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The Brookwood Necropolis Railway An Introduction to Brookwood Cemetery The Columbarium, Brookwood Cemetery The Glades of Remebrance, Brookwood Cemetery The Bisley Camp Branch Line

John Clarke

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Introduction to Brookwood Cemetery 1 Brookwood Necropolis Railway 2 Brookwood Necropolis Railway 1 London's Necropolis by John Clarke London's Necropolis - A Guide to Brookwood Cemetery Brookwood Necropolis Railway 3

Welcome to John Clarke’s Website

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, but I have also written on railway-related subjects. See the panel on the right.


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.


Please note that due to work commitments I am usually only able to give talks in the evening or at the weekend.


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.

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 Great War Connections 1917 and 1918 for the Friends of West Norwood Cemetery.






Forthcoming Lectures


16 April 2020, “Researching the First World War dead at West Norwood Cemetery” West Middlesex Family History Society at 8pm


(Date to be confirmed) “The Brookwood Necropolis Railway”, Frederick Paine, Kingston at 7pm


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


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


Unveiling the blue plaque at the entrance to the Muslim Cemetery at Brookwood






























Unveiling the blue plaque at the entrance to the Muslim Cemetery: Left to right: Avril Kirby (Cemetery Manager), Sir Laurie Magnus (Historic England) and myself.



The blue plaque in the Muslim Cemetery at BrookwoodThe second trail (#2 The Muslim Cemetery Walk) starts at the oldest Muslim plot in the country. The Muslim Cemetery is the final resting place of several famous late Victorian converts to Islam including Abdullah Quilliam (Britian’s first Sheikh ul Islam), Lord Headley (co-founder of the Woking Muslim Mission), Marmaduke Pickthall (translator of the most famous English Quran) and Sir Archibald Hamilton (convert, and a royal by blood). This trail was developed because Brookwood Cemetery has such a large number of fascinating Muslim residents that it was necessary to create its own walk.



The blue plaque in the Muslim Cemetery reads:

”Everyday Muslim Heritage and Archive Initiative: Britain’s First Muslim Cemetery. Originally established as “The Huhammadan Cemetery” in 1884 by the founder of the Shah Jehan Mosque, Dr Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner.” It stands in front of the original Kibla stone, erected to mark the purpose of the plot in 1884.



Copies of both trails can be downloaded from the Everyday Muslim website. A two-page article describing the project in full appeared in The Times dated 25 July 2019.


More news here

Latest News: Launching Britain’s Muslim Heritage Trails - 25 July


It has been a real pleasure being involved with this important project to promote the importance of the Shah Jehan Mosque at Woking and the Muslim Cemetery at Brookwood Cemetery.


Today's launch of these trails started at Woking Mosque with speeches from Tharik Hussain, Professor Humayan Ansari (Royal Holloway) and Sir Laurie Magnus (Historic England).


Afterwards the first trail (The Woking Trail) was officially launched by Sir Laurie cutting a ribbon outside the Mosque.


Britain's muslim heritage trails the Woking trail and the Muslim Cemetery walk



























We then moved on to Brookwood Cemetery when another ribbon cutting ceremony launched the second trail (The [Brookwood] Muslim Cemetery Walk) along with the blue plaque near the Kibla stone.


The first trail (#1 The Woking Trail) begins at the “Mecca of Europe” - the Shah Jehan Mosque before moving on to the nearby Horsell Common where in 1915 the Woking Muslim War Cemetery became the final resting place of 27 Muslim soldiers.