The moment of my greatness, Flickr
Cemetery Archives: Hammersmith New Cemetery
Hammersmith New Cemetery seems to have changed its name back to Mortlake Cemetery. This - in case of future confusion - is the one on the east side of Mortlake Road, opposite North Sheen Cemetery, which latter is sometimes known as Fulham New Cemetery. I don't know what it is about having two cemeteries in close proximity that causes such confusion, but this is worse than the Hanwells!
Anyway. Like its sister over the road, lots of Mortlake Cemetery is being allowed to go grassy until the autumn, to encourage wildlife in the area. And it's really rather nice. Not spectacular, but shady and quiet on a hot June afternoon. It was opened in 1926 but somehow feels older than North Sheen's 1909: I suspect because the older memorials are more visible, and the lawn plaques are currently in a very small area only.
Mortlake's most notable graves for me today were two police officers killed in the line of duty. PC Edwin P Cook died in 1927, aged 33, attempting to rescue two workmen trapped in an inspection chamber and overcome by poisonous gas. He's also memorialised at Postman's Park as Percy Edwin Cook... wonder which name he preferred?
WPC Jane Arbuthnot, killed in the Harrod's bombing, is also buried here, and has a tree planted in her memory: no photo because there were some mourners tending a grave right opposite hers. It's odd, which memorials move me, and I can never quite predict what will: but this 22 year old police officer, killed on duty, certainly did.
In the north-east corner, a hedged-off area of the cemetery hides the crematorium. Mellor calls it "dour"; I rather liked it: at least the Deco windows are trying. The gardens are neat and tidy and utterly souless, but honestly I'd rather have that than acres of standard roses (sorry, people who plant standard roses).
Visiting: go to North Sheen Cemetery and walk through; otherwise the R68 bus stops outside. Has toilets disguised as a ski chalet behind a lot of hydrangeas.
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