Historian of Brookwood Cemetery
New & Forthcoming Publications
My new booklet on Brookwood’s Mausolea is now available.
Further details are posted here.
I am also working on a booklet on
First World War Dead
for the Friends of West Norwood Cemetery. This project has been delayed due to restrictions caused by the Covid pandemic.
Forthcoming & Recent Lectures
Tuesday 7th September at 7:30pm -
Saturday 13th November at 2.30pm – “Norwood: The Great War” (with Peter Hodgkinson) for the Friends of West Norwood Cemetery meeting at the Old Library, 14-
“The History & Development of Brookwood Cemetery” 23rd January 2021, a one-
For further information on lectures I have undertaken in 2019 and before, please follow this link.
First World War Dead in West Norwood Cemetery (currently 600 names and more to come)
More on the Brookwood Cemetery railway (for a new edition)
Pauper Burials at Brookwood Cemetery
Hello, and welcome to my website
I'm a freelance writer, administrator and former medical librarian based in London.
My writing and research has mainly focused on Brookwood Cemetery and West Norwood Cemetery, but I have also written on various railway-
Over the years I have presented many lectures on Brookwood Cemetery and its railway funeral service. If you are interested in booking me for a local (or national) group then please feel free to contact me via the contact page on this website or email me at info at john-
I have also authored some websites which explore the rich content of some of the part-
Information about all of these areas are incorporated into my website.
London Cemeteries in Old Photographs
Just published (May 2021)
by Brian Parsons
Price £12 (paperback), including UK postage
94pp. with nearly 190 illustrations
Only available via www.brianparsons.org.uk
You can read my book review here.
My article on corpse vans has recently been published in the April 2021 issue of Backtrack.
The article describes and illustrates a number of hearse vans used on Britain’s railway system.
Oakwood Press is celebrating an astonishing 90 years of specialist transport publishing. It remains the oldest publisher of its type still in business.
My first book was published by Roger Kidner, Oakwood’s founder and owner, just before he retired in 1984. The firm was sold to Jane Kennedy (ex-
I am fortunate indeed to have worked with all three owners. Happy 90th!
St Magnus the Martyr Memorial Restored
It is good to see the fully repaired and restored monument over the St Magnus the Martyr plot at Brookwood. The human remains were removed on sanitary grounds to Brookwood in 1893-
All credit to the church and Skillingtons for undertaking this work.
The photograph is courtesy of Michael Cooper, Parish Clerk.
80 years ago tonight (16-
40 years ago (April 1981) my first substantial article on this railway funeral service appeared in the pages of "The South Western Circular", starting with the sentence, "1981 marks the fortieth anniversary of the cessation of traffic on the Necropolis branch."
The article in "The South Western Circular" was followed by my dissertation on the origins of Brookwood Cemetery (1982) and the first edition of what has become the standard history of this unique railway service (1983).
You can read more news here.