Circus Graves Research

Frank C Bostock, Memorial Lion, Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington, b.1866 d. 1912

With the interest in Circus Heritage heightened by the Circus 250 celebrations in 2018, we have started a small research into locating where circus people have been laid to rest, answering the call by Circus 250 to “Hunt for the nation’s secret, forgotten or unknown memorials announced (by) Historic England. Let them know about your hidden circus memorial!” 

The research focuses on sites in the UK. There is no particular time period for this research, ie deaths before a certain date. What has been interesting to find out from a North East perspective is that Frank Bostock, who died in 1912, and is buried in Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington, London NE16. What was more information to us was that Frank was born in Darlington. More information about his life, death and funeral can be found at the National Fairground and Circus Archive article.  

Helen Averley who is compiling the list  says. “This is what I like about circus is indiscriminate about national and regional identity – a family of 6 will have 6 birthplaces – a baby due to be born in Elgin arrives in Newcastle! Or due Paris arrives Berlin – so depends on the route map! Let’s find them”

So far we have 64 people on our list, it is of course only a start. If anyone is aware of another list please let us know or if you know about the resting place of anyone who has worked in circus over the last 250 years we would be happy to add them to our list. Please help us to correct this list. With the custom of taking the family names it can be very confusing. 

Name, Date of Birth and Death, Location of grave (and number if known),  Circus job, who they are interred with as well as any other information you wish to share.  

Please email madame@labonche.net 

Circus Graves List (vers. March 2018)