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Cremation and Burial Information

Cremation

There are two types of Crematoria in the UK, those that are owned by Local Authorities and those that are privately owned. The first Crematorium was founded in Woking, Surrey in 1879, with the first cremation taking place on 26th March 1885. Woking Crematorium is still in use today.

When a cremation is chosen as the preferred type of funeral, the Funeral Director will arrange for the necessary forms to be completed. There are two which need the nearest relative's signature.

  • Form 'A' The Application for Cremation is normally signed by an executor or the nearest relative and contains personal information about the deceased.

    Cremated Remains Instruction form is also signed by the above and authorises whether the Cremated Remains should be placed in the Garden of Remembrance or removed for disposal elsewhere.

Other forms need to be completed by Doctors. This will be arranged and the appropriate fees paid out by the Funeral Director.

  • Form 'B' -Certificate of Medical Attendant signed by a Registered Medical Practitioner who attended the deceased during his/her last illness.
  • Form 'C' - Confirmatory Medical Certificate signed by a different Registered Medical Practitioner of at least five years standing who is of no relation to the deceased nor a relative or partner of the Doctor signing Form 'B'.

However, Forms 'B' and 'C' are not required when the Coroner has held a post-mortem examination as he/she will issue Form 'E' in place of them. Likewise the Registrar's Certificate for Burial or Cremation will not be issued when Form 'E' has been. There is no fee payable to the Coroner for Form 'E'.

Burial

A body can normally be buried in a Local Authority or Privately owned Cemetery (for example a Jewish Cemetery, or burial ground on a family estate) or in a Churchyard although most of these in urban areas are now full.

The family may already have a grave which can be re-opened, for example where a husband and wife wish to be buried together. Often a new grave is dug with space to allow for one, two or three further interments. This needs to be stipulated at the time of purchase. Alternatively the deceased can be buried in a Common grave.

All Local Authority and Commercially managed cemeteries require an Interment form signed by the nearest relative giving details about the deceased and of the grave to be dug. The Registrar's Certificate for Burial or Coroner's Order for Burial, must also be delivered to the relevant Authority. After burial a grave deed will be issued or in the case of re-opening an existing grave, amended and returned.