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Lambeth Cemetery in Lambeth, London
Now Available on Deceased Online

Records from the London Borough of Lambeth's Lambeth Cemetery are now available to view on Lambeth Cemetery, originally known as Tooting Cemetery, is home to a great many species of wildlife, including goldcrests, sparrowhawks, and woodpeckers, and provides the final resting place for over 250,000 people, including many famous music hall Victorians.

Cemetery Image
Above: Lambeth Cemetery

The music hall was a popular Victorian brand of theatrical entertainment, and involved songs, comedy, speciality acts, and variety entertainment. One giant figure of music hall was George Wild Galvin, better known as Dan Leno, who was buried in Lambeth Cemetery after his death in 1904. Dan Leno, born in 1860, was a leading comedian and musical actor within music hall, and was also well known for his pantomine dame roles. His first solo stage appearance was at nine years old and, as a teen, he became the star of his family's act. By the late 1800s, Dan Leno was one of the highest paid and most popular comedians in the world and, in 1901, he performed a sketch for King Edward VII at Sandringham, who was thoroughly impressed. Leno was generous and charitable, particularly to the benefit of other performers in need, but increasing alcoholism and widespread rejection of his desires to become a serious dramatic actor led to a mental breakdown in 1903. He was committed to an asylum, to be treated by a Dr. Savage with 'peace and quiet and a little water colouring'. He was discharged later that year and performed again, but from there his health further declined and he died in November 1904 aged only 43.

Dan Leno's Memorial
Above: Dan Leno's Memorial

A memorial honouring the English composer and actress Madeleine Dring, born in 1923, was recently rediscovered in Lambeth Cemetery. At 10 years old she began studying music at the Royal College of Music, originally focusing on violin and piano, eventually diversifying into theatre and song. She was a talented composer, creating pieces for piano, wind and strings. She wrote incidental music for plays, radio, television and West End revues, featuring her own lyrics. Her one-act opera Cupboard Love was not performed until long after her death. Dring was buried in Lambeth cemetery in April 1977 under her full name, Madeleine Winefride Isabelle Lord.

Cemetery Image
Above: Lambeth Cemetery

Lambeth Cemetery also provides the final resting place of William Harris, known nationwide as "The Sausage King". He was buried in 1912 aged 69. At the age of nine he began working for a butcher in Woolwich, and eventually began his own business. Harris would work in full evening dress, complete with enormous diamond stud and opera hat. His eccentricities, which delighted his fellow Victorians, and tireless advertising, saw his sausage empire grow into at least 40 shops and restaurants in London, and more on the south coast. His registered trademark was a colour picture of himself "riding a huge pig to victory in the Derby". He and his wife Elizabeth had seven children: three sons named William and four daughters named Elizabeth. He was reportedly a generous man and the Marlborough Express credits him with giving a pound of sausages to every policeman and fireman in London, every Christmas.

Upcoming Records

We're working hard on records from authorities in the East Midlands, London, the West Midlands, and the South East of England.

Watch out for our newsletters to discover when new records are released.

All photographs in today's bulletin have been gratefully sourced from Wikimedia Commons. Author Irid Escent kindly shared them under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

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