Greemwich Cemetery

If you’re a fan of Gothic there’s no better place to admire it than a Victorian cemetery. Greenwich cemetery is situated on the corner of Shooters Hill and Well Hall Road, so it’s actually Eltham. It may not be as famous as Highgate but its one of the largest cemeteries in London, with striking views across London and has two Gothic chapels. There’s even a connection with Russia. The Russian poet, political activist and exile, Nikolai Platonovich Ogarev (1813-1877) was buried here. In 1966 his remains were exhumed, cremated and his ashes taken back to Russia by two of the Soviet Writers’ Union. They were buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.

Greenwich Cemetery

There are some impressive examples of urns, obelisks and statues which have, sadly, become obscured by dense ivy and brambles. One obelisk commemorates Ellen Amelia (Nellie) aged 7 and her sister Olive Madeline aged 4, followed shortly afterwards by their parents Robert and Amelia Abbot Moore who both died on 19th August 1889. The imagined tragedy still heart-rending;the memorial set up for eternity now shrouded in vegetation.

Greenwich Cemetery

The cemetery is close to the Royal Herbert Hospital and the Royal Military Academy so, as you might guess, there’s some notable military personnel buried here. The grave of General Sir Arthur Holland, Commandant of the Royal Military Academy is confusing as it had the surname Holland and Butcher. Apparently he changed his name. James Jameson was a Surgeon General and Director of the Army Medical Services. On the noticeboard you will see an intriguing pink section which is the Norwegian area. Here are buried about thirty Norwegian refugees killed in the 2nd World War.

Greenwich Cemetery

A large white memorial to the dead of the First World War dominates the far end of the site. The view from this vantage point follows the Thames from Greenwich to Canary Wharf and the City. The inscription is: Their Name Liveth for Evermore. Scattered though the grounds are distinctive white huts with red roofs. All but one are boarded up. I’ve heard that prospective parents visit cemeteries to get ideas about names, you can do that here and there’s more to see.

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