Most teenagers today play around on Snapchat for entertainment. When Thomas Pettigrew was this age in the 1800’s, he dissected corpses. This week’s life in focus is one of those instances where the gravestone above ground doesn’t really do justice to the bloke several feet beneath it. Thomas Pettigrew had a varied and interesting life: […]Read More Ooh Lumme, It’s Pettigrew & A Mummy!
Ooooh GAWD it’s my Christmas! This week sees all manner of deathly symbols and imagery invade supermarkets, schools and offices. Whilst like any other festival, its commercialisation does seem to have detracted from its origin as Samhain, a time indicating the start of the darker part of the year and the time where the veil […]Read More This Is Halloween
There I was boozing in a pub with father dearest when I spied some Victorian books on display, above where we were eating our lamb rogan josh and wiltshire ham, eggs and chips. One particular tome caught my eye as it’s a name I’ve encountered before: I rather suspect this guy was the Victorian Robin […]Read More This Actor Did What?!
Dressed in the highest fashions of the 1860’s, a princess looks deeply into the camera as she takes direction from one of London’s busiest photographers. Surrounded by foliage and the ‘shelter’ of a tree with a classical column in the background to accentuate her status and class, effortlessly exuding a regal command that was only […]Read More Victoria’s God-daughter
What on earth an opera singer has to do with a tortoise? We all know about Conchita from Eurovision but there’s another you should know about, whose unique grave resembles something from a Terry Prachett novel. Back in March I discovered the above image and the tag line ‘Opera Singer‘. The smile, the enthusiam, the […]Read More The Tortoise & The Opera Singer
Feminists, mummies and Death himself: Cimetrie de la Chartreuse is literally crammed with history and fascinating people Opening in 1791, it was built on the former gardens of a Carthusian monastery and is a literal suburb of the dead; many of Bordeaux’s great and good have been laid to rest here. I was supposed to […]Read More The Top 6 Graves of Chartreuse
There’s a cemetery on a common that practically no-one knows is there. It’s not listed on The London Borough of Richmond’s Cemeteries page (it should be) and the state it’s in now is a stark contrast as to how well it was maintained a century ago. I first found out about the cemetery from a […]Read More Finding Mr. Moonlight
Life update time. On this blog (and its subsequent social media presence) I always endeavour to do justice to the deceased that I find so interesting. To share their life stories in a respectful, entertaining way and to make cemeteries less threatening as spaces of learning and wonder. The blog turned six years old in […]Read More Back 2 Skool
Sometimes stories pop out at you and this one (indirectly) involved one of our greatest statesmen. I was with Mark in Beckenham Cemetery recently and as we were looking over the graves infront of us, one inscription caught my eye. Headstones that state the cause of death show a remarkable frankness and public demonstration of […]Read More A Tragedy at Chartwell
A Grade II listed cemetery in Zone 3? A short walk from Dollis Hill tube station lies a cemetery I doubt many of the local people even know about. Hidden behind a wall from Pound Lane, this place of rest once catered to a thriving local Jewish community who have long since moved away to […]Read More Visiting The House Of Life