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Public funerals and the Treasury Solicitor

Public Funerals

The Council provides an extremely simple public funeral for deceased people who have no relatives or friends to carry out this for them. We do not offer a low cost or free funeral service for people who are unable to afford a funeral for a loved one. Please visit the GOV.UK  webpages for information on help with funeral costs. https://www.gov.uk/funeral-payments 

We are allowed to recover the costs of the funeral from the persons estate and if there are any funds left exceeding £500, we then pass the details of the estate to the Treasury Solicitor. Our role then ceases at that point and we do not administer the estate if there is one.

The funeral provided is extremely simple but dignified. It is usually the first or second time booking at Salisbury Crematorium; there are no flowers or hymns but we do let close friends know when the funeral is so they may attend.


A public funeral is unlikely to be according to an individual’s wishes. It is very important therefore that you communicate your instructions to your relatives and friends by making a will and leaving details of how you would like your estate, no matter how large or small, managed after you have died.

It is not a subject people like to discuss but it does mean that those who administer your affairs after your death will know what your wishes are and what to do. It is also important to ensure that potential executors of your will are happy to perform this task.

There are different options available for writing a will ranging from going to a solicitor to the purchase of a will pack from a stationers such as WH Smiths. You should also consider the how you will pay for your funeral. This may be detailed as part of your will from savings or for example a funeral payment scheme.


This is a legal term that describes a situation where a person takes on legal responsibility for a person’s affairs by meddling in them. If you are a friend who is not an executor and has no intention of taking on responsibility for a deceased persons affairs and you have access to the persons home, please do not remove any documents or possessions from the deceased home. Leave the property secure and hand the key to the authorities. This may be the police, coroners officer or housing association. We may not accept a funeral if we feel that individual(s) have intermeddled. If valuables, money or bank cards have been removed, this may become a police matter. We do check to see if any transactions have been made after the deceased’s death.


all organisations working to trace next of kin are treated equally and have access to the same information at the same time.

Treasury Solicitor

In some instances the council is required to arrange the funerals of persons where no relatives can be found or no-one is willing to arrange the funeral.

Where the estate of the deceased is worth more than £500, the Treasury Solicitor will take responsibility for winding up the estate. We have some instances where we are approached by multiple parties for information and documents. We will engage with the party who is seeking probate in connection with the estate in question.

Recently we have received an increased number of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests for public funeral information. To meet demand, the council have created this web resource to make available a list of public funerals and other information frequently requested by will hunters and researchers.

By doing this the council has fulfilled its obligation under section 19 (publication scheme), section 21 (publish information) and section 22 (future planned publication) of the FOI Act. From this point forward the council will refuse all FOI requests relating to this and applicants will be referred to this web page.

This will ensure all organisations working to trace next of kin are treated equally and have access to the same information at the same time. This change will also significantly reduce the burden to local tax payers of responding to large numbers of FOI requests to businesses and organisations.

The table below lists the instances in the county where the council has become involved. This page is updated regularly but an individuals information is not published until at least three months after their death.

Information about Home burials.

Date of birth
Date of death
Last known address
Date of funeral
Passed to treasury solicitor?
Wayne HORNER02.02.197117.12.2016Durrington20.02.2017No
Philip James TWIGG09.03.194814.01.2017Cricklade16.02.2017No
Percy Raymond DORSETT14.05.192026.01.2017Bowerhill21.02.2017No
Shelia MULFORD02.06.193418.02.2017Royal Wotton Bassett26.04.2017No
Eugeniusz NIEDZIOLKO17.02.197614.02.2017unknown17.05.2017No
William PAINTON13.11.195029.04.2017Salisbury26.06.2017No
Elizabeth BERLIE25.01.193327.04.2017Amesbury12.06.2017No
Victor HUMPHRIES16.10.193507.04.2017Trowbridge24.05.2017No
Patricia Joyce THOMSON08.10.195019.05.2017Swindon15.06.2017Yes
Bryant GASTON29.10.194209.05.2017Salisbury20.07.2017TBC
Kate CLIFFORD16.02.196820.06.2017Gillingham02.08.2017No
Beverley McADAM25.09.196418.04.2017Salisbury16.05.2017No
Graham Michael MORRIS23.04.194019.06.2017Salisbury08.09.2017No
Ian John GRAY15.07.193522.09.2017Marlborough26.10.2017Yes
Paul Anthony HENSON17.10.195031.08.2017Chippenham18.09.2017No
Ivor Leslie SHERWOOD16.12.194029.10.2017Quidhampton21.11.2017No
Beryl Vivienne PENTON15.11.193411.11.2017Salisbury21.12.2017No
Jean BELCHER15.10.193819.12.2017Royal Wootton Bassett22.01.2018No
Andrew EVERHALE20.07.194305.12.2017Bradford on Avon17.01.2018No
Colin Bruce FULLER12.12.194113.12.2017Salisbury14.03.2018Yes
Alfred Walter NOYES16.10.192426.01.2018Royal Wootton Bassett20.02.2018No
Susan Gillian PERKINS23.04.194424.01.2018Trowbridge21.02.2018No
Albert WISEMAN30.06.193712.01.2018Devizes02.03.2018No
Sonia Edith ROGERS14.03.194507.02.2018Corsham20/03/2018Yes
Raymond George HOARE22.06.192815.05.2018Westbury26.06.2018Yes
Keith WARRINGTON02.12.196708.06.2018Trowbridge23.07.2018No
David Vernon SEYMOUR24.12.194308.08.2018Salisbury07.09.2018TBC
Gary Robert NEWMAN16.06.197718.08.2018Ramsbury08.10.2018No
Kitty Doreen LE- GALLIENNE14.03.192428.09.2018Amesbury02.11.2018Yes
Artur SKAWINSKI23.04.196315.09.2018Devizes24.12.2018No
Roger Ferrier FAIRWEATHER02.01.194529.10.2018Durrington17.12.2018No
Patrick CARTER07.08.193420.12.2018Salisbury28.01.2019TBC
Steven John GARLICK27.12.196623.12.2018Devizes22.01.2019No
Dennis Joseph DENNEHY17.12.196630.01.2019Salisbury26.06.2019No
Robert AVERY25.12.195618.02.2019Mere26.03.2019No
John Henry HARRIS27.04.194029.03.2019Corsham09.03.2019No
James Baz DEMPSTER01.05.194416.04.2019Salisbury23.05.2019No
Edward Charles Bertram DAVIS15.02.192714.04.2019Chippenham13.06.2019No
Milan VORONAK24.03.195625.04.2019Trowbridge07.06.2019No
Derry GRAY22.12.193609.06.2019Salisbury17.09.2019No
John D WINSTANLEY27.02.195311.06.2019Trowbridge06.08.2019No
Gail Anne GREEN11.07.196731.07.2019Chippenham12.11.2019No
Cyril PRINCE16/06/194020.09.2019Warminster20.11.2019No
Robert Alan JAMES06.12.195223.10.2019Westbury07.01.2020No
Valerie REES21.03.193904.11.2019Malmesbury14.01.2020No


If you believe you may have an interest in the estate or for further information please contact the Treasury Solicitor on 020 7210 4700 or visit their website.

Financial data

To enable the council to safeguard public health by providing funerals, the council is able to recover the cost of a funeral from the estate of the deceased. Most of the those who the council provides funerals for are often vulnerable or destitute individuals with no assets meaning in most cases no costs can be recovered.

Time period
Expenditure on funerals
Total recovered from estates
Total expenditure
2010 - 2011£13,955.56£7,227.65£6,727.91
2011 - 2012£17,164.23£1,154.91£16,009.32
2012 - 2013£12,281.00£1962.72£10,318.28
2013 - 2014£25,395.94£1,107.79£24,288.15
2014 - 2015£12,464.05£1,134.32£11,368.73
2015 - 2016£27,257.81£19,359.96£7,897.85

2016 - 2017

2017 - 2018







Public funerals requested

2008 - 2009

2009 - 2010

2010 - 2011

2011 - 2012

2012 - 2013

2013 - 2014

2014 - 2015

2015 - 2016

2016 - 2017

2017 - 2018

51311322825383132          35

Prior to the formation of Wiltshire as a unitary council in April 2009, public funerals were administered by the respective district councils. Each council maintained their own recording systems and procedures for public funerals meaning data prior to 2008 - 2009 is not available.


We use suppliers approved by the council's procurement team. Service procurement contracts are advertised on The South West Portal.


Companies interested in becoming suppliers should register with The South West Portal.


This would be covered as part of the procurement process. An invitation to quote or tender is published depending on the value of the contract (high value contracts are also advertised in the Official Journal of the European Community). For more information please view the Wiltshire Council Procurement Strategy.


The council currently uses a funeral director who successfully bid for this work through our procurement process. For more information please view the Wiltshire Council Procurement Strategy.


The Councils finance team uses a firm to trace missing or unknown family members. In some instances Public Protection Services make use of this company. Should further details be required please contact financial services direct.


The member of the Environmental Control & Protection Team who covers the district the deceased person died in.


The member of the Environmental Control & Protection Team who covers the district the deceased person died in.



Information regarding recent funerals conducted under the Public Health provisions are published in the table(s) above. All estates of a value of £500 or more are referred to the Treasury Solicitor in accordance with their guidance.


Cases referred to the Treasury solicitor along with relevant information, where available are published and accessible on the Unclaimed Estates List.



Last updated: 28 January 2020 | Last reviewed: 28 January 2020