Video: The Great War Heroes Corner, Greenwich Cemetery

By Lindsey Last edited 45 months ago
Video: The Great War Heroes Corner, Greenwich Cemetery

In this moving video, one-time broadcaster turned photographer, Stephen McKenna, explores a little known part of Greenwich, the final resting place for several hundred of the soldiers who fell in the cause of the First World War.

The first in a planned series of four Quiet Corner films, the mini-documentary delves into the mystery of how so many of the fallen have come to be buried there.

A Quiet Corner: The Great War Heroes Corner, Greenwich Cemetery. from Stevie Pics on Vimeo.

Stephen told us, "I first fell in love with London and its history as a child immigrant from Ireland in the early 70s.

"I remember in my second year of 'big school' there was a week in the exam season known as Wider Horizons when the lower school divided into groups for educational trips across Europe and even the United States. At the bottom of the prospectus list (the cheap end) was an option for the kids whose parents didn't have the big bucks for foreign travel. It was called Discovering London.

"No need to ask which I opted for and discover London we did. We even got to visit places long since out of commission such as the mini-tube railway at the GPO's Mount Pleasant sorting office. (Thirty eight years later and I'm still talking about it!) Based on that experience, I suppose, London's lesser known nooks have become something of a polite fetish with me. We'll pass for now on my penchant for photographing the capital's statutes (500 at the last count!).

"The great privilege of producing this first film has been the opportunity to share what is almost a secret, because the Great War Heroes Corner lies in such a remote spot of the Royal Borough of Greenwich that nobody gets to just pass it by, never mind pause to pay a silent tribute.

"To borrow a line from Flanders & Swann, it's a place where 'no one departs, no one arrives, they've all gone out of our lives', and actually, I could keep it my special secret, but that wouldn't be fair to the memory of the many hundreds of soldiers who rest there and simply don't deserve to have 'gone out of our lives', no matter the passage of the years since their death and sacrifice.

"I'm now working on my second film, A Quiet Corner, in which I'll visit a little known gem just off the Mall, Carlton Gardens, and recall the turbulent tale of two kings in the Abdication Crisis of 1936."

Take a look at Stephen's photography at:

Last Updated 18 October 2014

Agnes P

Does anyone know what's the music in this film?

David Carpenter

brilliant film well narrated and very interesting, I had no idea this existed having got back from Flanders so I shall go there and pay my respects, thank you

Judith C

Thank you, Stephen. I'm so glad I found your site.


This is my favourite cemetery in the borough. Most of the cemeteries in Greenwich are not in the place they are named for, so typically, this one is in Eltham. It is well-kept, has fascinating monuments (of which there are many, because the cemetery is expansive), has great views, an abundance of wildlife and it is comfortably peaceful. Thanks for the film, Mr McKenna.