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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War poet David Jones to be commemorated with maroon plaque

David Jones (1895 - 1974) Poet, Soldier, Artist
On Wednesday 2nd December at 12:30pm at 67 Arabin Road, SE4 there will be an unveiling of a maroon plaque to commemorate the Great War poet, soldier and artist David Jones (1895-1974), who is buried in the  Brockley & Ladywell Cemeteries. Born in Brockley in 1895 he served in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers during the Great War, having interrupted his studies at Camberwell Art School, and was wounded at the Battle of Mametz Wood during the Somme Offensive in July 1916. Of all the Great War poets he served the longest on the Western Front and his superb poetic memoir 'In Parenthesis' published in 1937 won the prestigious literary award The Hawthorden Prize and was described by writer T.S. Eliot as a 'work of genius'.  A convert to Catholicism, he spent time with the sculptor and artist Eric Gill and his calligraphy and brilliant artistic outpourings were compared by the art historian Kenneth Clark to those of the artist William Blake. He suffered greatly from the trauma of the trenches which resulted in nervous breakdowns and much of his artistic imagery is defined by these formative experiences.  Following the publication of his second long poem 'The Anathemata' in 1952 his critical acclaim as a poet and artist merited the accolade from Poet WH Auden as' probably the finest long poem written in English this century'. David Jones died in Harrow in 1974 and was buried in the family grave in Ladywell cemetery.  On November 11th 1985  the Poet Laureate Ted Hughes unveiled a memorial stone in Poets Corner Westminster Abbey to sixteen Great War poets including David Jones.

The campaign to recognise Brockley's most illustrious poet, soldier, artist has been spearheaded by the Friends of Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries and all the funding to pay for the maroon plaque was sourced from the generous donations of admirers of David Jones with the support of the Homeowners and Lewisham Archives.  The maroon plaque celebrates the achievements of former residents of Lewisham Borough. The unveiling will be undertaken by Nicholas Elkin, trustee of the David Jones Society and great nephew of the war poet. Following the ceremonya space has been reserved at the nearby Brockley Jack Public House, 410 Brockley Road, SE4 and light refreshments will be available for those attending who would like to spend more time socialising. All are welcome, if you require fuller information please contact Mike Guilfoyle, Vice-Chair FOBLC on

Commonwealth War Graves Tour

Commonwealth War Graves Tour 22/11/15 2pm to 3:30pm, meet Ladywell Chapel
Our next guided walk will concentrate on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorials in Brockley & Ladywell Cemeteries as part of their Living Memory Project. .  We are also intending to have a small relevant display of photos and other information in the Ladywell Chapel from 1:30pm to 3:30pm.

The walk will start at 2pm on Sunday 22nd November and we'll meet at the Chapel.   Please come along, and encourage your friends and neighbours to join us

Remembrance Sunday Event on Sunday 8th November

This Sunday 8th November from 10.55am - 12noon the FOBLC will be holding a Remembrance Sunday event. Please come and join us!  We meet at the Ladywell Cross of Sacrifice for wreath-laying, then walk via three points of interest to the Brockley Heroes corner for the final wreath-laying.

'Brockley Cemetery' poem wins poetry competition

Congratulation to Jake Kirner’s whose poem ‘Brockley Cemetery’ won the inaugural HopCroft Neighbourhood Forum poetry competition.  The judges commented that 'This poem did a fantastic job of celebrating and evoking the tranquillity, emotion and deep-rooted personal feeling that anyone who has ever visited Brockley Cemetery will understand.'  We agree !

Brockley Cemetery – by Jake Kirner

‘Dear’ strangely dispassionate;
used equally to friends, foes and strangers.
‘My dear’, little more than jovial;
the Luvvies’ favourite point of address.
Therefore, for now, your name will stand alone
above the letter I’m about to write,
for, at this point in casual proceedings,
I mean not to indulge in artifice.

Cara, I hope this letter finds you well
(an awful lot can change within a week)
I trust your newest home awards you much
a sense of independence and relief.

Whilst some enjoy the sight of their possessions
arranged just so,to cast upon their room
an imprint from their years of acquisitions,
I wish only to know I needn’t move.

For movement between two destinations
requires one to discipline the mind
and count each penny, measure every hour;
accounting food, democratising time.

The latter I particularly deplore.
They call it ‘Chronos’ – dividing each hour
as if it were no different to the last,
a logic to which we all too often cower.

And even in those favourable places,
the parks, cafes, the bookshops and museums,
I still find I’m prevented from escaping
the various constraints upon my being.

But one place, too infrequently I visit,
provides me with a greater peace of mind,
perhaps because it deals only in death
and thus transcends the tyranny of time

Walking through the cemetery, I have
often found a lightness from inquisition,
the passions of mankind, in their absence,
illuminating many an inner-vision

such as how little poetry would matter
if life was ever servant to the truth
and how many a dear, hopeless endeavour
is best the means by which we can improve

upon our flawed but far from pointless
time spent treading hours upon this earth,
seeking something describable as peace
within a mind – by want and conflict – ever cursed.

And so, my dear neighbour and newest friend,
I wish to extend to you the mere gift
of an afternoon amidst the grass and flowers,
the gravestones and all else that has come to live

along the paths of Brockley Cemetery
where it would be my great pleasure to share
with you the serenity of the scene
whilst taking in the cleansing autumn air.

I leave enclosed my number and address.
A knock upon my door, always a pleasure
– especially spontaneous arrivals
who’s offering of time is their sole endeavour.


Lewisham burial records added to Deceased Online

At FOBLC we get a lot of requests to help families find the graves of their ancestors and we're delighted that the burial and cremation records for Lewisham have now been added to Deceased OnlineThis central database of statutory burial and cremation registers for the UK and Republic of Ireland offers a unique searchable resource for family history researchers and professional genealogists and now has 8 million records across London.  It is free to search and the information you can find may include:
  • burial and cremation register entries in computerised form*
  • digital scans of register pages*
  • grave details and other interments in a grave (key to making new family links)
  • pictures of graves and memorials
  • maps showing the exact locations of graves and memorials.
If you're searching the website, simply use the free advance search facility where you can specify the cemetery name (if you know it) or the London borough through the drop down menus as well as names and dates that can be entered to aid searching.

As part of the launch of access to the Leiwsham records an event was held on Saturday 17th October in the Ladywell Chapel.