interzone55 19:22 11 Jun 2009

I've just been to my gran's funeral. It was a lovely service at Radcliffe Cemetery and Crematorium.

Next week we're going to scatter her ashes on Holcombe Hill, near her birth place.

This got me thinking.

What is in the ashes we get back? Is the casket burnt? If so, surely the plastic handles will give off some fairly nasty fumes? Are the caskets individually burnt? If not we may get someone else.

None of this really worries me, as I'm very pragmatic considering my Christian upbringing, and consider that when you're gone you're gone...

  sidecar sid 19:30 11 Jun 2009

A quick but interesting read.
click here

  Forum Editor 19:32 11 Jun 2009

"What is in the ashes we get back?"

The remains of the coffin and the body that was in it, minus any ferrous metal fragments, or other metallic elements.

"Is the casket burnt?"

Yes it is. There's a code of practice that says all coffin furnishings should be combustible, and the Environmental Protection Act 1990 applies.

"Are the caskets individually burnt?"

Yes, they are. This is covered in the code of practice. Relatives will receive the ashes of their loved one and his/her coffin, and nothing else, unless the cremation was of a baby, in which case, because of the nature of a baby's bones there will be virtually no residue. In special cases a mother and child may be cremated together if the relatives request it, but the final decision rests with the local authority.

  interzone55 19:56 11 Jun 2009

sidecar sid - that's an interesting, but poorly written site, a site with a Slovenian phone number.

It's put my mind at rest though...

  WhiteTruckMan 20:43 11 Jun 2009

I agree with alan14, an interesting read but by golly could they use a proofreader!


  jakimo 21:14 11 Jun 2009

In the 1970s I had an electrician come and work for me who had previously worked in a West Midlands Crematorium,he told me Asian families regularly ask for the coffin back as in those days they did not believe that the coffin was burnt with the body.

  WhiteTruckMan 21:20 11 Jun 2009

In sidecar sids link they actually show a reuseable coffin with a cremateable cardboard liner.


  jakimo 21:42 11 Jun 2009

Now theres an idea,Im always looking for a money saver

  interzone55 22:30 11 Jun 2009

I've just read the Wikipedia page on cremation.

The site you listed if pretty much lifted from the Wikipedia page, so I have no idea why that site is so bad.

Also, in the UK we're not allowed to open the coffin after it's arrived at the crem - which means we can't disguise cheap cardboard coffins in resuable wooden ones. It also means that it's vitally important to make sure any pacemakers are removed before arrival at the crem or you end with a scene like the opening of Iain Bank's The Crow Road ('It was the day my grandmother exploded. I sat in the crematorium, listening to my Uncle Hamish quietly snoring in harmony to Bach's Mass in B Minor, and I reflected that it always seemed to be death that drew me back to Gallanach.')

  john bunyan 22:33 11 Jun 2009

Some years ago a friend was going out with the daughter of a crem manager. He sometimes helped there. They were very careful to ensure no mix uo of ashes. The problems were that hip replacements and breast implants etc were not always burnt and clodded the filters ...

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