|Streatham Park Cemetery and South London Crematorium||Merton|
Streatham Park Cemetery opened in 1909, but was originally conceived in 1890 as the Great Southern Cemetery, matching the Great Northern Cemetery that opened in 1861 in Southgate. Cemetery buildings included a lodge, an Anglican Chapel and a small Roman Catholic chapel designed by John Bannen, who also designed the Crematorium, which opened in 1936. The cemetery lodge and RC chapel have since been demolished, the Anglican chapel later re-opened as the cemetery office. The cemetery is laid out on a grid and near the entrance are austere family vaults; there are various gardens of remembrance, including rose gardens. One of the founders of the cemetery, Frederick Field (d.1923) is buried here. The cemetery has a long association with the Variety Artistes' Benevolent Fund, with 200 variety artistes buried here between 1921-44.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2012
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The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
The New London Cemetery and Crematorium Ltd first proposed establishing a new cemetery in Mitcham in 1890 with the object of meeting 'the requirements of the enormous population of South London'. However, nothing took place until 1907, when the Great Southern Cemetery, Crematorium and Land Company raised the necessary finance, purchased the site and opened the new cemetery in 1909. Although the Crematorium was planned from 1913 it was not built until 1936, the delay initially due to the outbreak of WWI. Located on a higher terrace it formerly consisted of a larger complex with 3 chapels, and a Chapel of Remembrance was added in 1958 at the behest of the Variety Artistes' Benevolent Fund, with which the cemetery had a long association. It was later reduced to 1 chapel, crematory and columbarium after the cemetery was taken over in 1996, now coming under Dignity Funerals Ltd, which also runs Beckenham Crematorium in Bromley and East London Crematorium and Cemetery in Newham (q.q.v.). Behind the Crematorium is a garden of remembrance designed by Milner White with memorials set amongst pergolas and ponds.
Due to the cemetery's associations with the Variety Artistes' Benevolent Fund, there are numerous well-known performers buried here, including Lizzie Collins (d.1938) who with her sisters created the 'ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay' song and dance routine; comedians Tom Learmore (d.1939), Gus Elen (d.1940), Tom Costello (d.1943 and Will Hay (d.1949), the latter a former Vice-President of the Variety Artistes' Federation; Nellie Navette (d.1936), a solo dancer and Principal Boy; and the singer Dorothy Squires (d.1998).
Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, 'London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer', 4th edition (The History Press, 2008), p316-19