Born in 1913, Edward Britten was a talented English composer, conductor and pianist. He’s best known for his operatic output, including Peter Grimes, Billy Budd and The Turn of the Screw, but he also wrote song cycles and a large number of orchestral works.
Interesting fact? He performed his War Requiem in 1962 to mark the consecration of Coventry Cathedral, which was rebuilt following a bombing attack in World War II.
Theatre and cinema
Born in 1572, Ben Jonson was a dramatist and poet who created major comedies such as Every Man in His Humour, Volpone, The Silent Woman, and The Alchemist. Ben Jonson was considered the second most important English dramatist after William Shakespeare.
Fun fact? Jonson is the only person buried in an upright position in Westminster Abbey!
Sir John Gielgud
Born in 1904 in London, John Gielgud was best known for his Shakespearean roles in the theatre, where he first played Hamlet at 26 years old. In 1924, he made his screen debut, won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1981 for Arthur, and was nominated in 1964 for Becket.
Did you know? In the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling based the character of Albus Dumbledore on John Gielgud.
Born in 1907 in Surrey, Laurence Olivier was probably one of the most acclaimed actors of the 20th century. His career-defining performances of Shakespearean roles on stage propelled his career as an actor and on-screen in modern classics such as Wuthering Heights and Marathon Man.
Did you know? Knighted in 1947, he became the first actor to receive a peerage in 1970, allowing him to sit in the House of Lords.
We’ve only mentioned a few of the thousands of well-known British personalities resting at Westminster Abbey.
So, next time you visit London, spare some time for Westminster Abbey to discover the extraordinary people buried or commemorated in this gorgeous British landmark.