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John Clarke

Historian of Brookwood Cemetery

Welcome to John Clarke’s Website

Forthcoming Publications

Brookwoods Mausolea by John Clarke

My new booklet on Brookwood’s Mausolea is now available. Further details are posted here.

I am also working on a booklet (with Peter Hodgkinson) on First World War Dead for the Friends of West Norwood Cemetery. This project has been delayed due to restrictions caused by the Covid pandemic, but should be available later in 2022.

The booklet will summarise the research on First World War commemorations at West Norwood Cemetery, and it is planned to publish the detailed information via the Friends of West Norwood Cemetery website.

Forthcoming & Recent Lectures

Wednesday 12th October 2022 at 7pm - “The Brookwood Necropolis Railway” for a “Talking of Trains” meeting at Surbiton Library, Ewell Road, Surbiton KT6 6AG. Further details in due course via the Talking of Trains website.

For further information on lectures I have undertaken in 2021 and earlier, 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, former administrator and 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:

Charles Bradlaugh’s Monument Restored

I was fortunate to be invited to the official unveiling of the fully restored authentic replica bust & wreath on the memorial to Charles Bradlaugh in the North Cemetery. This event took place on 17 October 2021. The project was jointly supported by the National Secular Society, the Brookwood Cemetery Society and Brookwood Cemetery. We owe them a great debt for making sure this iconoclastic Victorian politician’s grave was restored so magnificently. It should be admired and appreciated for years to come - as was the intention when the original bust was placed in 1893.

London Cemeteries in Old Photographs

London Cemeteries in Old Photographs by Brian Parsons

Just published (May 2021)

by Brian Parsons

Price £12 (paperback), including UK postage

94pp. with nearly 190 illustrations

Only available via www.brianparsons.org.uk

You can read my book review here.

Coffins by Corpse Van

Coffins by corpse van, Backtrack April 2021

My article on corpse vans has recently been published in the April 2021 issue of Backtrack.

The article describes and illustrates a number of hearse vans used on Britain’s railway system.

90 Years of the Oakwood Press

Oakwood Press is celebrating an astonishing 90 years of specialist transport publishing. It remains the oldest publisher of its type still in business.

My first book was published by Roger Kidner, Oakwood’s founder and owner, just before he retired in 1984. The firm was sold to Jane Kennedy (ex-OPC) and she remained in charge until 2016 when Stenlake Publishing took charge.

I am fortunate indeed to have worked with all three owners. Happy 90th!

The restored monument over the human remains from St Magnus the Martyr Church, Brookwood CemeterySt Magnus the Martyr Memorial Restored

It is good to see the fully repaired and restored monument over the St Magnus the Martyr plot at Brookwood. The human remains were removed on sanitary grounds to Brookwood in 1893-94.

All credit to the church and Skillingtons for undertaking this work.

The photograph is courtesy of Michael Cooper, Parish Clerk.


You can read more news here