Although cremation commenced in 1885, it would be eighty later before burial was replaced as the preferred mode of disposal of the dead in England & Wales. Whilst this reflected a national shift, research highlights the existence of a significant regional variation. Focusing on the south west London/north Surrey area and using funeral directors records as the source of data, it can be established that the preference for cremation was reached at least a decade earlier. This paper argues that the availability of cremation facilities, a reduction in funeral expenditure, promotion by funeral directors and increasing awareness of the superiority of arrangements contributed towards the rejection of burial in favour of the cleansing flame.
Brian Parsons 2014
Abandoning burial: explaining a regional shift towards cremation
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