Crown copyright - Reproduced with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office
REGULATIONS MADE BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT, DATED MARCH 31, 1903, UNDER SECTION 7 OF THE CREMATION ACT, 1902
I hereby, in pursuance of Section 7 of the Cremation Act, 1902, make the following Regulations:-
"Cremation Authority" means any burial authority or any company or person by whom a crematorium has been established.
"Medical Referee" means a medical referee or a deputy medical referee appointed in pursuance of Regulation 10.
1. Every crematorium shall be-
(a) maintained in good working order;
(b) provided with a sufficient number of attendants; and
(c) kept constantly in a cleanly and orderly condition:
Provided that a crematorium may be closed by order of the Cremation Authority if not less than one month's notice be given by advertisement in two newspapers circulating in the locality and by written notice fixed at the entrance to the crematorium.
The Cremation Authority shall give notice in writing to the Secretary of State of the opening or closing of any crematorium.
2. Every crematorium shall be open to inspection at any reasonable time by any person appointed for that purpose by the Secretary of State or by the Local Government Board.
3. No cremations of human remains shall take place except in a crematorium of the opening of which notice has been given to the Secretary of State.
4. It shall not be lawful to cremate the remains of any person who is known to have left a written direction to the contrary.
5. It shall not be lawful to cremate human remains which have not been identified.
6. No cremation shall be allowed until the death of the deceased has been duly registered, except where an inquest has been held and a certificate given by a coroner in Form E (see Regulation 8).
7. No cremation shall be allowed to take place unless application therefor be made, and the particulars stated in the application be confirmed by statutory declaration, in accordance with Form A in the Schedule hereto.
The application must be signed and the statutory declaration made by an executor or by the nearest surviving relative of the deceased, or, if made by any other person, must show a satisfactory reason why the application is not made by an executor or by the nearest surviving relative.
8. No cremation shall be allowed to take place unless
(a) A certificate in Form B be given by a registered medical practitioner who has attended the deceased during his last illness and who can certify definitely as to the cause of death, and a confirmatory medical certificate in Form C be given by another medical practitioner, who must be qualified as prescribed in Regulation 9; or
(b) A post-mortem examination has been made by a medical practitioner expert in pathology, appointed by the Cremation Authority (or in case of emergency appointed by the Medical Referee), and a certificate given by him in Form D; or
(c) An inquest has been held and a certificate has been given by the coroner in Form E.
No cremation shall take place except on the written authority of the Medical Referee given in Form F.
9. The confirmatory medical certificate in Form C, if not given by the Medical Referee, must be given by a registered medical practitioner of not less than five years' standing, who must either
(a) be appointed for the purpose by the Cremation Authority; or
(b) hold one of the following appointments: - Medical Officer of Health, Police Surgeon, Certifying Surgeon under the Factory and Workshop Act, 1901, Medical Referee under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1897; or
(c) hold an appointment as physician or surgeon in a public general hospital containing not less than 50 beds.
10.Every Cremation Authority shall appoint a Medical Referee, who must be a registered medical practitioner of not less than five years' standing and must possess such experience and qualifications as will fit him for the discharge of the duties required of him by these regulations. If otherwise qualified he may be a person holding the office of Coroner or Medical Officer of Health.
Every Cremation Authority shall also appoint a Deputy Medical Referee possessing the like qualifications to act in the absence of the Medical Referee and in any case in which the Medical Referee has been the medical attendant of the deceased.
The Cremation Authority on making any such appointment shall notify the name, address, and qualifications of the Medical Referee or Deputy Medical Referee to the Secretary of State.
11. It shall be lawful for the Medical Referee if he has personally investigated the cause of death to give a certificate in Form C, and if he has made the post-mortem examination to give a certificate in Form D. The Medical Referee, if a Coroner, may himself give the coroner's certificate in Form E.
12. The duties of the Medical Referee shall be as follows:-
(1) He shall not allow any cremation to take place if it appears that the deceased left a written direction to the contrary.
(2) He shall not (except where an inquest has been held and a certificate given by a Coroner in Form E) allow any cremation to take place unless he is satisfied that the death of the deceased has been duly registered, by the production of a "Certificate of Registry of Death" on one of the forms provided by the Registrar-General for production in case of burial.
(3) He shall, before allowing the cremation, examine the application and certificates and ascertain that they are such as are required by these regulations and that the inquiry made by the persons giving the certificates has been adequate. He may make any inquiry with regard to the application and certificates that he may think necessary.
(4) He shall not allow the cremation unless he is satisfied that the application is made by an executor or by the nearest surviving relative of the deceased, or, if made by any other person, that the fact that the executor or nearest relative has not made the application is sufficiently explained, and that the person making the application is a proper person to do so.
(5) He shall not allow the cremation unless he is satisfied that the fact and cause of death have been definitely ascertained; and in particular, if the cause of death assigned in the medical certificates be such as, regard being had to all the circumstances, might be due to poison, to violence, to any illegal operation, or to privation or neglect, he shall require a post-mortem examination to be held, and if that fails to reveal the cause of death, shall decline to allow the cremation unless an inquest be held and a certificate given by the coroner in Form E.
(6) If it appears that death was due to poison, to violence, to any illegal operation or to privation or neglect, or if there is any suspicious circumstances whatsoever, whether revealed in the certificates or otherwise coming to his knowledge, he shall decline to allow the cremation unless an inquest be held, and a certificate given by the coroner in Form E.
(7) If a coroner has given notice that he intends to hold an inquest on the body, he shall not allow the cremation to take place until the inquest has been held.
(8) He may in any case decline to allow the cremation without stating any reason.
In the case of the remains of a person who has died in any place out of England the Medical Referee may accept a Declaration containing the particulars prescribed in Form A if it be made before any person having authority in that place to administer an oath or to take a declaration; and he may accept certificates in Forms B, C, and D, if they be signed by any medical practitioners who are shown to his satisfaction to possess qualifications substantially equivalent to those prescribed in the case of each certificate by these regulations.
13. The foregoing Regulations, 5 to 12, shall not apply to the cremation of the remains of a deceased person who has already been buried for not less than one year. Such remains may be cremated, subject to such conditions as the Secretary of State may impose in the exhumation licence granted by him or otherwise; and any such cremation in which those conditions are not observed shall be deemed a contravention of these regulations.
14. In the case of any person dying of plague, cholera, or yellow fever on board ship or in a hospital or temporary place of reception of the sick provided by a Port or other local authority under the Public Health Acts or by a Hospital Committee under the Isolation Hospital Acts, the Medical Referee, if satisfied as to the cause of death, may dispense with any of the requirements of regulations 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 12. These regulations may also be temporarily suspended or modified in any district during an epidemic or for other sufficient reason by an order of the Secretary of State on the application of a Local Authority.
15. Notwithstanding the foregoing regulations 6 to 12, the Medical Referee may permit the cremation of the remains of a stillborn child if it be certified to be stillborn by a registered medical practitioner after examination of the body, and if the referee after such inquiries as he may think necessary is satisfied that it was stillborn, and that there is no reason for further examination.
16. After the cremation of the remains of a deceased person the ashes shall be given into the charge of the person who applied for the cremation if he so desires. If not, they shall be retained by the cremation authority and, in the absence of any special arrangement for their burial or preservation, they shall either be decently interred in a burial ground or in land adjoining the crematorium reserved for the burial of ashes. In the case of ashes left temporarily in the charge of the cremation authority and not removed within a reasonable time, a fortnight's notice shall be given to the person who applied for the cremation before the remains are interred.
17. Every cremation authority shall appoint a Registrar who shall keep a register of all cremations carried out by the cremation authority in Form G. He shall make the entries relating to each cremation immediately after the cremation has taken place, except the entry in the last column, which he shall make as soon as the remains of the deceased have been handed to the relatives or otherwise disposed of.
18. All applications, certificates, statutory declarations and other documents relating to any cremation shall be marked with a number corresponding to the number in the register, shall be filed in order, and shall be carefully preserved by the cremation authority.
All such registers and documents shall be open to inspection at any reasonable hour by any person appointed for that purpose by the Secretary of State, the Local Government Board or the Chief Officer of any Police Force.
19. When any crematorium is closed as provided in Regulation 1, the Cremation Authority shall send all registers and documents relating to the cremations which have taken place therein to the Secretary of State, or otherwise dispose of them as he may direct.
20. The Secretary of State may make any inquiry he thinks fit as to the carrying out of these Regulations in connection with any Crematorium
One of His Majesty's Principal
Secretaries of State
31st March, 1903
Application for Cremation, with Statutory Declaration.
1. (name of applicant)
apply to the
to undertake the cremation of the remains of
(name of deceased)
(whether married, widow, widower, or unmarried)
The true answers to the questions set out below are as follows:-
1. Are you an executor or the nearest surviving relative of the deceased?
2. If not, state
(a) Your relationship to the deceased.
(b) The reason why the application is made by you and not by an executor or any nearer relative.
3. Did the deceased leave any written directions as to the mode of disposal of his remains? If so, what?
4. Have the near relatives* of the deceased been informed of the proposed cremation?
* The term "near relative" as here used includes widow or widower, parents, children above the age of 16, and any other relative usually residing with the deceased.
5. Has any near relative of the deceased expressed any objection to the proposed cremation? If so, on what ground?
6. What was the date and hour of the death of the deceased?
7. What was the place where deceased died? (Give address and say whether own residence, lodgings, hotel, hospital, nursing home, &c.)
8. Do you know, or have you any reason to suspect, that the death of the deceased was due, directly or indirectly, to
(a) violence; (b) poison; (c) privation or neglect?
9. Do you know any reason whatever for supposing that an examination of the remains of the deceased may be desirable?
10. Give name and address of the ordinary medical attendant of the deceased.
11. Give names and addresses of the medical practitioners who attended deceased during his last illness.
I do hereby solemnly and sincerely declare that all the particulars stated above are true, and that to the best of my knowledge and belief no material particular has been omitted; and I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the Statutory Declarations Act, 1835.
* Declared at
the ...............day of ................
* This declaration must be made before a Justice of the Peace or a Commissioner for Oaths.
Certificate of Medical Attendant
I am informed that application is about to be made for the cremation of the remains of
(name of deceased)
Having attended the deceased before death, and seen and identified the body after death, I give the following answers to the questions set out below;
1. On what date, and at what hour did he or she die?
2. What was the place where the deceased died? (Give address and say whether own residence, lodging, hotel, hospital, nursing home, &c.,)
3. Are you a relative of the deceased? If so, state the relationship.
4. Have you, so far as you are aware, any pecuniary interest in the death of the deceased?
5. Were you the ordinary medical attendant of the deceased? If so, for how long?
6. Did you attend the deceased during his or her last illness? If so, for how long?
7. When did you last see the deceased alive? (Say how many days or hours before death.)
8. How soon after death did you see the body, and what examination of it did you make?
9. What was the cause of death?
(Specify the disease, injury, &c., and if possible distinguish the primary from the secondary cause as in the Death Certificate.)
What was its duration in years, months, or days?
10. What was the mode of death? (Say whether syncope, coma, exhaustion, convulsions, &c.)
What was its duration in days, hours, or minutes?
11. State how far the answers to the last two questions are the result of your own observations, or are based on statements made by others. If on statements made by others, say by whom.
12. Did the deceased undergo any operation during the final illness or within a year before death? If so, what was its nature, and who performed it?
13. By whom was the deceased nursed during his or her last illness? (Give names, and say whether professional nurse, relative, &c. If the illness was a long one, this question should be answered with reference to the period of four weeks before the death.)
14. Who were the persons (if any) present at the moment of death?
15. In view of the knowledge of the deceased's habits and constitution do you feel any doubt whatever as to the character of the disease or the cause of death?
16. Do you know, or have you any reason to suspect, that the death of the deceased was due, directly or indirectly, to
(a) violence; (b) poison; (c) privation or neglect?
17. Have you any reason whatever to suppose a further examination of the body to be desirable?
18. Have you given the certificate required for registration of death?
I hereby certify that the answers given above are true and accurate to the best of my knowledge and belief, and that there is no circumstance known to me which can give rise to any suspicion that the death was due wholly or in part to any other cause than disease/accident or which it makes it desirable that the body should not be cremated.
NOTE.-This certificate must be handed or sent in a closed envelope by the Medical practitioner who signs it to the Medical practitioner who is to give the confirmatory certificate below.
Confirmatory Medical Certificate
1, have examined the foregoing medical certificate, and have made personal inquiry as stated in my answers to the questions below:-
1. Have you seen the body of the deceased?
2. Have you carefully examined the body externally?
3. Have you made a post-mortem examination?
4. Have you seen and questioned the medical practitioner who gave the above certificate?
5. Have you seen and questioned any other medical practitioner who attended the deceased?
6. Have you seen and questioned any person who nursed the deceased during his last illness, or who was present at the death?
7. Have you seen and questioned any of the relatives of the deceased?
8. Have you seen and questioned any other person?
(In the answers to questions 5, 6, 7, and 8, give names and addresses of persons seen and say whether you saw them alone.)
I am satisfied that the cause of death was
and I certify that I know of no circumstance which can give rise to any suspicion that the death was due wholly or in part to any other cause than disease/accident or which it makes it desirable that the body should not be cremated.
NOTE.-The Certificates in Forms B and C must be handed or sent in a closed envelope to the Medical Referee by one or other of the Medical practitioners by whom they are given.
Certificate after Post-Mortem Examination
I hereby certify that, acting* on the instructions of
Medical Referee to the
I made a post-mortem examination of the remains of
The result of the examination is as follows:-
I am satisfied that the cause of death was
and that there is no reason for making any toxicological analysis** or for the holding of an inquest.
* Where the Medical Referee himself gives this certificate, strike out the words in italics and insert "as".
** The words in italics should be omitted where a toxicological analysis has been made and its result is stated in this certificate or in a certificate attached to it.
I certify that I held an inquest on the body of
and that the verdict of the Jury was as follows:-
Medical evidence was given by
I am satisfied from the evidence that the cause of death was
and that no circumstance exists which could render necessary any further examination of the remains or any analysis of any part of the body.
(Date) ............................. Coroner.
Authority to Cremate
Whereas application has been made for the cremation of the remains of
And whereas I have satisfied myself that all the requirements of the Cremation Act, 1902, and of the Regulations made in pursuance of that Act, have been complied with, that the cause of death has been definitely ascertained, and that there exists no reason for any further inquiry or examination:
I hereby authorise the Superintendent of the Crematorium at
to cremate the said remains
Medical Referee to the
NOTE.-This authority should be signed in duplicate-one copy to be retained with certificates and the other sent by the Medical Referee to the Superintendent of the Crematorium.
* In the case of a stillborn child, in place of the name, address, and occupation, insert a description sufficient to identify the body, and in place of the words "that the cause of death has been definitely ascertained" insert the words "that the child was stillborn".
Register of Cremations
carried out by
at the Crematorium of
|No.||Date of cremation||Name, residence and occupation of deceased||Age and sex||Whether married or un-married||Date of death||Name and address of person who applied for cremation||Name and addresses of persons signing certificates||District where death has been registered||How ashes were disposed of|
NOTE.-Additional particulars may be added in the form of Register by the Cremation Authority.