Gravedigger of the Year 2017


The number of entries for this category again was under-representative of the many people who work so hard in this sector. Perhaps this is because of mechanization and use of machinery to prepare the majority of graves and a corresponding perceived lack of craftsmanship and care, but the winner of the award this year is clearly someone who takes enormous pride in their work and their role as a custodian of their burial ground.

Testimonial after testimonial praised their work, using words such as ‘meticulous’, ‘immaculate’, ‘kind’, ‘caring’, ‘sensitive’, ‘gentle’, ‘supportive’ – all descriptions of someone who doesn’t see their role as just digging a hole in the ground, but who is fully appreciative of the important part they play at the time of a burial.

With a deserving runner up in Julie Hillman who has the challenging task of preparing graves in an established woodland at The Eternal Forest in North Wales, the winner of this year’s Gravedigger of the Year is Martin House of Eden Valley Woodland Burial Ground.


Award photograph by Jayne Lloyd

The 2017 Good Funeral Awards were generously sponsored by Greenfield Creations

Gravedigger of the Year


David Homer

Nominated by many of the funeral directors he works with, this year’s winner set up his own grave digging business in 2007. David has quickly become the favoured contracted gravedigger for many funeral directors, both corporate and independent, in the Midlands area.

Digging by hand, and completing around 300 graves a year, and around 150 plots for cremated remains with his small team, David is highly praised by those nominating him for his professionalism and perfectionism.

Nothing is too much trouble and any time or distance is never a problem, nor the amount of time a family takes to say their final goodbyes.

An example of his thoughtfulness was a recent burial where one of the mourners was in a wheelchair. On learning of this, our winner laid lengths of his grass matting all the way from the pathway of the Churchyard to the graveside to ensure as smooth a journey as possible. He has a huge pride in his work and the highest of standards.

Runner up in this category: Martin House of Eden Valley Woodland Burial Ground