Epsom & Ewell Cemetery - Notable Residents


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DIXEY, Phyllis 1914-1964 (Updated 13/03/2009)
CHUTER-EDE, Baron James, of Epsom (Opens in a separate page)
DOUGLAS, Henry Edward Manning 1875-1939 (Opens in a separate page)
GREEN, Station Sergeant Thomas (Opens in a separate page)
EISDELL, Rebecca c1799-1875
HATCHARD-SMITH, John (1854-1936) (Opens in a separate page)
SHERWOOD, Helen Adelaide 1858 - 1942


Phyllis DIXEY 1914-1964

Epsom and Ewell Cemetery Grave V27

Phyllis Dixey
Phyllis Dixey
Image courtesy of Yak El-Droubie and the Pamela Green archive
(Advisory note: This site has adult content).

Phyllis Dixey was what the music hall world of the 1920s and 30s called 'an exotic act', what now would be called a 'stripper'. Using a £50 ostrich fan as her main prop she was billed as 'The Girl the Lord Chamberlain Banned'. During her act, stage hands left the side of the stage, and the musicians were told not to look up. During the late 1930s fan dancers arrived in Britain from the American burlesque circuit. Phyllis took this up as war began and rules were bent for the troops. Phyllis toured the garrison towns, becoming "Queen of Aldershot" and "Toast of Chatham". Her golden age began in 1942 when she and her husband, Jack Tracy, leased the Whitehall Theatre to put on her own show. As the troops went home, and raunchier shows became popular, her fortunes declined. Her last performance was in Burnley in 1958. In 1959 she was adjudged bankrupt but two years later applied for discharge. At the time of her death she was working as a cook. Phyllis died at her home in Burgh Heath Road, Epsom on 2 June 1964 at around 50 years of age, having had ill health for several years. She was buried in the Catholic section of Epsom Cemetery. Her memorial was in a poor condition but has recently been restored.

Written by David Brooks, Bourne Hall Museum.

Webmasters Note : Click here for a longer article on Phyllis Dixey written by Maurice Poole.

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Rebecca EISDELL c1799-1875

Rebecca Eisdell was born in Andover at the end of the eighteenth century. She and her sister, Rosanne who was ten years her junior, had run a school in Walworth Place, Newington before coming to Epsom. In 1851 they were running a select establishment for young ladies at The Cedars in Church Street, Epsom, a private school taking in boarders. Rebecca was the headmistress and taught general literature. The school was small, with eight boarders and some day pupils. Most of them came from Epsom's leading families and lesser gentry, but its best known pupils were the children of David Livingstone, whose fees were paid by the London Missionary Society. The teaching staff lived out the school had a parlour maid, under house maid, cook and gardener living in. Rebecca was still teaching in 1871, she died aged 76 in 1875 and is buried in Epsom and Ewell Cemetery. Buried in the next grave to Rebecca is Elizabeth Young who was Rebecca's servant for many years.

Written by David Brooks, Bourne Hall Museum.
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Helen Adelaide SHERWOOD 1858 -1942

Buried in Epsom and Ewell Cemetery Grave O227

Helen Adelaide Browning had married into the well-known Epsom racing family of Sherwood in 1881 when she became Thomas Sherwood's wife. The Sherwoods were based at Downs House, near the Derby racecourse where Tom (born 1838) was a leading trainer. It was Tom's father, Ralph, who had bred Amato for Sir Gilbert Heathcote, one of only two Epsom horses to win the Derby. The public house in Chalk Lane is named after the horse.

Tom and his two older brothers Ralph (born 1833) and Robert William (born 1835) had all been jockeys. Robert won the Derby on Wild Dayrell in 1855, and went on to train the 1884 winner St Gatien. Other horses connected with the family are Spearmint, winner of the 1906 Derby, Lemberg, a brilliant two year old who won six out of seven races and won the 1910 Derby in record time.

Helen and Tom had five children in Epsom: Ralph Howard b.1881, Louis Tom b.1883, Constance Helen b.1884, Grace Annie b.1885 and Gerald Browning b.1892.

Helen knew the great Fred Archer very well and liked to recall how he took her for a pony and trap ride and nearly broke her neck. She told him "You may be a good rider, but you're a dunderhead when it comes to a carriage."

Written by David Brooks, Bourne Hall Museum.
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