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From Welbeck via Woking to Kensal Green: A Look at Arrangements for the Early Cremations

Drawing on funeral directors records and cremation registers this presentation examines the arrangements for cremations taking place at Woking between 1885 and 1890.


Overcrowded churchyards, shortage of land and rapidly increasing population - how could the late Victorians dispose of their dead? Cremation was the only answer. But today, with over two-thirds of all deaths being followed by cremation, it is hard to appreciate the massive struggles faced by the Cremation Society after its foundation in 1874.
Religious bigotry, legal obstacles and sheer moral outrage all stood in the way. But interest grew, and aided by the work of others, including the acts of a flamboyant Welsh Druid, members of the medical fraternity and politicians the first cremation eventually took place at Woking in 1885.

Drawing on funeral directors records and cremation registers this presentation examines the arrangements for cremations taking place at Woking between 1885 and 1890. In particular it looks at the coffins used, transportation and the disposal of the ashes. Finally, connections between the cremation movement and London’s first garden cemetery – Kensal green – are highlighted.

Brian Parsons has worked in the London funeral industry since 1982 and is editor of Funeral Service Journal. He is the author of The London Way of Death (2001), JH Kenyon: The First 125 Years (2005) and Committed to the Cleansing Flame (2005). He is currently editing a revised edition of Hugh Meller’s classic book on London Cemeteries.


Speaker(s):

Brian Parsons | talks

 

Date and Time:

7 May 2006 at 5:00 pm

Duration:

1 hour

 

Venue:

Dissenters' Chapel
Ladbroke Grove
Kensal Green Cemetery
London
W10 4SR
020 7602 0173
http://www.kensalgreen.co.uk
Show map

Organised by:

Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery
See other talks organised by Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery...

 

Tickets:

£3 (members £2)

Available from:

On the door

Additional Information:

Light refreshments served before lecture.
Nearest tube: Kensal Green

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