The tranquillity of Britain's largest working cemetery will be disturbed on Sunday when it hosts a public open day.

Thousands of people are expected to visit the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium at Manor Park, east London (right), to discover more about coping with bereavement.

Staff and funeral directors, stonemasons and casket makers, will answer questions about funeral procedures, and bereavement counsellors. The Terence Higgins Trust will also attend.

The open day is the idea of Jon Luby, superintendent and registrar at the cemetery, who hopes it will ease the process of dealing with death.

'Crematoriums have been opened to the public elsewhere but we have brought together everything to do with funerals, he said.

The 200-acre cemetery is one of the largest in Europe and caters for more than one million people living in the City of London, north-east London and Essex.

Since it opened in 1856, it has performed 200,000 cremations, and 500,000 people are buried there, including actress Dame Anna Neagle, her film producer husband Sir Herbert Wilcox, and two of Jack the Ripper's victims. A number of communal ones contain the remains of people exhumed from 78 churchyards around London, largely to make way for roads built during the Victorian era. One houses the bodies of prisoners who died in Newgate prison.

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