Deceptive Media

Mainly abstract photoblog

Grave Perspective

Posted: on 26 March 2004
Categories: Canon EOS 300D | Photoblog | Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6
Tags: black and white | grave stones

From time to time I shall post an image from Brookwood Cemetery. It’s only round the corner from me and is a never ending source of inspiration. Here is a little info on the cemetery I found:

The Cemetery was opened in November 1854, and was the largest in the world. Today this is no longer true, but it remains the largest Cemetery in the UK, and is probably the biggest in Western Europe. Since 1854, some 240,000 people have been buried there. It was originally called the London Necropolis or Woking Cemetery. It is situated near Woking, in the North-West corner of Surrey, England. Brookwood and Woking were afforested by Henry II, but disafforested about 1225. The name “Brookwood” has reference to the large woods of oak which grew in this district in former times from which, according to local tradition, timber was used in the construction of many sailing ships.

7 Comments

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  • an impressive picture!

  • Did somebody go see “Night of the Living Dead”?
    Jokes aside, I love cemetaries. Something about peacefulness and the weight of history.

  • I like how the lighting of the pic sets the mood for the picture. Very Striking.

  • There’s something about cemeteries that’s very sad and peaceful at the same time. You’ve captured this one’s spirit beautifully, and the monotone sets off its stark beauty.

  • The ethereal lighting is wonderful. Good shot. And if you’re into cemeteries, take a look at the following site:

    http://www.jonathan-clark.com/afterlife/cemetery.htm

  • Dear Andy
    I was delighted to see your photographs from Brookwood Cemetery. I have a special relationship to the cemetery because of a research project I am working on. It is a biography of Prince Peter of Greece and Denmark (1908-1980). Peter was besides being a prince also a notable anthropologist, doing important studies in India and Tibet. He was a colourful and interesting person (I met him once, as a young anthropology student at the University of Copenhagen in the mid-1970s). His wife was a Russian by thy name of Irene Avtchinnikova (various spellings), and she was as colourful as Peter. She escaped the Russian revolutionary turmoil in 1918 by hanging on to an elderly French marquis who was leaving for France. She married him in 1920 in Nice. In 1932 – after having divorced the marquis – she married a man called Lewis Sloden. He was a most enigmatic person. A Jew born in Warsaw 1892 he came to England as a child and went on to America where he was educated as a dancer and had a career at Broadway. In 1917 he returned to England where he privately trained as a pilot and got a brief assignment with the Royal Flying Corps. Back in USA, he worked at Broadway again, as a dancer and later as a director and playright. In 1930 he appears in Paris, where he runs an art gallery (‘Galerie Sloden’) and mingles with people around Jean Cocteau and his likes. In Paris he met Irene and they married in London in 1932 (they lived at Claridges Hotel, pretty stylish). They divorced in 1936, she starts seeing Prince Peter ( surely, she was une adventureuse, a gold digger). Irene and Peter marry in Madras (now called Chinnai) at the Danish consulate. This civil marriage is confirmed by a church wedding in Jerusalem in 1943 in the Greek Orthodox church. Irene died in Paris 1990. At the moment, my research is focused on Lewis Sloden. There is a hugh gap in my knowledge about him from 1936 to 1961, the year of his death from Parkinson’s disease. I have acquired a copy of his death certificate, and it gives some very ambiguous leads to where he might be burried. After having followed these I have been able to exclude all other possibilities than – Brookwood Cemetery. However, I have not been able to establish contact with the cemetery administration, neither by telephone nor by e-mail.
    When I saw your home page this morning, I couldn’t help but think that you might have passed Lewis’s grave during your explorations at Brookwood, and that I should contact you as a the man on the spot. Is it possible to make local inquiries about the graves? Would you be able to do it without too much inconvenience. Lewis Sloden died on 20 October 1961 at Whittington Hospital, Highgate. He was Jewish by birth, so it might pay to look for him in the Jewish section, too.

    With kind regards
    Poul Pedersen
    Associate Professor
    University of Aarhus, Denmark

  • Hello,

    I don’t know if anybody will read this now, but I am trying to contact Poul Pederson who commented last on this entry. If Andy or Poul read this, please email me at leahle123@yahoo.com.

    I am searching for info on Prince Peter of Greece.

    Thank you in advance,

    Leah.