Cemetery Archives: Acton Cemetery

Acton Cemetery

It's funny how much the weather influences my impression of cemeteries (or maybe it isn't). Last time I went to Acton, it was grey, and cold, and started raining torrentially as I was halfway round - and I thought it was a dull little place. Today it was a beautiful sunny spring day, and I really rather liked it.

Acton's never going to make any top ten cemeteries list. It's a neat, well-kept suburban cemetery, divided in two by the Tube line. Tree-planting is good and Ealing Council are obviously looking after it very well, it's just that there isn't a whole bunch to write home about here. There's a lovely pair of chapels joined by a porte cochere, but most of what's interesting at Acton is small detail on gravestones. The trumpet on the Reynolds grave is, as far as I know, unique: I'd love to know its symbolism. More easily explained are the waves and lifebuoy from which the cross rises on Albert Perry's grave: he died in the Lusitania disaster.

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Acton Cemetery

Acton is typical of so many suburban cemeteries: opened in 1895, it missed the great flowering of Victorian necropoleis and is, inevitably it seems, dull, flat and delineated by a railway line. But here and there, some quirkinesses catch the eye: Mr Reynold's trumpet, and Mr Perry''s cross emerging from a lifebelt (he drowned on the Lusitania).

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