Registered Charity

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

For all enquiries please contact our Chairman


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Women In Front - A Public Art Exhibition of Women's Work in WW1 Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th September 2017, 11am-4pm

Women In Front - public art exhibition commemorates the contribution of women to the war effort at home and at the front in the First World War. As the war progressed with mounting casualties and the introduction of conscription, over 1 million women were employed for the first time in occupations previously reserved for men. Over 1.6 million women worked in domestic service were now given the opportunity to move into better-paid employment.

In March 1917, the Women’s War Work Subcommittee was formed to collect materials covering the contribution of women to the war effort for a National War Museum. The subcommittee commissioned photographers Horace Nicholls, George Parnham Lewis, and Olive Edlis (covering France) to record the work undertaken by women, this culminated in an exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1918, attracting 82,000 visitors.

100 years later, Women In Front through the artworks on display, tells the stories of women’s lives before the war, their war work, and what happened to them afterwards. Nicky Scott-Francis explores the working lives of munitionettes, whilst Jill Rock concentrates on their achievements in the Women’s Football League, with Jolanta Jagiello covering the employment of female police constables to control their rowdy out-of-work behaviour. Sara Scott focuses on postal workers and Monica Wheeler on bus conductors, one of the few professions still open to women after the war, improving the working conditions of women.
Elizabeta Chojak-Mysko and Louse Kosinska tell the stories of women who had to disguise themselves as men to achieve their ambitions, whether as doctors to run a hospital for wounded soldiers or to take their pastime of flying to turn themselves into combat pilots.

The exhibition funded by Southwark Council Neighbourhood Fund is in the Chapel, Ladywell Cemetery (Ladywell Road, SE13 7HY) on Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th September 2017, 11am-4pm, as part of National Cemeteries Week under the auspices of the National Federation of Cemetery Friends.

Guided walk on Sunday 10th September 2pm-3.30pm linking with the theme of the exhibition.  Meet at the Ladywell Chapel

Grave of Circus Star SAMUEL LOCKHART restored

The FOBLC are pleased to announce the recent restoration of the Lockhart Family headstone in Brockley cemetery.   Samuel Lockhart was an accomplished clown and father of George and Samuel Lockhart, who became famous elephant trainers in the Victorian era.

Thank you for the continuing commitment the Music Hall Guild has towards such historic restorations in Brockley & Ladywell cemeteries, including that of Edward Lewis

Private Joseph Byrne (1897-1915) the first soldier to die at Lewisham Military Hospital remembered at Brockley Max Festival

A moving tribute song was performed by the group 1965, a Folk and Roots duo, joined by friends as part of the 2017 Brockley Max festival . The song was written by a band member whose relative fought in the Dublin Fusiliers in the First World War and who was inspired to perform it in the cemetery after finding the name of Private Joseph Byrne on the wall of remembrance located in Ladywell cemetery. In the evocative setting of the Ladywell Chapel packed audiences listened to a wonderful rendition of songs from the group. The song can be listened to via this link :

Located at the intersection of pathways that lead towards Brockley cemetery and Ivy road lies the Commonwealth War Graves Commission wall of remembrance. Joseph’s name is inscribed at the southern section of the memorial (which has recently been re-laid and relettered)
Ladywell Cemetery Commonwealth War Graves Commission Plot-‘Heroes Corner’.
Private 9058 JOSEPH BYRNE of 4th battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers died of wounds in Lewisham on 16 May 1915, aged 18.

Joseph who was born in Dublin is buried in Ladywell cemetery where his name is recorded on the wall of CWGC plot in Lady well cemetery listing those whose graves have no headstone. He was the first soldier to be buried from Lewisham Military Hospital 19 May in the Roman Catholic section.
The Kentish Mercury 28 May 1915

He is also remembered on the Lewisham Military Hospital memorial outside University Hospital Lewisham.

The local community welcomed the arrival of the first patients to the Military Hospital and within less than a month of their arrival the residents of Lewisham had organised an outing for the patients.

Local people loaned the use of their cars to transport the wounded from the hospital to Greenwich Park where an afternoon tea had been prepared for the patients. Along the route from the hospital to the park flag waving crowds gathered to cheer the wounded and distribute gifts of cigarettes and fruit. In the Kentish Mercury (4th June 1915) one soldier is reported to have said “Well it would be worth getting wounded again for this.” Throughout the war the people of Lewisham supported the hospital either through volunteering, fundraising, providing entertainment for the convalescents and supporting the newly formed local branch of the British Red Cross Society.

The first soldier to die at Lewisham Military Hospital was Private Joseph Byrne of the Dublin Fusiliers. Private Byrne died on the 15th May 1915 from the shrapnel wounds he received whilst serving at the front and his funeral was held in the Roman Catholic section of Ladywell Cemetery. He was only 18 years old. The occasion was of such significance locally that photographs from the military funeral featured in the local press.