|East London Cemetery and Crematorium||Newham|
The East London Cemetery Company was founded in 1871 and the cemetery was laid out on flat terrain bordered on the north by the Northern Outfall Sewer Embankment, now called The Greenway. The original main entrance to the cemetery remains in place and consists of stone piers and elaborate cast iron double gates, with pedestrian entrance gates on either side; inside is a picturesque Gothic lodge, used as the office. The cemetery has a large number of historic tombs, set among mature trees and grass, with paths laid out symmetrically. Among the monuments is the memorial to the 550 victims of the paddleboat 'Princess Alice', which sank in 1878 in the Thames near Beckton, the Silvertown Explosion of 1917 that led to 73 deaths is also commemorated in a monument.
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.
In the centre of East London Cemetery is a pair of Gothic buildings that were both originally built as chapels, one Non-Conformist and the other Church of England, the former serving as the crematorium since 1954. A small room for a Book of Remembrance has been created in one corner of the Chapel. Facing the main entrance is a large area set aside for cremation urns, planted with standard roses.
The sinking of the 'Princess Alice' in 1878 was the worst civilian disaster in British history; it is likely that the scale of the disaster was exacerbated by the river's pollution by sewage, which at that time was discharged untreated from the Northern Outfall Sewage works at Beckton. After 1887 sewage was treated chemically and only the effluent was allowed to run into the river, with special ships removing the sludge far out to sea. Another memorial, marked by a ship's anchor, commemorates those who were killed during the launching of HMS Albion in 1898 when the staging collapsed. Another disaster, the Silvertown Explosion of 1917, is commemorated in the grave of Andrea Angel, chemist at the Brunner Mond chemical works whose TNT plant exploded damaging up to 70,000 properties in the area, killing 73 people and causing c.450 casualties, in all £2.5million worth of damage. The war memorial on North Woolwich Road also commemorates those who died in the Silvertown explosion. There are a number of graves to Chinese and Japanese people in the cemetery, including a memorial erected in 1927 to all Chinese who had died in England.
The cemetery is now run by Dignity Funerals Ltd, which owns a number of other cemeteries and crematoria in London including Beckenham Crematorium and Cemetery (q.v.) in Bromley and Streatham Park Cemetery and South London Crematorium (q.v.) in Merton.
Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, 'London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer', 4th edition (The History Press, 2008); John Archer/Ian Yarham, Nature Conservation in Newham, London Ecology Unit, 1991; Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); Elizabeth Williamson & Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England: London Docklands', Penguin 1998.