10th April 2019 History of Hull’s Cemeteries 13.
The inscription on this plaque reads as follows ‘Dedicated to celebrate the centenary year of the first local authority municipal crematorium in the country’. This confirms my assumption of a couple of blogs ago that this is Hedon Road Cemeteries claim to fame rather than it being the first to exist.
As promised a comment on Woking Crematorium – opened in 1878 it was the first custom-built crematorium and was funded by the London Necropolis Company (as a private venture) and Sir Henry Thompson, physician to Queen Victoria. However it could only operate after 1884 when cremation was legalised. There was much local opposition to it being built.
The famous Golders Green Crematorium was opened in 1902. Two cremations here from the 1890s were Friedrick Engels and Eleanor Marx, daughter of Karl Marx.
Further extracts from the Minutes (s.p.b.s); In the summer of 1907 it was minuted that in 1906 cremations had averaged 3/month, whereas total interments in Hedon Road Cemetery was now 35,051.
At the same meeting of the Burial Committee a letter from the Cremation Society was minuted. The Society was pressing the government for changes to the Cremation Act of 1902 and as asking for support, the details were not recorded but it is clear that the rules prior to a cremation being agreed were more irksome than those preceding an interment including the need for two medical practitioners to confirm death rather than just one. Hull’s Burial Committee members agreed that reforms in the legislation were needed.
By late 1907 the total number of cremations conducted at Hedon Road Cemetery was recorded as 125.
Further evidence about Hedon Road Crematorium awaits further research.