Sunday, 24 February 2008


After weeks of fruitless research, I'm wondering if anyone in here can help point me in the right direction.

In my work in progress, a young girl's grandmother (her only relative) is killed during an air raid. For complex reasons, it is several years before the child can think of trying to find where her grandmother is buried.

What I need is background on the whole process of burial during the Second World War, the paperwork involved, how you would find where someone was buried, what type of grave markers were in common use (and were there restrictions), and so on.

If anyone knows of a book or other source of information, I would be extremely grateful.


Fiona said...

Have a look on the British Legion website as they have lots of information there. Perhaps they can give you more of a starting point.

Sounds fascinating, by the way:)

Graeme K Talboys said...

Many thanks. I've also been pointed in the direction of the WRVS, Red Cross and Sally Army. That should keep me busy tomorrow.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

And if that lot doesn't sort you out, I can think of two other good starting points: your local council's Bereavement Services department (the people who run the non-denominational crematoriums and cemeteries), or a long-established independent funeral director such as Albins People in the death biz are very helpful. Best of luck!

Graeme K Talboys said...

Brilliant! I have been trying to think of Barry Albin Dyer's name for days. I remember reading his first book, but simply couldn't remember the name.

hesitant scribe said...

I've nothing useful to add in terms of research - just wanted to say it sounds intriguing!

Graeme K Talboys said...

I'm quite happy to let people read what I've written so far (about 60,000 words). Alternatively: this is the first of a four book cycle about Charlie (Charlotte Jennifer Grace) Cornelius. It is very much in the tradition of magical realism, with elements of fantasy and dream interwoven with the real world (as one might expect from a child). This first book takes place in London during the Second World War. At the age of 8 (in 1938) Charlie is left with her Nan and has no idea if her parents are alive. During the Blitz, her Nan is killed and the support of neighbours (and her Nan's lodgers) is dispersed. Charlie lives rough, learning of ways to survive in the ruins. She makes friends and enemies and begins to try to find out where she came from and why certain things seem to happen to her. One of her specific quests in the second part of the book is to find out where her Nan was buried.