Kensal Green Cemetery

War Graves

Kensal Green cemetery is a whopper of a Victorian boneyard. The place is choc a block with elaborate tombs of the movers and shakers of the British Empire including top man Isambard Kingdom Brunel, whose grave I have never come across on my visits by the way despite some casual peeking!
I first discovered Kensal Green for myself in the late 1980's when I was living in W10. I would take my young son Alex for walks around the place in his buggy. As we were living in a flat nearby it was great to experience the space and peace of Kensal Green, which really is a vast expanse of countryside on your doorstep, one that has been walled of and overtaken on all sides by the modern world.
One of the most striking discoveries on my earliest visits to Kensal Green was the small military cemetery as shown in the picture above. When I first came across the graves the area was surrounded by wild undergrowth and all but hidden yet the actual graves and their immediate compound were pristine. This was due to the fact they, as are most British military graves, is maintained by the War Graves commission. The graves in Kensal Green are for soldiers from South Africa, New Zealand and Australia if I remember correctly?
Although the surrounding areas of North Kensington and Kensal Green are very overcrowded and the adjacent Harrow Road a noisy, stinky thoroughfare the cemetery is really isolated with a high wall (currently largely being rebuilt) keeping the main road at bay on the north side and the trusty grand Union canal bordering it to the South.

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