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John Clarke

Historian of Brookwood Cemetery

Welcome to John Clarke’s Website

Forthcoming Publications


London's Necropolis by John Clarke


The second edition of London’s Necropolis is now available.


The new edition is published by Stenlake Publishing and you can order a copy here (post free to UK addresses).


You can read more on this new edition here.


You can read some reviews here.


I am also working on a booklet on

First World War Dead

for the Friends of West Norwood Cemetery.







Forthcoming Lectures


(Postponed) “Researching the First World War dead at West Norwood Cemetery” West Middlesex Family History Society at 8pm


(Postponed) “The Brookwood Necropolis Railway”, Frederick Paine, Kingston at 7pm


(Postponed) “The Brookwood Necropolis Railway”, Westminster City Archives at 6pm


(Postponed) 21 August 2020, “The Brookwood Necropolis Railway”, Gosport Railway Society at 7.30pm


(Postponed) 21 September 2020, “The Brookwood Necropolis Railway”, The Streatham Society at 8pm


For further information on lectures I have undertaken in 2019 and before, please follow this link.



Current Research


* First World War Dead in West Norwood Cemetery (currently 500 names and more to come)

* West Norwood Conservation Area

*More on the Brookwood Cemetery railway (for a new edition)

* Pauper Burials at Brookwood Cemetery

John ClarkeHello, and welcome to my website


I'm a freelance writer, administrator and former medical librarian based in London.


My writing and research has mainly focused on Brookwood Cemetery and West Norwood Cemetery, but I have also written on various railway-related subjects.


Over the years I have presented many lectures on Brookwood Cemetery and its railway funeral service. If you are interested in booking me for a local (or national) group then please feel free to contact me via the contact page on this website or email me at info at john-clarke dot co dot uk.


I have also authored some websites which explore the rich content of some of the part-works issued by the Amalgamated Press in the mid to late 1930s. These cover railways, ships and engineering subjects - see the panel below for examples of covers from each of these series.


Information about all of these areas are incorporated into my website.

Latest News:


Rupert Bear Centenary 50p


2020 marks the Rupert Bear centenary 50p issued by the Isle of Mancentenary of Rupert Bear. To mark this occasion, the Isle of Man has produced a beautiful set of five 50 pence piece coins. Each coin has a specially commissioned design featuring some of the best-loved characters from the Rupert Bear comic strip including Rupert Bear, Podgy Pig, Bill Badger, Edward Trunk and Algy Pug.


Rupert Bear first appeared in the pages of the Daily Express on November 8, 1920. He was drawn by the artist Mary Tourtel. She would go to draw and write Rupert stories for the next 15 years. In 1935, at the age of 61, she decided to retire due to failing health and eyesight. The responsibility for the drawings and the stories then passed to Alfred Bestall, who is buried at Brookwood Cemetery. Alfred Bestall remained as the regular artist until 1965. He died in 1986 and is buried in his family grave in plot 100.



Royal Visit to Brookwood Cemetery


H.R.H. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex visited Brookwood Cemetery on 1 July.


He was accompanied - among others - by the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey Michael More-Molyneux, the High Sheriff of Surrey Shahid Azeem, Mr Ian Tomes Woking Borough Council's Strategic Asset Manager, and Avril Kirby the Cemetery Manager. It was part of a visit to the cemetery to see some of the improvements made across the site. During his visit the Earl visited the St Edward Brotherhood and was shown the shrine of Saint Edward the Martyr, and was then taken to the Old Mortuary, where he was shown the Exhibition Room and the main hall.


You can read more news here.