On occasions, 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 takes responsibility for winding up the estate.
We have been receiving an increasing number of FOI requests for public funeral information. In light of this, the council has created this web resource to make available a public a list of public funerals and other information frequently requested by will hunters and researchers.
In this way 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. Therefore from this point forward the council will refuse all such requests and refer applicants to this web page.
This will ensure all organisations working to trace next of kin are treated equally and will have access to the same information at the same time and significantly reduce the burden to local tax payers of responding to large numbers of FOI requests to businesses & organisations.
This table lists the instances in the county where the council has become involved.
|Name||Date of Birth||Date of Death||Last known address||Date of Funeral||Passed to treasury solicitor?|
|Christopher Henry Thomas||26.01.1949||30.04.2015||Urchfont||04.06.2015||No|
|Neil Charles Trenson||01.02.1950||12.06.2015||Chippenham||01.10.2015||No|
|Jason Alexander Darling||18.10.1970||06.07.2015||Trowbridge||12.10.2015||No|
|Paul Eric Edwards||25.01.1957||02.08.2015||Melksham||04.09.2015||TBC|
|Herbert Frederick Joseph Piper||19.08.1927||22.08.2015||Salisbury||16.09.2015||No|
|Nigel Ray Magin||15.07.1950||13.10.2015||Devizes||10.12.2015||No|
|Sotirios Ioannis Gkriniaris||04.02.1962||30.10.2015||Salisbury||21.12.2015||No|
|Gary Lewin Kenneth Tibbs||30.11.1971||24.11.2015||Westbury||04.01.2016||No|
|Elizabeth Ellen Wood||16.01.1948||04.01.2016||Amesbury||11.02.2016||TBC|
|Tim David Varley||13.06.1958||04.01.2016||Devizes||20.01.2016||No|
|Natascha Elizabeth Reeve||02.10.1973||27.01.2016||Chippenham||07.03.2016||No|
|Dorothy Jean Miller||12.11.1935||08.02.2016||Warminster||13.04.2016||No|
|David John Jefferies||03.05.1952||18.01.2016||Chippenham||29.01.2016||TBC|
|Eric Anthony Pardon||03.05.1952||18.01.2016||Devizes||09.03.2016||No|
|Andrew Paul Dean||27.09.1976||18.02.2016||Devizes||15.04.2016||No|
|Martin Charles Vivien Wicks||11.03.1962||12.02.2016||Trowbridge||11.04.2016||No|
Information on this page is updated regularly, but information on an individual is not published until at least three months after their death.
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
We are frequently asked about the cost of this service to the council. The council is able to recover the cost of a funeral from the deceased’s estate, this function is however a safety net provided for the safeguarding of public health and those who we provide funerals for are often vulnerable or destitute individuals with no assets.
|Expenditure on funerals||13,955.56||17,164.23||12,281.00||25,395.94||12,464.05|
|Total recovered from estates||7,227.65||1,154.91||1962.72||1,107.79||1,134.32|
The following table provides details of the number of public funerals requested.
*Prior to the formation of Wiltshire in April 2009 Public funerals were administered by the District Councils, all of whom had their own recording systems and procedures for public funerals. The data is therefore not complete but represents the records available.
Frequently asked questions by heir hunters
We are frequently asked to provide other details about our service. The information provided in these frequently asked questions is made available in order to provide an efficient and rapid means by which individuals may access this information. Anyone making an FOI covered by our FAQs will be referred to this information.
|Which business directory does the council use when searching for suppliers?||We use suppliers approved by the council’s procurement team. With regard to procuring services contracts are advertised on: The South West Portal|
|Does a company need to have a listing in the particular business directory in order for the council to consider the company as a potential supplier?||Companies should register with The South West Portal|
|What is the procedure in setting up a business contract with the council?||This would be covered as part of a 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). All relevant documents would be included. Wiltshire Council Procurement Strategy|
|Which funeral director does the council use? What is the reasoning for using this particular funeral director?||The Council currently uses a consortium of 2 funeral directors who successfully bid for this work through the above mentioned process.|
What is the name of the firm, company and/or individual used by the council, in order to help find missing or unknown family members?
Is there a contract with this firm, company and/or individual? What is the reasoning for using this particular firm, company and/or individual?
|We do not currently use an external service to do this and currently have no plans to do so.|
|When there is a council funeral taking place, if the council does not use a solicitor firm or company, who is responsible for finding missing or unknown family members?||The member of the Environmental Control & Protection Team who covers the district the deceased person died in.|
|Within the council who refers information to the Duchy of Cornwall, Duchy of Lancaster, Ultimus Haeres, QLTR, Farrer & Co and/or Treasury Solicitor and/or Bona Vacantia? Please provide name and contact details.||The member of the Environmental Control & Protection Team who covers the district the deceased person died in.|
|Which hospitals refer deaths to the council in which a public health funeral is necessary?||None|
|What are the contact details of the person (within the hospital) who refers these deaths to the council?||We do not hold these details|
|Within the last 12 months, how many referrals has the council made to either the Duchy of Cornwall, Duchy of Lancaster, Ultimus Haeres, QLTR, Farrer & Co and/or Treasury Solicitor (or Bona Vacantia)?||
Information with regard to recent funerals conducted under the Public Health provisions are published above.
All estates of a value of £500 or more are referred to the Treasury Solicitor in accordance with their guidance
Of the cases that have been referred (to the above mentioned bodies), please provide:
• Date of referral made to any of the above mentioned bodies
• Reason for not referring to the above mentioned bodies
• The name of the deceased
• Date of death
• Last known address
• Place of death
• Date of birth
• Have family members and/or next of kin been contacted?
• Who contacted their family members and/or next of kin? (name and contact details)
The cases which have been referred to the Treasury solicitor along with relevant information, where available are published and readily accessible on their website:
|Are these details published online? Please provide URL and name of website.||See above table|
|Are obituaries published for these funerals, in order for friends and/or family members (who are not aware of the death) to attend the funeral? What is the name of the website/publication in which these obituaries are placed?||No|
Last updated: 27 July 2016