Southwark Council sold burial plots over mass graves for three years without telling buyers.
Many people find it disrespectful, distasteful, even horrific to be buried over other people’s graves. For some, it is against their faith.
Yet since 2013 - if not before - people were laid to rest in Camberwell Old Cemetery East Dulwich in plots mounded over the remains of thousands of people.
And Southwark refused demands by campaigners to inform purchasers of this crucial issue - in order to keep burying in inner London.
Now campaigners have forced Southwark to own up, with a brief statement buried deep on their website.
Southwark are still trying to cover it up - using the euphemisms ‘previously buried land’ and ‘reclaimed land’.
Cabinet Member for burial Cllr Ian Wingfield last year told Friends of Camberwell Cemeteries it wasn’t Southwark’s responsibility to tell buyers ‘new’ plots are over the graveyards of tens of thousands of London’s poor.
Cllr Wingfield even said it is up to Funeral Directors to inform them, and that if people ask the Council tells them it is ‘reclaimed’ land.
So hundreds of families were not. Do families even realise now? It seems Southwark still hopes they won’t find out.
Contempt for the families of those buried in the Camberwell Cemeteries is just another reason why Southwark Council is unfit to run a burial service.
The Friends of Camberwell Cemeteries, the Save Southwark Woods campaign, are fighting to save the cemeteries as nature reserves with respect for the dead and woods and nature for the living.
www.SaveSouthwarkWoods.org.uk | [email protected] | @southwarkwoods | Facebook Page Save Southwark Woods
Below: 'New' burial grounds developed in Camberwell Old Cemetery in 2012 when the memorials of the poor were removed and tons of earth mounded thousands of people's public graves to sell off as private graves.