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Publication Summaries


book grave-symbols-in-nunhead-cemeteryThis publication is intended to help the visitor to the Cemetery of All Saints, Nunhead (to give it its formal title) to understand and appreciate much of the symbolism associated with the Victorian concept of the 'celebration of death' and that of subsequent generations. They are found on many of its 44,000 monuments commemorating around 288,000 people buried here.

A5 softback, 32 pages with illustrations.





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by Ron Woollacott

book graves-of-nunhead-cemeteryA reprint of Ron's original guide of 1986, prepared to assist readers who want to find the graves of the personalities featured in the first and original edition of NUNHEAD NOTABLES published in 1984. Both publications have long since been out of print.
A5 softback, 8 pages with map and illustrations.






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BURIED AT NUNHEAD: Nunhead Notables volume 4
by Ron Woollacott and Michèle Louise Burford.

Buried at NunheadActors and actresses, journalists and authors, artists and a sculptor, master mariners, a bare-fist pugilist and four crickerters.
Chartists and social reformers, officers of the Royal Navy, veterans of the Crimean War including a survivor of the Charge of the Light Brigade.
Veterans of the American Civil War, the New Zealand War and the Boer War.
These and more are among the interesting personalities of the past that have long since been forgotten and deserve to be remembered.

A5 softback, 130 pages with photos and illustrations.
Also Grid Plan of Nunhead Cemetery (showing square numbers).

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THE GREAT VANCE (The Enigmatic Mr Peck Stevens):
by Ron Woollacott and Michèle Louise Burford

book tgvThe Life and Career of a Great Victorian Music-hall Luminary buried at Nunhead Cemetery.

The Great Vance was one of the greatest luminaries of the Victorian Music-Hall, who delighted working class audiences throughout the land with his numerous character impersonations and comic songs, and went on to entertain aristocrats and royalty. He was one of a group of comedians known as the Lion Comiques, who parodied top-hatted 'upper-class toffs', 'mashers', or 'swells', sporting Piccadilly weepers (long curly sideburns), Piccadilly windows (monocles), waxed moustaches, and more often than not wearing spats and carrying a walking cane. They sang and strutted on stage singing the praises of drinking, spending and womanising.

Who was the man known as 'The Great Vance'?

A5 softback, 98 pages with illustrations.

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by Jeffrey M Hart

Nunhead Cemetery and the battle of WaterlooThe story of the Waterloo campaign and those soldiers who took part in it and now rest in peace in Nunhead Cemetery.

Contains the detailed biographies of eight brave soldiers: three privates, a corporal, a lieutenant, two captains, and a lieutenant-colonel. All were involved in the Waterloo campaign and their graves can be found in Nunhead Cemetery.

Part One - the Path to Waterloo
Part Two - Nunhead's Waterloo Veterans
Part Three - Near Neighbours

Intended for the general reader with an interest in Nunhead Cemetery or the battle of Waterloo or intrigued by the connections between the two. Providing an understanding of the significance of this great battle and a flavour of the lives of some of the individuals who played a part in bringing about the end of the global conflicts known as the Napoleonic Wars.

A5 softback, 178 pages with illustrations (some colour) and map.

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BURIED AT NUNHEAD: Nunhead Notables volume 3
by Ron Woollacott and Michèle Louise Burford.

Buried at NunheadEleven Victorian actors and actresses are among 100 personalities whose life stories appear in this new book, along with several officers who served in Nelson's navy, veterans of the Peninsular War, Battle of Waterloo, and Cri-mean Campaign.

Others of interest include the general secretary of the Newspaper Society who played chess with a future British Prime Minister; the West India merchant who founded one of the UK's first roller skating rinks; the railway pioneer who worked on the Stockton and Darlington rail-way and drove Stephenson's 'Rocket'; a French interpreter to Louis Philippe I of France; the Lord Mayor of London who became the first Governor of the Bank of England; the artist son of an Indian prince; Queen Victoria's state coachman; a friend and supporter of the Italian patriot General Garibal-di; the war correspondent known as 'The Doyen of the Press'; the first Chief Port and Harbour Master of Victoria, Australia; a former president of the Women's Provident League; the founder of the 'Tailor and Cutter'; and oth-ers who came from more humble backgrounds including, the 'King of the Rat-catchers'; London's 'Queen of the Costers'; the cow keeper who became a successful antique dealer; and the chimney sweep turned preacher.

A5 softback, 130 pages with photos and illustrations.

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by Ron Woollacott and Michèle Louise Burford.

Old CamberwellOld Camberwell including East Dulwich, Dulwich, Nunhead, Peckham and Peckham Rye

In the early years of the twentieth century topographical picture postcards were very popular and most of the views that appear in this book were originally published by local photographers and photographic artists.

They provide a photographic record of the old Borough of Camberwell.

Nunhead Cemetery features on page 72.

A4 softback, 110 pages with black and white photographs.

A Magdala Terrace Nunhead Local History Publication

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by Ron Woollacott.

Investors in DeathThe Nunhead Cemetery of All Saints was established by the London Cemetery Company in 1840, and was a spacious burial ground set in the Surrey countryside.

In 1969, when it's then owners, United Cemeteries Limited could no longer afford to run the cemetery as a profitable concern, it was abandoned and left derelict for over six years.

In August 1975 the cemetery was acquired by the London Borough of Southwark under the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act.

It is now a Grade II historic landscape and a peaceful oasis in crowded South East London.

A5 softback, 126 pages with photos.

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NUNHEAD CEMETERY - A Colourful History:
by Fay Rogers and Cathy Mercer.

A Colourful HistoryThis colouring book provides an introduction to Nunhead Cemetery for the very young.

By tracing the stories of the cemetery's colourful past through these drawings, young readers will be absorbing social history and will hopefully develop a love of nature through exploring the large woodland area that is Nunhead Cemetery.

A4 softback, 20 pages with illustrations.





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by Tim & Carol Stevenson.

A Short Guide to Nunhead CemeteryThe Friends of Nunhead Cemetery published the very first comprehensive illustrated guidebook to the Nunhead Cemetery of All Saints in 1988; this was followed by a revised edition in 1995. Both editions were best-sellers and are now regrettably out of print.

Much has happened at Nunhead since the publication of the last edition, including replacement of the boundary railings and the restoration of the historic core of the cemetery in he new millennium year.

This new concise guide, carefully edited and updated by husband and wife team, FONC committee member Tim Stevenson and vice-chairman Carol Stevenson, includes much useful and interesting information abridged from articles that appeared in earlier guides, together with new and current information. This hand guidebook, therefore, is essential reading for all visitors to the Historic and beautiful Nunhead Cemetery.

A5 softback, 30 pages with illustrations.

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by Rex Batten.

Nunhead & The Music HallFrom the middle of the nineteenth century, until the cinema supplanted it, the Music Hall was popular entertainment. It's successor, Variety, was to continue the tradition until the 1960s when television finally killed the popular provincial theatre. It is ironic that Nunhead Cemetery flourished and died over the same time span.

This book, Nunhead and the Music Hall, is a collection of pictures and biographical details telling the stories of famous Music Hall personalities buried in Nunhead Cemetery, including a Proprietor, a Song Writer, A Lady Singer, a Superstar and more.

A4 softback, 40 pages with illustrations (some colour).



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by Carol Stevenson.

Trees & Shrubs of Nunhead CemeteryNunhead Cemetery comes as a surprise to a visitor who expects the mown grass of a lawn cemetery!

Opened in 1840, Nunhead was planted in a formal style, but over time, neglect and nature took over. Now the London Borough of Southwark and the Friends of Nunhead Cemetery work together to maintain the cemetery, keeping it's woodland look in the nature reserve and making appropriate new plantings.

The wide range of exotic and native plants reflects the Cemetery's history, and this book will help you identify some of the many species of trees and shrubs growing in it.

A5 softback, 50 pages with illustrations.


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by Richard A. Jones.

The Butterflies of Nunhead CemeteryVisitors to Nunhead Cemetery find, not a closely cropped lawn with rows of neat grave-stones, but a woodland. Sun-dappled paths lead past ancient trees and banks of flowering bramble. Every so often the tracks emerge into sunny clearings and open grassy spaces. The air is alive with the shrill songs of birds and the buzzing of insects. Nunhead's green and pleasant cemetery is now a tranquil wilderness in the heart of London.

Wildlife abounds here. Sixteen species of butterfly have been found and several others have probably been overlooked. This illustrated book contains details of the butterflies likely to be seen in this beautiful Victorian Cemetery from the Speckled Wood to the White-letter Hairstreak.

A5 softback, 32 pages with photos and illustrations.


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by Ron Woollacott.

Nunhead NotablesThis new edition of Nunhead Notables (printed May 2002), together with More Nunhead Notables (see below), gives an insight into the lives of 400 interesting personalities that were laid to rest in Nunhead Cemetery between 1840 and 1998. At least 50 of them have entries in the Dictionary of National Biography, and many more are featured in Frederick Boase's Modern English Biography.

This enlarged version has been updated to include a number of biographical sketches that were omitted from the original version and the sequel which followed it, due to lack of space. Each of the original entries have been rewritten and updated, amending the text where necessary and providing additional information including grave and square numbers.

A5 softback, 110 pages with photos and illustrations.

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by Ron Woollacott.

More Nunhead NotablesA second selection of personalities who lie buried at Nunhead, extraordinary people who, in their varying ways, have contributed much to the arts and sciences, religion and politics, medicine and welfare, sport and entertainment, which is of great significance well beyond the boundaries of Greater London.

From the very first entry, Charles Abbott, the 101 year old Ipswich Grocer and Charterhouse brother, to the last on the volunteer soldier who became a Canon of Lahore Cathedral, this is a fascinating gathering of personalities from all walks of life, and from all parts of the United Kingdom. On the way through the following pages we will discover a Scotsman who became an African explorer, another who fought in the American Civil War, an Irish freethinker, a French Huguenot marquis, an inventive Admiral, and a dashing dragoon who rode in the Charge of the Light Brigade and lived to tell the tale, together with daring heroes who fought at the battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo, and a gallant airman who lost his life chasing an enemy Zeppelin across the skies of London. Among the many remarkable women we encounter on the way, there is an actress, two novelists, a poet, the leader of a religious sect, and others whose only claim to fame is that they lived on this Earth for one hundred years or more.

Most of the people whose lives are featured in this brand new collection of potted biographies were well known in their time, some were even quite famous, now they lie, virtually forgotten, in overgrown and unmarked graves or beneath neglected and decaying tombstones. This little book is dedicated to their memory.

Ron Woollacott.

A5 softback, 84 pages with illustrations.

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by Rex Batten.

Nunhead RememberedSheltered under forest trees, where snowdrops and bluebells welcome the spring, a quarter of a million Londoners lie buried. Nunhead Remembered is a collection of anecdotes and stories of those people. It is as rich as the harvest of blackberries that end the summer in the peace of All Saints Cemetery, Nunhead.

In the nature of things this book can represent only a fraction of Nunhead's memories. But we do have the small boy who all alone fought the armies of the dead, the fearless police and the fearsome phantom, the little girl and entombed undertaker's men, a day's outing for a python and souvenirs of a notorious murderer.

There is also a beautifully remembered motorised funeral in the twenties and a vivid description of the cemetery under snow.

Account of religious divisions, the gulf between rich and poor are intermixed with anecdotes of love and a little sadness. But Nunhead is the resting place of Londoners and humour can never be far away.

This collection reflects the diversity of the century and a half of Nunhead's history.

A5 softback, with photos and illustrations.

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by Rex Batten.

The Walworth ScoutsIt was more than thirty years after the scouts' memorial in Nunhead Cemetery had been vandalised that the telephone rang in the office of the Archivist at Scout Headquarters. The Archivist, Paul Moynihan, answered. The caller had a query. Nothing unusual in that, but the question the caller asked was odd: "Was a Percy Baden Powell Huxford any relation to Lord Baden Powell, the founder of Scouting?"

"Not that I'm aware of," was the immediate reaction. Then Paul hesitated. The name Huxford rang a bell. The Friends of Nunhead Cemetery had worked closely with the Scout Association in researching the Leysdown Tragedy and Percy Huxford was the name of one of the boys drowned. But that did not answer the question. From where had the caller got the Baden Powell connection? The obvious thing to do was to keep the caller talking until Paul could find out what he was talking about.

What transpired proved to be a remarkable piece of history.

A5 softback, 26 pages with photos.

The Walworth Scouts supercedes an earlier book, The Leysdown Tragedy by Rex Batten, which is out of print.

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by Ron Woollacott.

The Victorian Catacombs at Nunhead A short history and description of the various catacombs in Nunhead Cemetery, including a complete as possible list of those buried within them, including the human remains exhumed from the site of St. Christopher-le-Stocks, London.

A5 softback, 34 pages with photos and illustrations.






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by Wally MacFarlane.

The Scottish MartyrsOne of the most intriguing memorials in South London's Nunhead Cemetery is the obelisk dedicated to five political reformers of the 18th century who became known as the Scottish Martyrs. The story of these men, who put the cause of political justice before their own lives, as told by Wally Macfarlane, is a timely reminder of the price paid for universal suffrage.

The setting for this memorial is perhaps the least known but most attractive of the great Victorian burial grounds of London. As well as the Scottish Martyrs memorial, Nunhead Cemetery contains many other magnificent monuments erected in memory of the most eminent citizens of the day, which contrast sharply with the small simple headstones marking common, or public, burials. Its formal avenue of towering limes and the Gothic gloom of the original Victorian planting gives way to paths which recall the country lanes of a bygone era.

A5 softback, with illustrations.

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by Ron Woollacott.

Burial Places in SouthwarkA guide to burial grounds in the London Borough of Southwark ~ Past and Present ~ By Ron Woollacott

This is a completely revised and updated edition of Southwark's Burying Places first published in 2001

A guide to past and present Anglican churchyards, Nonconformist graveyards, private burial grounds, private and municipal cemeteries, and other burying places in the London Borough of Southwark

A5 softback, 74 pages including index, black and white photographs and drawings.



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by Ron Woollacott.

Camberwell Old CemeteryA short history of the former Parish Cemetery of St Giles, Camberwell at Honor Oak (Forest Hill Road, East Dulwich, London, SE22) plus over 130 biographical sketches of interesting people buried there.

A Valhalla is a place of perfect bliss occupied by deceased persons worthy of special honour. Camberwell Old Cemetery, also known as Forest Hill Cemetery, is such a place.

A5 softback, 66 pages including map with grave squares, black and white photographs and drawings.




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