London Road Cemetery & The Ghost of Kathleen Couch

As is the way with many other folks, lunchtimes generally consist of a sandwich at my desk (I don’t mean all these other people have a sandwich at my desk). But a couple of days ago I felt the need for some fresh air and a break. Quick Google-Map and I discovered a large green area just a short walk from where I work. So off I headed. Imagine my delight when I discovered that the green area was actually London Road Cemetery – an old Victorian cemetery / arboretum.  I’m no taphophile but who doesn’t enjoy an old graveyard?

Designed by Joseph Paxton in the 1840s the cemetery is a beautiful and labyrinthine place to explore. Ancient buildings and trees, the final resting place of a number of survivors of the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade, plenty of squirrels…

Wikipedia says: The cemetery contains 94 scattered war graves of Commonwealth service personnel – including Victoria Cross recipient Battery Sergeant-Major Charles Parker (died 1918) – and one Belgian soldier’s war grave of the First World War. There are 123 Commonwealth service war graves of the Second World War, 21 of whom are in a group in Square 348. The group includes an officer and six men of a Royal Engineers bomb disposal team who were killed when a bomb they were working on after an air raid exploded.

True story – I’d been wandering round for about half an hour, was standing still framing up a shot when someone put their hand on my shoulder. I figured it was going to be someone telling me I couldn’t take photos, or maybe ask me about the Fuji. It was quite a heavy hand. When I turned… there was no-one there.

I stood motionlessfor a few moments, not scared but puzzled. The nearest grave was actually… open. Kathleen Couch’s grave. Not saying it was Kathleen, but it might have been…

All photos taken with the Fuji X100s


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