Music Hall Stars Of Abney Park Cemetery
When the summer heat hits the city and the streets get dusty and dry, I like to seek refuge in the green shade of a cemetery. Commonly, I visit Bow Cemetery – but recently I went along to explore Abney Park Cemetery in Stoke Newington to find the graves of the Music Hall Artistes resting there.
John Baldock, Cemetery Keeper, led me through the undergrowth to show me the memorials restored by the Music Hall Guild and then left me to my own devices. Alone in the secluded leafy glades of the overgrown cemetery with the Music Hall Artistes, I swore I could hear distant singing accompanied by the tinkling of heavenly ivories.
George Leybourne, Songwriter, Vocalist and Comedian, also known as Champagne Charlie (1842 – 1884) & Albert Chevalier (1861- 1923), Coster Comedian and Actor. Chevalier married Leybourne’s daughter Florrie and they all rest together.
George Leybourne - “Champagne Charlie is my name, Champagne Charlie is my name ,There’s no drink as good as fizz, fizz, fizz, I’ll drink every drop there is, is, is!”
Albert Chevalier – “We’ve been together now for forty years, An’ it don’t seem a day too much, There ain’t a lady livin’ in the land, As I’d swop for my dear old Dutch.”
G W Hunt (1838 – 1904) Composer and Songwriter, his most famous works were “MacDermott’s War Song” (The Jingo Song), “Dear Old Pals” and “Up In A Balloon” for George Leybourne and Nelly Power.
G W Hunt
Fred Albert George Richard Howell (1843 - 1886) Songwriter and Extempore Vocalist
Dan Crawley (1871 – 1912) Comedian, Vocalist, Dancer and Pantomime Dame rests with his wife Lilian Bishop, Actress and Male Impersonator. He made his London debut at nineteen at Royal Victor Theatre, Victoria Park, and for many years performed three shows a day on the sands at Yarmouth, where he met his wife.They married in Hackney in 1893 and had four children, and toured together as a family, including visiting Australia, before they both died at forty-one years old.
Herbert Campbell (1844 – 1904) Comedian and Pantomime Star. The memorial behind the tombstone was erected by a few of his friends. Herbert Campbell played the Dame in Pantomime at Drury Lane for forty years alongside Dan Leno, until his death at at sixty-one.
Herbert Campbell, famous comedian and dame of Drury Lane
Walter Laburnum George Walter Davis (1847 – 1902) Singer, Patter Vocalist and Songwriter
Nelly Power Ellen Maria Lingham (1854 – 1887) started her theatrical career at the age of eight, and was a gifted songstress and exponent of the art of male impersonation. Her most famous song was ‘The Boy I Love Is Up In The Gallery.” She died from pleurisy on 19th January 1887, aged just thirty-two.
Nelly Power - Vesta Tilley was once her understudy
The Music Hall Guild host a free guided walk through Abney Park Cemetery to visit the Music Hall Artistes on the last Saturday of each month – meet at the gates at 2pm