The Brookwood Necropolis Railway by John M. Clarke. Published by The Oakwood Press, P.O.Box 122, Headington, Oxford OX3 8LU, England. 1995. viii, 120 pp. Drawings and photographs. Paperback. £8.95. Fax. 011-441-1865-875322, telephone 011-441-1865-874080 Visa and M/C accepted.

The "London Necropolis" was intended to become London's only cemetery by providing enough land to contain all the metropolitan dead for an almost indefinite period. It was established to solve London's burial problem. The city's population had more than doubled between 1801 and 1851, while the burial grounds remained stable in size. This led to congestion and inappropriate burial practices.

The London Necropolis Company was established in 1852 and provided the Brookwood cemetery near Woking in Surrey. A special train service was established on the London & South Western Railway between Waterloo and Brookwood. This service operated until the destruction of the terminus in WWII.

This book discusses in detail the process by which bodies and the funeral followers were transported to the Brookwood cemetery, how that differed depending upon the deceased standing in society, and what costs were involved. The cemetery layout, railway equipment and stations are well illustrated.

A superb book if your ancestors worked on this railway or were buried in this cemetery and you want to know how they got there.

If you have located your railway ancestor and want to know more about the railway on which they worked then contact this company for their catalog of over 150 titles of books and videos dealing with specific railways around the country.

Reviewed by Paul Milner
BIGWILL v.3 no.4, 1996