MYSELF and family members recently joined another of those splendid walks around Brookwood Cemetery organised by the Brookwood Cemetery Society. This time we were shown around part of the south side of this enormous, and beautiful, site.

Starting in The Glades of Remembrance, we were shown some notable graves which included that of FFE Yeo-Thomas, a British agent known to the Gestapo as The White Rabbit; the husband of a woman thought to be Jack the Ripper’s first victim; paupers’ graves, now mere humps in the lush green grass; those of some of the founders of The London and South Western Railway Orphanage, in Woking; and many more, each accompanied by a story about that person.

The weather was bright and sunny and the whole walk was fascinating and interesting. For a mere £5 we had the guided tour, homemade cake, tea, coffee or soup. Profits go towards the ongoing work undertaken by the society.

It is working on the restoration of mausoleums and that of the Keith family in particular. This Gothic-style mausoleum originally had a cast-iron door and stained-glass windows but, like many others within the cemetery walls, this building has been heavily vandalised, although the coffins inside appear not to have been desecrated.

The original door, which had the family name on it, was lost or stolen and consequently the opening was boarded up. The society has already spent in excess of £1,000 gating the door but the replacement door will cost in the region of £3,200, and the replacement of the stained glass windows will have to wait until funds are available. 

It was good to know how our donations would be used, and I recommend a visit to the cemetery;  check out the Brookwood Cemetery Society and the programme of events which they run.

I have been told that the society’s Royal Connections Walk, scheduled for Sunday 14 May, is already fully booked, but will be repeated later in the year. 

However, on that same day, there will be a couple of other walks: an introductory walk on the south side of the cemetery and a geology walk, which will look at the different types of stone used on the various memorials.

Both walks start at 2pm with an average group size of 15 to 20 people, depending on bookings. Booking is essential, so please email [email protected] or call 07714 289375. For further details, visit