Over the years I have actively sought out or sometimes just stumbled across the graves of a number of well known people, some in the UK and some overseas.
In the graveyard of St Thomas the Martyr Church, Winchelsea, East Sussex can be found the resting place of well known comedian, writer and actor Spike Milligan. He is probably best know for his writing for 'The Goon Show'.
The grave of actor Marius Goring can be found in the churchyard of St. Mary the Virgin, Warbleton, East Sussex. His early work was on the stage before moving into films. He was a founding member of Equity, the UK actors' union in 1929 and was its president from 1963-65 and 1975-82.
His best known movies are probably 'The Red Shoes' (1948), 'Pandora and the Flying Dutchman' (1951) and 'The Barefoot Contessa' (1954).
Homolka moved to the USA in 1939 acting on Broadway and making over 30 movies. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his role of the uncle in 'I Remember Mama' (1948) and also started alongside Marilyn Monroe in 'The Seven Year Itch' (1955). Other roles had him working alongside Ronald Reagan, Katharine Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman and Michael Caine. In the 1960's he returned to England.
His grave and that of his fourth wife, Joan Tetzel, an American actress (Duel in the Sun-1946), can be found in Christ Church churchyard, Fairwarp, East Sussex.
Beveridge was educated at Charterhouse School, Balliol College, Oxford where he studied Mathematics and Classics and then went on to study law. After several years in the Civil Service he left in 1919 to become the Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science.
His Report on Social Insurance and Allied Services proposed the payment of National Insurance contributions and was aimed at addressing the evils of 'Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness'.
Beveridge was a member of the Liberal Party and was elected to the House of Commons in 1944. He was also a member of the Eugenics Society.
In 1946 he was made Barron Beveridge of Tuggal in the County of Northumberland. He is buried alongside his wife in the churchyard of St. Aiden, Throcklington, Northumberland. The church is one of the oldest in the county.
Also buried in the graveyard are the ashes of author Tom Sharpe, whose father was once vicar of Throcklington.
The memorial reads: DIEX AIE! (God be with us) The battle cry of the Dukes of Normandy, and the Normans at the Battle of Hastings.
Into the historical field of Senlac where fell the brave Harold the Saxon, 837 years after the battle which gave gave Norman Law to Great Britain. The Norman Memory come from the edges of the Seine has proclaimed with joy the Peace of Normandy's Sisters.
The place where Harold died became the site of Battle Abbey, founded by William at the site of the battle. The abbey remains are now owned and administered by English Heritage and are open to the public. There are annual reenactments of the battle, which attract many visitors.
Emily studied English Literature at St. Hugh's College, Oxford at a time when women were not awarded degrees. She joined the suffrage movement in 1906 and was involved in many militant acts. Davison was imprisoned 9 times during which she went on hunger strike and was subjected to traumatic force feeding. On the night of the 1911 census she hid in the chapel of the Palace of Westminster so she could record her residence as the House of Commons.
Although her funeral, organised by the WSPU (Women's Social and Political Union) was held in London, her body was transferred to the family plot in Morpeth, Northumberland in the churchyard of St. Mary the Virgin.
Traumatic events during her youth - the death of her mother when she was thirteen, the death of her sister Stella when she was fifteen followed by the loss of her surrogate mother and brother Toby resulted in Virginia experiencing a number of breakdowns. the death of her father in 1904 led to her being institutionalised for a short time. Throughout her life she experienced mental health issues and depression.
She married the writer Leonard Woolf in 1912. In 1919 they purchased Monk's House in Rodmell, East Sussex. The liberal approach to sexuality of the Bloomsbury group resulted in Virginia having a sexual relationship with the writer Vita Sackville-West, despite them both being married.
Woolf's best known works include the novels To the Lighthouse, Mrs. Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves and the essay, A Room of One's Own.
In 1941, Woolf once again fell into depression. She filled the pocket of her overcoat and drowned herself in the River Ouse. Her cremated remains lie beneath an elm tree in the garden of Monk's House. Leonard Woolf died in 1969 and his remains were placed alongside those of his wife.
A memorial tablet to Lieutenant Lionel Arthur Ashfield, DFC adorns the east wall of the nave in St Alban's church, Frant, East Sussex. Lionel's father was the headmaster of Hazelhurst School in Frant.
Ashfield joined the Royal Naval Air Service in April 1917 becoming a sub-lieutenant later that year. In 1918 he became a lieutenant in the newly formed Royal Air Force. He is credit as having shot down several enemy aircraft during aerial combat.
In July 1918 his aircraft was shot down over Flanders on the return from Bruges. In August it was announced that he had been killed in action. His body was interred at Ramscappelle Road Military Cemetery.
He was aged 19 at the time of his death.
Vita Sackville-West was a novelist, poet and garden designer. She was born at Knole House in 1892, and became a member of the aristocratic Sackville-West family.
In 1913 she married writer and politician Harold Nicolson. They had two children. During their married life they both has same sex relationships and had links with the Bloomsbury Group. One of Vita's most famous affairs was with Violet Trefusis.
In 1922 Vita met the writer Virginia Woolf, with whom she embarked on a 10 year relationship from 1925-35.
Sackville-West's novels included 'The Edwardians' and 'All Passion Spent'. The family acquired Sissinghurst Castle, Kent in the 1930's, an impressive property with an Elizabethan tower that had once belonged to Vita's ancestors. Sissinghurst is now owned by the National Trust.
Vita died in 1962 and her ashes are buried in the Sackville family chapel in St Michael and All Angels Church, Withyham.
In the churchyard of All SaintsChurch, Danehill can be found the grave of actor Peter Butterworth and his wife the well known actress and impressionist Janet Brown.
Butterworth served as a lieutenant in the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm during World War Two, hence the anchor on the gravestone. He was shot down and became a prisoner of war, spending some time in Stalag Left III, famous for 'The Great Escape'. He is probably best know for being a cast member in the series of 'Carry On' films, appearing in sixteen of them.
He married Janet Brown in 1946. She became known for impressions of Margaret Thatcher during the 70's and 80's.
Butterworth was appearing in pantomime and died of a heart attack. He was found in his hotel room after failing to turn up for a matinee performance.