CHAPTER 13 MORTUARY SERVICE

Although the emergency Mortuary Service was not one of the Civil Defence General Services, it was a Service which was organised in close connection with that of the other C.D. Services and therefore should be mentioned here. The Cemetery Superintendent, under the Town Clerk, was responsible for this Service, and premises at Queen's Road Cemetery were adapted as a mortuary to accommodate 40 bodies, with a separate viewing room for identification purposes. In the early days, part of the Car Park at the Walthamstow Stadium, Chingford Road, was earŽmarked for use as an additional mortuary to take 250 bodies.

Fortunately this extra accommodation provided to meet anticipated large-scale raids was never used, and even with the heaviest incident we were able to restrict ourselves to the use of the mortuary at the Queen's Road Cemetery which was more convenient, both from the point of view of administration and the identification of bodies, than if we had had to use two separate places.

Mortuary Attendants were difficult to obtain but it was found possible to get volunteers for this Service, and although facilities were strained at times we were able to carry on without breakdown. The driving and maintenance of the Mortuary Van was largely provided for by the Decontamination personnel, and assistance from other volunteers was forthcoming in the handling of the bodies.

The total number of bodies dealt with at the Mortuary was 264.

Part I - General

Part IIa - The Services

Part IIb - The Services

Part III - The Story of the Raids

Part IV - Flying Bombs & Rockets

Part V - To the Unknown Citizen