HOW IT BEGAN

About M Coghlan Limited

The company was established in 1861 by Michael Coghlan and is currently run by Richard Coghlan, the fifth generation of the family.

M Coghlan Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors. The NAFD is the main trade association and they have a strict code of practice that its members have to abide by. We are also members of the National Society of Allied & Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF).

We have records dating back to 1881, when Richard’s great great grandfather, Michael Coghlan, ran the business. The records show that in the early 1900’s we were general carpenters, but in those days most local carpenters also took care of the funerals, as they had the materials and expertise to make the coffins.

Frederick followed Michael into the business and then Charlie, who died in 1976.  Richard joined the firm in 1976 to work with his father, John, having first trained with a large funeral director’s company in London. Richard studied and passed the Diploma in Funeral Directing (Dip FD) in 1980.

In 1987 Geoff Collins married Julia, Richard’s sister and then joined the family firm, and later took his Diploma in Funeral Directing. Geoff is now retired.

At about this time we ceased being carpenters and decorators and concentrated on the funeral side of the business.

Sally Walton passed her Diploma in Funeral Directing in 2004. Daniel Coghlan, the sixth generation, joined the business along with his sister, Sophie, who has also joined the firm and works in our Fareham office as an administrator. Daniel passed his Diploma in Funeral Service in September 2015, but has since left the business.

In 2019 we acquired E.J. Crossland Ltd in Gosport so you can now find us at 129 Forton Road. E.J. Crossland Ltd was established in 1857 so between us, we have nearly 380 years of experience in the profession. The staff have stayed in the same capacity from when the firm was still run by the Crossland family.

Coghlan Family Tree

Richard has been in a very fortunate situation in attempting to make up the Coghlan family tree as many of them lived locally. It would seem that the original John Coghlan was a prison officer on a ship carrying French prisoners. He originated from Southern Ireland bringing the prisoners to Southern England, and the ship had to seek shelter in the Solent during a wild storm. 

The prisoners were taken to Portchester Castle. From here his great-great-grandfather Michael set up a carpentry business in Portland Street in Fareham. The main business was established in 1861.

History

We have records dating back to 1881, when Richard’s great great grandfather, Michael Coghlan, ran the business. The records show that in the early 1900’s we were general carpenters, but in those days most local carpenters also took care of the funerals, as they had the materials and expertise to make the coffins.

Frederick followed Michael into the business and then Charlie, who died in 1976.  Richard joined the firm in 1976 to work with his father, John, having first trained with a large funeral directors in London. Richard studied and passed the Diploma in Funeral Directing (Dip FD) in 1980. In 1987 Geoff Collins married Julia, Richard’s sister and then joined the family firm, and later took his Diploma in Funeral Directing.

At about this time we ceased being carpenters and decorators, and concentrated on the funeral side of the business.

Sally Walton passed her Diploma in Funeral Directing in 2004. Daniel Coghlan, the sixth generation, has joined his father in the business and passed his Diploma in Funeral Service in September 2015.

MEET THE TEAM

The M Coghlan Team

Richard Coghlan

Owner

My name is Richard and I am the fifth generation of the family. I was born in Fareham, just a 2 minute walk from our office and haven’t moved far since! I have been a funeral director for over 40 years. I began working for the family company in 1976 having trained in London for a year prior. I passed my Diploma in Funeral Directing in 1980. I have undertaken 3 deployments as part of Kenyon’s International Emergency Services who attend disaster sites. I have been to aircraft crashes in Russia and Egypt to assist repatriations all over the world. I trained to become a Civil Celebrant and I still take a few services if requested. 

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Even though I am semi-retired, I still get involved with funerals, whether I’m driving the hearse or limousine, or bearing on the funerals with the team. I like to be hands on. In my spare time, I enjoy being up the mountains with the Scouts or Duke of Edinburgh teenagers, helping the young people of Fareham explore the wonders of our beautiful countryside.

Sally Walton

Dip FD | LMBIFD

I’m Sally. I have been a friend of the Coghlan family for many years, my Mum was a friend of Richard’s mum back in the day. I began working for the family in 1998 as a part time secretary, eventually moving to full time once my own children were older and more independent. As Richard took over from his Father, he encouraged me to become a funeral director. I was the first female funeral director in Fareham. My picture was even put in the news! I qualified in 2004 with the NAFD, achieving my Diploma in Funeral Directing.

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During 2013-2014 I became President of the British Institute of Funeral Directors, taking me all around the country on different visits. 20 years on, Richard is semi-retired so I manage the day-to-day running of the business, still looking after clients and loving every minute of it. It has been a challenge but an honour to look after so many families in Fareham and now Gosport. I am also now a Tutor of the Certificate and Diploma Course with the BIFD, which means I get to share experiences and knowledge with the future generations of Funeral Directors around the South of England.

Tom Stevenson

Dip FS | LMBIFD

I’m Tom, I moved to Fareham when I was a year old and have lived here ever since. I went off to University and returned home to settle down and start a family. We live locally and are part of the wider community. I began working here at M Coghlan 5 years ago, starting out in a Funeral Operative role, preparing the deceased, effecting removals, washing cars.

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I am now conducting funerals and looking after families during their time of grief. I gained my Diploma in Funeral Service last year, receiving the Student with the Highest Mark Award. I feel grateful that I am able to serve my community at such a time when they really need support and guidance. It is such a privilege to give back to them. We are a hardworking team and support each other as colleagues during difficult situations. I am the resident “Agony Aunt” on the team.

Georgie Kneller

Dip FS | LMBIFD

My name is Georgie, I have been working at Coghlan’s for nearly 10 years. I first came here during my senior school work experience at 15 years old. I loved it so much, I never wanted to return to school. There are so many amazing aspects of this job that many do not realise. So much goes on behind the scenes to arranging a funeral. As it happened, I did finish school, college, even university and have eventually returned here to work.

 

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I began working in the office as the Admin Assistant, and when I returned from Maternity Leave, I became a funeral director. I gained my Diploma in Funeral Service last year, which has given me extensive knowledge of the job and I am honoured to be able to serve Fareham and the wider community through bereavement.

Kevin Squires

Dip FS | LMBIFD

I am Kevin. I was born and bred in Gosport, having gone to Bridgemary Secondary School and still living locally in the area. I left school and went to college where I learnt carpentry and joinery and landed a job in the funeral business in 1987 working at EJ Crossland Ltd in Gosport, later to become M Coghlan Ltd, having been trained by Eddie Crossland himself.

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I took a few years working away from the funeral trade but returned as I missed the job. I am fully experienced within all the aspects of the job and in 2021, I gained my Diploma in the Funeral Service and am now a licenced funeral director running the day-to-day operations at M Coghlan Gosport branch. It is a privilege to serve the local community.

Neave Pottinger

Cert FS

I’m Neave, I am 21 years old and been working in the Funeral profession for a little over a year. I studied Health and Social Care at St Vincent College, and was lucky to come straight into a full time position as a Funeral Operative. I work in a role that has predominately been filled by males, I am the first female to do the job at this company.

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This role is perfect for me as I love to care for people and I always do my upmost for every single person that comes in. I am the person who carries out the preparation of the deceased. This means I get them dressed and make sure they look their best ready for visits in our Chapel of Rest. I also prepare the coffins, and wash the cars ready for funerals. I am also a bearer on funerals so you may well see me out and about! I am the only female bearer on the team.

Sophie King

Cert FS

I am Sophie King née Coghlan, I’m Richard’s eldest daughter of three siblings. I joined the firm in September 2017. I work in the office part time, administering donations, answering the telephone and dealing with enquiries and booking appointments. I gained my certificate in Funeral Service earlier this year. I am also a nursey nurse; so, both jobs are a big contrast.

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I like to perform on stage in musicals and plays. I have two children both of whom have joined me in musical theatre. We love to go on walks and getting out in the countryside. I still go for a kayak with my father and two brothers on Boxing Day. It is one of our annual traditions.

OUR OFFICES

Fareham

 

Our office in Fareham is in Westbury Road, opposite the Fareham Museum, near to both the taxi rank and bus station. We have been based in Fareham for over 160 years and have our own parking available on the premises. We have a private chapel of rest which is open from 9 – 5pm weekdays.

We have three qualified funeral directors based here, two of which are female and one male. We  also have a female operative who carries out our preparation with regard to the deceased, but we also have male staff available for these duties.

We are here to offer advice, support and will help you through the arrangements using our knowledge and training. Because we are independent we can tailor our services to suit most occasions and wishes, from horse drawn funerals to different music tastes etc.

Gosport

Our office in Gosport is based at 129 Forton Road. There is parking on the left of the building and we can now offer a large Ceremony Room for use by families. We have a large screen where slideshows and videos can be shown, we will be able to offer webcasting facilities from here and also any music requirements can be provided.

The room can be used as part of a Traditional Funeral with the mourners following the cortege to the place of committal or we can offer a bespoke service whereby the coffin is already in situ, the ceremony takes place and the coffin is left in the room and the mourners can leave and make their way onto some refreshments.

The coffin is then taken on a separate occasion to the place of committal. See our price list for these options.

We have a newly renovated chapel of rest with a separate waiting area and we also have a newly renovated ‘arrangement room’. There is one qualified funeral director based at this office, along with administration staff and one operative.

GALLERY

Ceremony Room

Fareham

Westbury Road Fareham,
Hampshire, PO16 7XU
(Parking Available)

Phone: 01329 282711
Email: funerals@coghlan.net

Opening Hours

Monday - Friday
9:00 - 17:00

Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed
(24 Hours Support)

Gosport

129 Forton Road, Gosport,
Hampshire, PO12 4TQ
(Parking Available)

Phone: 023 9258 0074
Email: gosport@coghlan.net

Opening Hours

Monday - Friday
9:00 - 17:00

Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed
(24 Hours Support)

©2024 Coghlan Funerals All Rights Reserved