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  1. #1
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    Default Conveyance of coffins by rail c1918

    Hello good morning.
    I have a relation who died in Greenwich Seamans Hospital in 1918 and was buried 6 days later 200+ miles away in Cornwall. I have heard that the LSWR were early pioneers in carrying coffins by rail. London was running out of places to bury people so they developed a facility on the left-hand side at the end of Waterloo station. Coffins could be taken from street level and loaded into trains at a special siding.

    Does anyone think that there would be a record of this specifically of my relation?
    Any more info on these funeral provisions would also be of interest.

    Regards,

    Geoff

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    Loves to help with queries emmteeyess's Avatar
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    This is another one of those interesting things that you never realise go on! Try googling 'lswr carrying coffins' and loads of hits come up, including this -
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London...ailway_station
    and this forum -
    http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=56562

    Don't know if they answer your specific question but there's certainly more info out there.

    Cheers, MTS

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    There is also a book called (I think) "The London Necropolis Railway"

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    This is relevant to the thread, but stops at Brookwood:
    http://www.demorgan.org.uk/blog/broo...cropolis-train. I gather that Waterloo Station was used until 1920.

    Re any records of the coffins carried. If they existed, would they have been kept by undertakers? (And probably thrown out long ago.) I suspect that the railway company would just have kept a tally of the number of coffins carried(?), but I may well be proved wrong.

    But, of course, you were specifically asking about a coffin train to Cornwall - too late for me to try to find info on that one. Sorry.

    Off to roost,

    Owl
    Families don't make sense - they make history.

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    Can't help with your query Geoff, but it reminded me of something that used to amuse me in my working days ...

    I ran a Post Office in Cornwall until 2008 - every summer there would be at least one package to be mailed "upcountry" by our local undertakers ... contents: One Urn Containing Ashes.

    Of course, it was always posted Special Delivery, but I do wonder whether the postmen ever realized what they were carrying

    Jane

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    When I joined BR in 1994 we had an occupied coffin a couple of times on the Penzance bound trains -I think this was stowed in the Guards van (TGS) originally but on some HST stock it was the leading power car van instead.
    I bet any travelling 'fitters' got a shock when coming through the engine to go & see the guard!

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