Prince praises cemetery staff

THE Earl of Wessex has visited Brookwood Cemetery and thanked staff who have been dealing with extra pressure from the coronavirus pandemic.

Prince Edward also heard about the work of the Surrey Local Resilience Forum Death Management Team.

The Earl in the columbarium with Ian Tomes, Woking Borough Council’s strategic asset manager, and Avril Kirby, the cemetery manager. It is the largest mausoleum in the cemetery, commissioned in 1877 by the 5th Earl Cadogan for the burial of his eldest son. In 1910 it was converted into a columbarium for the storing of ashes.

The Earl was shown around the cemetery by Ian Tomes, Woking Borough Council’s strategic asset manager, and Avril Kirby, the cemetery manager.

He also visited Saint Edward Brotherhood Orthodox Church and met the members who look after the church where the relics of Edward II, the young Saxon King killed at Corfe Castle in 978 are enshrined.

In a meeting via Zoom, the Earl listened to the challenges faced by the county’s coroner, funeral directors, mortuary and crematoria staff, and also spoke to various faith leaders.

Prince Edward with members of the Saint Edward Brotherhood

He thanked everyone for their roles in preserving the dignity and respect of those who have died during the pandemic and praised the support given to the bereaved.

The Earl was shown the route of the old railway line and south station platforms by which coffin trains brought bodies into the cemetery. From there, His Royal Highness was taken to St Edward the Martyr Orthodox Church, which contains the relics

Ms Kirby said: “Brookwood Cemetery was founded in 1852 to house London’s dead and was uniquely serviced by its own railway. The Earl was taken to the south of the cemetery to see historic monuments including the plot where Lord Nelson’s granddaughter, Horatia Nelson Johnson, is buried.”

For the full story, get the 9 July edition of the News & Mail

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