WW1 Anniversary Prompts Urgent Upgrade Of Chiswick Cemeteries
Council fear slips and falls as people likely to visit war graves
Two cemeteries in Chiswick are to get urgent repair work on their paths to cope with the higher number of visitors expected in the next few months due to the World War One commemorations.
Hounslow Council fears that there is a Health and Safety risk from slips and falls, particularly since many elderly people are expected to visit graves this year.
Chiswick Old Cemetery in Corney Reach will receive an upgrade of £20,000 as part of the works. It was opened 1888 and amongst its 23,700 interments are notables including John McNeill Whistler, Frederick Hitch VC, ( Rorke's Drift, grave pictured above) Trumpeter Joy ‘bugler ‘charge of the Light Brigade, the Victorian painter William Blake Richmond and William Hogarth celebrated Painter, Engraver and Caricaturist.
The cemetery contains scattered War Graves and a Cross of Sacrifice is erected facing Corney Road entrance. It is backed by a screen wall bearing the names of those whose graves are not marked by headstones.
A view of the old cemetery
The other cemetery in need of works is Chiswick New Cemetery on Staveley Road which will have a sum of over £10,000 allocated.
The Council say there is a need to prioritise cemetery infrastructure due to the link to the anniversary of World War 1, the high number of assets that are in poor condition and the increasing number of complaints that are received by Carillion Integrated Services and LBH.
"As the anniversary of the World War 1 approaches we anticipate high levels of footfall into our cemeteries to view both war graves and relatives. We are expecting a significant increase in visitors to visit official war graves and the graves of servicemen and women. Many of these visitors will be elderly and these recommendations are being made to ensure ease of access to all cemeteries."
The decision to approve £444,000 was taken by Cllr Theo Dennison, Lead Member for Finance and Citizen Engagement as a delegated decision last week.
An infrastructure survey conducted last January 2014 identified there are some urgent works required to improve parks, open spaces and cemeteries infrastructure.
The alternative option would be to close the worst sections of paths within the cemeteries. This would restrict the public access to their grave plots and was not therefore considered to be a viable alternative.
A number of other cemeteries across the borough are also likely to benefit from the approved capital programme over the next few months.
June 20, 2014