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Southwark Council has been developing over First and Second World War CWGC graves for years
Southwark has sold 'new' burial plots over their graves
Southwark has possibly disturbed their remains, which they are not allowed to do
Southwark did not inform relatives, let alone consult them
Southwark did not inform the CWGC, let alone consult them
Southwark did not inform the public, let alone consult them
CWGC was not contacted until the most recent development, Area Z in Camberwell Old Cemetery
Southwark Council's Area Z planning application misled the public over the number of war graves to be developed over
Southwark claimed there were only 5 CWGC war graves - each of which would be commemorated with the CWGC pattern headstone
Southwark has now revealed there are at least 37 CWGC war graves - and do not intend to commemorate all of them
Southwark has cleared two acres of woods to build 'new' burial areas over these CWGC war graves - and the graves of thousands of other Londoners
Island burial area [see photo below]: Since at least 2003, Southwark has been selling new burial plots over thousands of common graves - including WW1 service personnel, killed in active service
Area F/F1: In 2013, Southwark developed a 'new' burial area along the southern boundary of the cemetery along Woodvale - including developing over two CWGC war graves without consulting or even alerting the Commission or relatives.
Currently, in the 2-acre area of woods known as Area Z [See Photo Above], Southwark is developing 700 'new' private burial plots for sale over 48,000 existing graves - including at least 37 CWGC war graves of service personnel from the First and Second World Wars.
Next, Southwark intends to cut down acres more woods in Camberwell Old Cemetery to sell burial plots over thousands more graves - including MORE CWGC War Graves. The areas of woods known as J, K and L - the glades - are slated for felling imminently.
Who will stop Sothwark's disregard for the war dead?
Email the CWGC and support their fight to make Southwark Council respect the war dead in the Camberwell Cemeteries:
Email Southwark Council Leader Peter John and CEO Eleanor Kelly and tell them to stop treating service personnel that way.
and copy us in:
Southwark has been building new burial areas over CWGC WW1 and WW2 War Graves for years - without alerting or consulting the Commission, relatives or public. Help the CWGC stop the destruction.
TOP PHOTO AND PLAN: Area Z in Camberwell Old Cemetery 2017 - the latest area of Southwark's destruction over war graves to sell 'new' burial plots over them. Below: Each red circle is a WW1 service personnel's grave.
PHOTO ABOVE: Hundreds of new graves were developed from 2007 over areas where CWGC graves lay - with no regard for those who fought and died for our country.
Download the actual Area Z plans never released to the public until now via Freedom of Information:
BELOW: How Southwark and its landscape consultants Harrisons saw Camberwell Old Cemetery woods - no more woods, just 'new' burial plots over CWGC WW1 and WW2 graves and some token trees. It doesn't even show the massive concrete-based embankments and terracing required by the steeply sloping site
The London Local Authorities Act 2007 Part 5 Miscellaneous - Section 74 Power to disturb human remains
The impact of the 2007 Act was it was supposed to allow London Boroughs to disturb human remains, under certain conditions.
It only applies to private graves, not common/public/paupers graves as public graves 'have no rights'.
Notice of intention to disturb remains must be served on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Disturbing human remains in CWGC war graves or removal or repair etc of memorials is illegal without the Commission's approval.
The 2013 Technical Guidance on Reuse of Graves sets out the provisions regarding CWGC graves on page 15:
Explanatory Memorandum City of London Corporation on the new 2007 Act, summarising the various powers (page 13) - although it doesn't mention the provision in the Act about CWGC war graves:
"Section 74 enables the disturbance of human remains in certain graves, in cases where a burial authority wishes to deepen the grave to enable more burials to take place. Under the City of London (Various Powers) Act 1969 and the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1976, burial authorities are already able, if conditions are met, to carry out burials in existing graves without disturbing human remains. They may only do so in respect of graves in respect of which they have extinguished a registered right of burial. The 1969 and 1976 Acts provide that the burial authority is not entitled to extinguish any rights of burial until at least 75 years after the last burial in the grave, and after having made efforts to notify the holder of the right of burial, and allow objections to be made.
Section 74 will only apply in relation to a grave where a registered right of burial or interment has been extinguished by the burial authority under either the 1969 Act or the 1976 Act. The burial authority would be able to disturb human remains for the purpose of deepening the grave to allow further burials to take place. No human remains may be disturbed under the Section if they have been interred for a period of less than 75 years. Any remains disturbed must be reinterred in the same grave.
Subsection (4) of Section 74 sets out the procedure which the burial authority must follow before disturbing any human remains, and that includes publication of notices of their intention to do so, and serving notice of their intention to do so on the registered owner of the right of burial (if the right has not yet been extinguished).
If objections are made by the registered owner of the right of burial, or the registered owner of a tombstone which is to be removed, or by a relative of the person whose remains are proposed to be disturbed, then the burial authority is not able to exercise its powers under the Section for a period of 25 years.
Subsection (8) provides that the burial authority must comply with any directions given by the Secretary of State with the respect to the removal and reinterment of human remains.
Subsections (9) and (10) make special provision about graves in consecrated land."
BELOW: Camberwell Old Cemetery War Memorial lists the 130+ scattered war graves around Camberwell Old Cemetery, that Southwark Council knew about - and CWGC has locations and relatives' contact details.