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The Undertaker at Work by Brian Parsons London Cemeteries: an illustrated guide and gazeteer by Hugh Mellor and Brian Parsons The Glades of Remembrance, Brookwood Cemetery by Brian Parsons, Erkin Guney and John Clarke The London Way of Death by Brian Parsons J H Kenyon: the first 125 years by Brian Parsons
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Committed to the Cleansing Flame by Brian Parsons From Brooke Street to Brookwood Brian Parsons Bunny France Frederick W Paine: the first 125 years by Brian Parsons State Funeral of Sir Winston Churchill W S Bond

My Lectures

Brian Parsons is available to give the following presentations:

Other lectures are in preparation and enquiries for lectures on related subjects are welcome.

All lectures last 45/50 minutes and are accompanied by a Powerpoint presentation of many rarely seen images.

For further details please contact Brian Parsons

Email: info@brianparsons.org.uk

List of Lectures

Forthcoming Lectures

2017 Lectures

2016 Lectures

2015 Lecures

2014 Lectures

2013 Lectures

2012 Lectures

Earlier Lectures

Lectures in 2013

‘Funeral Directing in 20th Century Scotland’. For 'Death in Modern Scotland, 1855-1955: beliefs, attitudes and practices', New College, University of Edinburgh, February 2013

‘The Development of Cremation in Britain’. For Sturminster Newton Museum Society, April 2013

‘From Brooke Street to Brookwood: Nineteenth Century Funeral Reform and S Alban the Martyr Holborn Burial Society’. For Fourteenth Cemeteries Colloquium, University of York, May 2013

‘Undertaking History’. For University of Westminster Summer School, July 2013

‘Committed to the Cleansing Flame: The History of Cremation in North London since 1874’. For Camden Local History Society, July 2013

‘Serving the Bereaved: Yesterday, Today and in the Future’. For Scotmid Co-operative Society Funeral Conference, August 2013

‘Americanisation of the British Funeral Industry: Fact or Fiction?’. For 11th International Death, Dying and Disposal Conference, Open University, September 2013

‘Robertson and the Early Years of the Nation Association of Cemetery Superintendents’. For ICCM Learning Convention, September 2013

‘Undertaking in London’. For Hendrick’s Carnival of Knowledge, London Day of the Dead, October 2013

‘Frederick W Paine: A Unique History of Service to the Community’. For FW Paine, October 2013

‘A Look at the Cemeteries of South London’. For Mycenae House Local History Society, October 2013

‘JH Kenyon: A unique History’. For JH Kenyon, October 2013

Lectures in 2015

‘Portrait of the Work of the Undertaker’. Southern District of the London Association of Funeral Directors, 12 January 2015

‘The History of F W Paine’. West Surrey History Society (Feltham Branch), 24 February 2015

‘Funeral Directing in War and Peace’. NAFD Yorkshire Educational Weekend, Scarborough, 21-22 March 2015

‘Premature Burial and the Undertakers When is Death?’ Conference, University of Leicester, 16-18 April 2015

‘Burying the Dead in London: An insight from 1965’ Cemeteries Colloquium, University of York, 15 May 2015

‘F W Paine: Serving the community in war and peace’ Lecture given at F W Paine, Kingston, 6 October 2015

‘The Funeral of Sir Winston Churchill: 30 January 1965’ Lecture given at

J H Kenyon, 83 Westbourne Grove, London W2, 13 October 2015

Lectures in 2014

‘The history of UK funeral practices’ For the Death Salon, Barts Pathology Museum, 12 April 2014

‘Clients, competition and communication’, Scotmid Funeral Conference, 5 May 2014

‘Frederick W Paine: A Unique History of Service to the Community’, 13 May 2014

Abandoning Burial. Explaining a Regional Shift Towards Cremation’, Cemeteries Colloquium, University of York, 16 May 2014

‘Undertaking History’, University of Westminster Summer School, 9 July 2014

‘Frederick W Paine: Serving the Community in War and Peace’, 10 July 2014

Frederick W Paine: Serving the Community in War and Peace’, 2 October 2014

‘Undertakers and coffin’, 8 October 2014, Newman Brothers Coffin Furnishing Factory, Birmingham

‘Funeral service in West London - A Short History’, 11 November 2014, Western District of the London Association of Funeral Directors

‘The Magnificent Seven’, 17 December 2014, Lauderdale House, Highgate

Forthcoming Lectures


8 November 2017

Acton History Group

‘The History of Mortlake Crematorium’

2018 Lectures

20 January 2018

Ayton Local History Society

‘The History of Ayton Castle’



Lectures on the History of Funeral Service at F W Paine Kingston

You can download a poster of these lectures


3 October 2017

‘The Brookwood Necropolis Railway’ to be given by John M Clarke

Lectures in 2017

‘The Work of the Funeral Director’, University of York, Thursday 2 February 2017.

‘The Funeral Director and Dealing with Bereaved Families’, Academy of Forensic Medical Science, Thursday 9 February 2017.

‘The Cemeteries of South London’ - Friends of West Norwood Cemetery, Saturday 18 February 2017.

‘The History of Mortlake Crematorium’, Brentford & Chiswick Local History Society, Monday 20 February 2017.

‘The History of Ayton Castle’, Monday 20 March 2017.

‘The Changing Face of Funerals’, Ayton Scottish WI, Wednesday 22 March 2017.

‘Frederick W Paine: Serving the Community in War and Peace’, Surbiton and District Historical Society, 2 May 2017


‘Frederick W Paine: A History of Service to the Community’, F W Paine, Kingston, 13 June 2017

‘The Cemeteries of South London’, Friends of Nunhead Cemetery, 15 June 2017

‘Burying Enza: The Spanish flu and the burial of the dead in London’, The Friends of Brockley and Ladywell Cemetery, 20 June 2017

‘The History of Mortlake Crematorium’, Richmond Local History Society, 8 July 2017

‘The History of Mortlake Crematorium’, Know your place – Richmond upon Thames Heritage Festival, 12 September 2017


‘The Changing Face of Funerals in South London’, F W Paine, Kingston, 19 September 2017

Lectures in 2016

‘A Tale of Two Cemeteries: Securing new burial space in London during the interwar period’ - Seventeenth Colloquium of Cemeteries, University of York, Friday 20th May, 2016

‘Frederick Paine: Serving the Community in War and Peace’ - Frederick W Paine Museum, 24 Old London Road, Kingston KT2 6QG, Tuesday 21 June 2016

‘Funeral Directors and the Promotion of Cremation: A Regional Perspective’ - Cremation & Burial Communication & Education Conference, Stratford-on-Avon, Monday 4 July 2016

‘Cremation in London: the Development of Cremation in the Capital’ - Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery, Thursday 8 September 2016 at 7.30pm.

‘The History of Frederick Paine Funeral Directors’ - Esher District Local History Society, Saturday 10 September 2016 at 2.30pm.

‘Frederick Paine: Serving the Community in War and Peace’ - Maldens & Coombe Heritage Society. Wednesday 14 September 2016 at 7pm.

‘Mortlake Crematorium’: a talk on the development of cremation and the story behind Mortlake Crematorium. This event is part of Open House London 2016. Sunday 18 September 2016 in the Crematorium Chapel at Mortlake.

‘The Cemeteries of South London’ - Frederick W Paine Museum, 24 Old London Road, Kingston KT2 6QG, Tuesday 20 September 2016 at 7pm.

‘Frederick Paine: Serving the Community in War and Peace’ - Frederick W Paine Museum, 24 Old London Road, Kingston KT2 6QG, Tuesday 4 October 2016 at 7pm.

‘London Cemeteries’ - Highgate Cemetery, Thursday 20 October 2016 (Part of the ‘London Month of the Dead’ events)

‘The Story of the Unknown Warrior’ - J H Kenyon Funeral Directors, 83 Westbourne Grove W2 4UL, Thursday 27 October 2016.

‘The History of Frederick Paine’ - The Mausolea & Monuments Trust, Saturday 12 November 2016.

Lectures in 2012

‘Down Among the Dead Men’. Presentation given at Death: Southbank’s Festival for the Living, 27-29 January 2012

Funeral Directing in London: A Short History’. For Croydon Association of Funeral Directors February, 2012

‘Robertson at the City: Portrait of a Cemetery Superintendent’. For Thirteenth Colloquium on Cemeteries, University of York, May 2012

‘JH Kenyon: A Unique History’. For JH Kenyon, June 2012

‘Funeral Reform and the Clergy’. For clergy seminar in Dorset, June 2012

‘The Pioneers of Preservation: The Development of Embalming in 20th Century Britain’. For BIE Midlands Division, July 2012

‘A Dying Business? Mortality and Funeral Directing in West London’. For The Social Context of Death, Dying and Disposal, 10th International Conference, Raboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, September 2012

‘Understanding the Funeral Business’. For the board of Scotmid Co-operative, Edinburgh, October 2012