London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Camberwell 1935

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Camberwell.

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Removal to Institutions of Aged, Infirm or Physically
Incapacitated Persons
During the year it was necessary to obtain a Magistrate's
Order for the purpose of securing the removal to an institution of
one aged female person living in insanitary surroundings. Action
of this nature is only taken in cases where there are no relatives
or friends to supervise such persons.
Twenty-three cases of this kind came to the notice of the
Public Health Department during the year, and it is satisfactory to
record that with the exception of the case above referred to, arrangements
were made to secure proper care and attention for these old
people without having recourse to compulsory removal to an
Institution under the powers of Section 28 of the London County
Council (General Powers) Act, 1928.
Cremation is the most hygienic and scientific of all methods
employed for the disposal of the dead. Ignorance and prejudice
have in the past acted as a barrier to progress of this sanitary and
innocuous method of disposal of the dead with the result that
large areas of valuable land have been acquired for purposes of
burial in and around large centres of population.
The area of land in Camberwell occupied or reserved for
cemeteries is approximately 150 acres.
In a space of one hour cremation performs in a clean way the
same process which, in the case of earth burial, takes from 20 to
100 years to accomplish according to the nature of the soil in
which the body is buried and the material with which the coffin
is made.
From the point of view of health, cremation has everything to
commend it when compared with earth burial. A modern
crematorium need not be either a source of nuisance or an eyesore
and will help to settle the question of how to dispose of our dead in
populous districts.
Nine bodies were exhumed at Cemeteries in the Borough
during the year for burial elsewhere. These exhumations and
re-interments were carrried out on the authority of the Home
The District Sanitary Inspector attended to ensure that the
terms of the Home Office Licence were complied with in each case.
Sanitary Conveniences attached to Licensed Premises.
During 1935 the Sanitary Inspectors made 998 inspections of
public house urinals in the Borough.

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