Gunnersbury Cemetery

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Gunnersbury Cemetery, also known as Kensington or New Kensington Cemetery, is a cemetery opened in 1929. Although it is owned and managed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea,<ref name=official>Official entry on the Royal Borough's Libraries</ref> it is geographically located within the London Borough of Hounslow at 143, Gunnersbury Avenue in Acton - most of the rest of which is in the London Borough of Ealing.


A triangle of land between the Gunnersbury Avenue and the Great West Road, part of the Gunnersbury Park, was bought in 1925 from the Rothschild family by the borough. The cemetery was founded soon afterwards, in 1929, on the former parkland.<ref name=official2>Cemeteries services, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea</ref>

Location and facilities

The cemetery is situated adjacent to Gunnersbury Park. It covers about 8.9 hectares. It has numerous floral displays and shrubberies, and a chapel.<ref name=official/> Cemetery's buildings, chapel included, are simple brick structures.<ref name="Meller1994">Template:Cite book</ref> There used to be a notable sculpture by Nereo Cescott but it was destroyed by vandals prior to 1994.<ref name=official2>Cemeteries services, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea</ref><ref name="Meller1994"/> 'Garden of Remembrance serves as the place for the interment of cremated remains.<ref name=official2/> There is also a Book of Remembrance for memorial inscriptions.<ref name=official2/> Gunnersbury Cemetery is the location of the main office for both the Borough's cemeteries (the other being the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Cemetery, Hanwell).<ref name=official/>

A notable landmark at the cemetery is a monument, in the form of a black obelisk, dedicated to the Polish victims of the Katyn massacre.<ref name="Meller1994"/> It was designed by Louis Fitzgibbon and Count Stefan Zamoyski.<ref name="Meller1994"/> The monument was unveiled on 18 September 1976. amid a controversy.<ref name="Meller1994"/><ref name="CiencialaMaterski2007"/> The Soviet Union did not want the Katyn massacre to be remembered, and demanded that the British government prevent the erection of the monument.<ref name="Sanford2005">Template:Cite book</ref><ref name="CiencialaMaterski2007">Template:Cite book</ref> The British government did not want to antagonize the Soviet one, and the construction of the monument was delayed by many years.<ref name=fco>Katyn in the Cold War, Foreign and Commonwealth Office</ref><ref name=no>Brian Crozier, The Katyn Massacre and Beyond, National Observer, No. 44, Autumn 2000 ></ref> When the local community secured the right for the monument to be put there, no government representative was present at the ceremony (although representatives of the British Conservative Party opposition were present).<ref name=fco/><ref name=no/><ref name="CiencialaMaterski2007"/>

The cemetery contains the graves of 49 Commonwealth service personnel of World War II.<ref name=cwgc>[1] CWGC Cemetery Report.</ref>

Opening hours

Month Mon-Sat Sun
January 9.00-16.30 9.00-16.30
February 9.00-17.30 9:00-17.30
March 9:00-17.30 9:00-17.30
April 9.00-19.00 9.00-18.00
May 9.00-19.00 9.00-18.00
June 9.00-20.00 9.00-19.00
July 9.00-20.00 9.00-19.00
August 9.00-20.00 9.00-19.00
September 9.00-19.00 9.00-18.00
October 9.00-17.30 9.00-17.30
November 9.00-16.30 9.00-16.30
December 9.00-16.30 9.00-16.30


As of January 2010 Find a Grave describes this cemetery as having "49 famous interments."<ref name=find-a-grave>Find a Grave, Gunnersbury Cemetery</ref> They include:

  • A plot dedicated to the 24th Polish Lancers Regiment and their families
  • Denzil Batchelor, British journalist, writer, playwright and broadcaster.
  • Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski, Polish general, during World War II, commander of the Warsaw Uprising and Polish Commander-in-Chief
  • Hugh Burden, British actor and playwright
  • William Davison, 1st Baron Broughshane
  • Charles Benjamin Dowse, 8th Bishop of Killaloe
  • Matila Costiesco Ghyka, Romanian prince, novelist, mathematician, historian, philosopher and diplomat
  • George Humphreys, British civil engineer
  • Harold Brownlow Martin, Australian pilot
  • Charles Langbridge Morgan, British playwright and novelist
  • John Ogdon, English pianist and composer
  • Vera Page, victim of an unresolved murder
  • Carol Reed, English film director
  • Prince Vsevolod Ivanovich of Russia
  • Kazimierz Sabbat, Prime Minister and President of Poland in Exile
  • Template:Ill
  • Matthew Smith, English painter
  • Marda Vanne, South African actress
  • Aston Webb, English architect
  • Natasha Bagration, Georgian royal princess



External links

Template:Cemeteries in London