Southwark is developing over War Graves - Email the CWGC to tell Southwark to stop!
Southwark Council is developing over 48 CWGC War Graves of setrvice personnel who died on active service in WW1 and WW2.
Help us find out what is going on - soon this will be happening in cemeteries across the country, Southwark is the test case.
Please email the CWGC to tell Southwark to stop developing over War Graves: firstname.lastname@example.org
Southwark admits “48 unmarked soldiers’ graves are located within the Area Z site, which is being developed to provide burial plots for families in Southwark.”
Southwark says they won't sell 'new' burial plots over War Graves.
But they ARE mounding over graves, laying roads and building embankments and terraces over those who gave their lives.
War Graves in Area Z Camberwell Old Cemetery are among 48,000 graves in this public or ‘paupers’ burial area. Service personnel are buried in graves up to 18 people deep. There are 131 scattered War Graves like these in this cemetery.
Support the CWGC to stop Southwark developing over War Graves. Email the CWGC: email@example.com
Southwark proposes no CWGC headstones for War Graves
As many as 23 of the 48 war graves in this area will be under roads and embankments. Marking these war graves would entail Southwark changing the development. Southwark have asked the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) to mark only 25 war graves with headstones.
Southwark confirms this “We plan to commemorate these unmarked graves either by marking with a Commonwealth War Grave headstone, or by adding their names to the existing War Memorials within the cemetery." Meaning “no headstones”.
Southwark cannot put headstones on these graves because they designed the project before they located these war graves. They only contacted the CWGC in 2016 after years of planning and developing, and six months into construction. Southwark had been developing blind.
Not Contacted Families
And we believe that Southwark has not attempted to contact the families of these service personnel to ask how they would want their family member’s grave honoured, let alone if they would want a road over their graves.
2017 is the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s centenary year. Their role is to find, record and mark the grave of every serviceman and woman killed on active service in the World Wars.
Southwark is putting the CWGC in a very difficult position. It has limited powers, relying on local authorities to allow them to mark graves with CWGC headstones.
Support the CWGC to tell Southwark: stop developing over British War Graves!
Email the CWGC: firstname.lastname@example.org
Unanswered questions for CWGC and Southwark Council:
1. Will Southwark Council agree not to develop over War Graves - including roads, paths, drainage tanks, embankments or terraces? Two CWGC War Graves in the Old Cemetery are to have a road built over them, an another is next to a new road on One Tree Hill Area D1.
2. Will the CWGC be allowed to mark every War Grave with a headstone - or only some? If only some, why?
3. Where exactly are all War Graves in Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries located? Detailed map location, grave and section number and personal records for each.
4. Are there WW1 or WW2 War Graves under the 2013 burial development Area F/F1, Woodvale, Camberwell Old Cemetery?
5. How does CWGC locate War Graves to ensure they are not buried or built over? Some may be buried 20 feet deep.
6. How is the CWGC contacting families, as most of Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries are to be developed over? The CWGC has made great efforts to identify service personnel on the Western Front - sometimes by DNA tests - and contact their families.
7. There are thousands of WW1 and WW2 War Graves scatteredacross UK cemeteries. What is CWGC’s process to locate and identify those buried and contact families?
8. Given the 2007 Act allowing London cemeteries to dig up graves over 75 years old, how is CWGC preparing to protect unmarked War Graves?
9. Southwark has removed more than 100 grave memorials for development - has Southwark cross-referenced these against CWGC or other records?
10. It seems at least six WW1 Australian, Canadian or other Commonwealth service personnel are buried in Camberwell Old Cemetery. What is CWGC’s protocol for contacting other countries' consulates and families about these?
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Chair, Friends of Camberwell Cemeteries
The Save Southwark Woods Campaign
07731 304 966
ABOVE: Southwark has been developing Area Z for over a year - before locating 48 WW1 and WW2 war graves.
BELOW: Britain At War magazine questions Southwark building blindly over war graves for years. Read the 'Britain at War' report here (pay to view)...
BELOW: Development over thousands of graves Camberwell Old Cemetery - Southwark claims "there are no records of war graves in this location."
The Friends of Camberwell Cemeteries, the Save Southwark Woods Campaign is fighting to protect the graves of WW1 and WW2 servicemen and women by making them cemetery nature reserves.
BELOW: Has Southwark been developing over War Graves - even selling 'new' graves over War Graves - for years? Four WW1 service personnel are buried under a recent burial area