 1803-1918 transcripts of Bromley funeral trade of Dunn and Company who used the South London (and wider) cemeteries regularly. see for my blog

    1. Thanks for letting us know, Henry. Interesting blog!

  2. Very excited for this! I've been trying to track down my 3rd great-grandfather James Carter. The James Carter that I have found buried in Greenwich Cemetery isn't the right one as my James died 23rd October 1901.

    1. Hope you are successful. Not all the Lewisham records have been uploaded, but watch this space for updates!

  3. Where can I access burial or cremation records for 2003 for Grove Park area please?


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