Registered Charity

The FOBLC is recognised by HMRC as a charity, ref. XT38745, and is a member of the National Federation of Cemetery Friends

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Wrenches, Trenches, and Stenches: a public art exhibition commemorating the start of the First World War

Public Art Exhibition commemorating the start of the First World War

Ladywell Chapel will be hosting an art exhibition commemorating the start of the First World War. It will run from 11am to 4pm on Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd August 2014 and guided walks of notable graves will also  led by the Friends of Brockley & Ladywell Cemeteries at 2pm on both days. Meet at the Ladywell Chapel.

The First  World War - or the Great  War 1914-1918 was fought on 3 continents and saw 14 million killed and 34 million wounded. This year commemorates the 100th year anniversary of  the start of the First World War on 5th August 2014.Women war artists were commissioned in the First World  War, but had few opportunities to venture beyond the domestic, social, and industrial operations on the home front.

This public art exhibition has commissioned 7 women artists to give their unique perspective on the First World  War from life on the front line, as well as on the home front. Each artist has produced 3 artworks: commemorating the start of  the war in 1914; the middle of the war in 1916; and the end of the war on Armistice Day in 1918.

Nicky Scott-Francis looks at the landscape of  war based on research at the Imperial  War Museum - particularly the fear of a gas attack. Jolanta Jagiello based on research f rom the Musei della Grande Guerra Open Air Museum in South Tyrol examines how deliberately setting off avalanches saw thousands of soldiers serving in the Alpine Front killed. Elisabeta Chojak-Mysko’s artworks focus on the heat of  battle so that we should not forget. Whilst Sara Scott tells the personal story of  her grandfather’s munitions factory and its contribution to the war effort. Louise Kosinska traces the love story between her grandfather in Belgium and her grandmother serving as Red Cross Nurse. Monica  Wheeler highlights how families were divided by the war, serving on all sides. And f inally Jill Rock concentrates on her German family roots, interned in Britain for their own safety during the World War I.

Opening times are 11am to 4pm on Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd August 2014, Ladywell Chapel Ladywell Cemetery, Ladywell Road, SE13 7HY.  The exhibition is curated by Jolanta Jagiello and funded by Southwark Council Community Fund.                            

FOBLC Open Day

Here are some photos from our Open Day on Sunday.  Many thanks to all those who helped and of course all the many who came!  A good time was had by all

FOBLC Open Day
Jeff Hart leads a walk

plant symbol of London
Observing a lovely cluster of Rose Bay Willow Herb, the plant symbol of London

Cinnabar caterpillar Brockley
Colourful Cinnabar caterpillar found on the nature walk

Colin our Treasurer tops up the funds with some plant sales

Inside the Chapel during the Open Day

Come to our FOBLC Open Day Sunday 13th July 2014



11am - 4.30pm

·            Photographic Exhibition of monuments and wildlife in the Ladywell Chapel
·            Guided walks of the Cemeteries visiting the graves of sportsmen, poets, war veterans and local figures
·      Identify skulls with Terry
·            Refreshments
·            Plant stall
Subject to Availability

Ladywell Cemetery, Ladywell Road, SE13 7HY
Ladywell station (short walk up hill), Bus P4
Brockley Cemetery, Brockley Road, SE4 2QY

Crofton Park station (short walk), Buses 122, 171, 172

The WW1 scandal of the sinking of Submarine E13

Following the recent cutting back of overgrowth by Bereavement Services employees in the Ladywell section of the cemetery we were particularly pleased to be able to locate the family grave of Able Seaman Alfred J Payne. 

Able Seaman Alfred J Payne gravestone brockleyy cemetery

The grave lies a few yards from the path that runs alongside the boundary with the Brockley side. In the early hours of August 19 th 1915 the British E -Class Submarine E-13 under the command of Lieutenant Geoffrey Layton RN ran aground on the Danish Island of Salthom (Denmark being a neutral country in WW1). A Danish torpedo boat arrived on the scene, and as was the convention, communicated to the E-13 that she had 24 hours to recover herself and depart, otherwise she would be impounded and the crew interned. When all efforts to refloat her had failed at 09.00 am two German Kriegsmarine Torpedo Boats Destroyers arrived, and after raising a commercial flag, Cmdr Layton had no time to respond before a torpedo was launched and the second boat opened up with all her guns which caused the Submarine to catch fire and the call to abandon ship was issued.  But for the timely intervention of one of the Danish Torpedo boats which moved to place itself between the E-13 and the German warships the casualties would have been much greater. 15 sailors were killed including Able Seaman Payne 4317. Another fifteen Officers and men survived and spent the rest of the war interned, although Cmdr Layton later escaped and made his way back to England.
Drawing of sinking of Submarine E13

The incident resulted in International Outrage , with one leading Swedish Newspaper characterising the act as ' wilful murder' The London Times headline ran as follows : STRICKEN E 13 SHELLED OUTRAGE IN NEUTRAL WATERS DANISH PROTEST

The story of the E-13 went around the world happening as it did three months after the sinking of the Passenger Liner Lusitania. The German authorities explained that they had violated Danish neutrality due to the fact that British submarines operating in the Baltic Sea had earlier fired on their battleship 'Moltke'.  Three days after the outrage the dead sailors funeral service was held at the St Albans English Church in Copenhagen following a memorial service which representatives of the Danish Navy and Government attended. The steamship Vidar ( ironically sunk in 1940 by a U -Boat) then transported the deceased sailors to Hull where thousands gathered and full naval honours were accorded. A remarkable silent newsreel film records this event

The Danish Queen Alexandra sent wreaths of lilies for the hearse drawn coffins through the streets of Hull. The CWGC remembers Able Seaman Payne and for those who might at some point stroll amongst the bosky pathways into this part of the cemetery, might stop to recall for a brief moment the tragedy of the E-13.

For a fuller account of the tragedy readers are invited to visit this link :

Nunhead Cemetery Open Day Saturday 17th May

We will be having a stall at the annual Nunhead Cemetery Open Day this Saturday, 17th May 11am - 5pm. It's always a great day. Do pop along to look at the stalls, enjoy the guided walks and come by and see us

FONC Nunhead Cemetery Open Day 2014 poster