19th Century · Chelsea

Brompton Cemetery, an open-air cathedral of remembrance

A couple of weekends ago, I was invited to attend an event being held as part of the London Month of the Dead at Brompton Cemetery in west London.  The main cemetery entrance is on Old Brompton Road, not far from Earl’s Court station, in that slightly ragged edge of town where Chelsea, Fulham and Kensington meet, and where genteel houses make way for seedy hotels and dreary bedsits with grimy windows.  Behind high railings, and through an imposing gateway, is one of London’s Magnificent Seven cemeteries.

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20th Century · Chelsea

Commemorating the heroic exploits of a WWI pilot

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Brompton Cemetery is particularly rich in grand memorials.  In the centre of the cemetery, amongst the dark Victorian crosses and angels, stands a paler, more modern memorial.  The face of a young man stares out from an impressive, well cared for headstone.  Beneath the inscription is a dramatic image of a Zeppelin – one of the monstrous German airships of the First World War – falling to the ground in flames while a comparatively tiny aircraft flies to safety.  The headstone, which occupies a prominent spot in the cemetery, commemorates the bravery of one of the British Armed Forces’ first heroes of aviation – Flight Sub-Lieutenant Reginald Alexander John Warneford. Continue reading “Commemorating the heroic exploits of a WWI pilot”

19th Century · Nunhead

A hidden gem in south east London: Nunhead Cemetery

Nunhead is arguably the least well known of London’s “Magnificent Seven” Victorian cemeteries.  Like many of South East London’s interesting old sites, it often gets overlooked due to its lack of a nearby Tube station, although it’s actually a short walk from Nunhead Rail station, which is three stops from London Victoria.

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The Linden Grove entrance to Nunhead Cemetery.

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