2.00am: Sunday 25th June: Please note this event has been postponed out of respect for the families attending Southwark Council's families memorial service today, 3pm at the Crematorium, which Southwark just informed us of 48 hours ago. It will be rescheduled.
The Friends of Camberwell Cemeteries are calling a protest this Sunday over plans to dig up and resell thousands of graves without consulting families.
Our own Families and Friends Survey on Southwark Council burial policy to dig up the dead show 91% of respondents are against.
Southwark Council has applied to Parliament to dig up thousands of dead buried in the Camberwell Cemeteries and resell their burial plots, agreed in 2012 as their burial strategy.
The destruction of acres of inner London woods, and mounding over thousands of graves including Commonwealth War Graves, is all part of delivering this plan.
Everyone with friends or family buried here is invited to meet this Sunday at Camberwell New Cemetery:
Families and Friends Grave Robbery Protest
Meet 2pm Sunday 25th June
Camberwell New Cemetery Gates
Brenchley Gardens SE23 3RD
Comments from family members include:
"council should hang their head in shame due to the lack of respect of generations gone by"
"It would be awful if this happened my mother has now died and she is in brenchley Gardens with my nan and grandad I would be so upset if this happened because it's history"
"My daughter died over 50 years ago and I would be heart broken if her resting place was disturbed"
Southwark never consulted families on their 2012 ‘reuse and reclamation’ of graves burial strategy.
And the Council cancelled plans to consult families last autumn because they know people are horrified by the idea.
We started a survey of families about reuse of graves last summer. Over 100 people responded. 91% have said they are against Southwark digging up the dead.
It seems Southwark Council doesn’t want families to find out - until it's too late to object.
Any Council consultation of families now will be phoney and dishonest as plans have already been set. Southwark has denied families the right to object or even know about their plans. Many have moved out the area but still have relatives here.
Southwark even deny they are definitely going to dig up the dead - possibly because they have never consulted famiies as they are supposed to have done.
But they agreed in 2012 to dig up graves and have applied to Parliament to do it.
So why lie? Are they going to charge people to keep relatives buried in their graves?
Southwark currently charges £1,400 for a twenty-five-year lawn burial plot lease, £2,100 for fifty years, but three times that for people who live out of the borough.
Some people who have moved out of the borough have dozens of relatives buried here.
Find out on Sunday what Southwark Council is doing behind people's backs - for a burial service that doesn't even provide for the borough's true burial needs.
All London cemeteries are at risk of the same fate.
Show Southwark Council we want people buried in the cemeteries to rest in peace – not dug up for profit.
Friends of Camberwell Cemeteries / Save Southwark Woods campaign
07731 304 966 / [email protected] / www.savesouthwarkwoods.org.uk
www.SaveSouthwarkWoods.org.uk | [email protected] | @southwarkwoods | Facebook Page Save Southwark Woods
Rose Ives and mum Tina Kirby by the public grave of relatives at the Glade on One Tree HIll where dozens of graves are to be paved over for an access road.
Below: Hundreds of 'new' burial plots over mass graveyards of tens of thousands of poor Londoners
Bottom: Area Z Camberwell Old Cemetery - two acres of woods in a Grade 1 SINC clear-felled for more 'new' burial plots over tens of thousands of graves
Below: The last 10 acres of woods over public graves, protected by nature. Bottom: Square 92 showing hundreds of graves, including four WW1 service personel, and the new layout, showing their graves mounded over and resold.